I just don’t get Ruby on Rails

In addition to all of the cool toys (robots and helicopters) shown at the Java Toy Show (general session of JavaOne 2007 on Friday morning), a NetBeans guy from Sun got up and did a demo of Netbeans 6.0 and JRuby on Rails (a scripting-languaged based web application framework). He created a Ruby on Rails application, created persistence classes from a database using a wizard, created a simple web page showing the database information, and ran it all from within the IDE. Judging by the audience reaction, people were impressed. My reaction, on the other hand, was, as we used to say as kids, “big whoop.” Haven’t we been doing this in JDeveloper for, I dunno, 8 years or something?

8 Responses to I just don’t get Ruby on Rails

  1. Chris Muir says:

    Yeah, I don’t get it either. It’s like the whole Java IDE wars, JDev has many drag n drop facilities, wizard, editors and diagrammers that none of the others come close to matching in numbers, one of the best JSF implementations, yet Oracle’s IDE doesn’t get much of a show in. Is it the old Oracle-is-a-database-company bias, or the Oracle-is-proprietary/not-open-source bias, or I learnt to program with Netbeans/Eclipse/whatever so I’m not changing now game?

  2. John Stegeman says:


    I think it’s the “Oracle is proprietary” bias. Ironically, the last presentation I attended at Java One (“The top 10 ways to make your application unreliable and unscalable”) – one of the top ways was “avoid using any proprietary features” – only use “standard” stuff, avoid “lock-in.” What a bunch of hooey.

  3. Steve says:

    Some of it is not wanting to re-learn/re-train the fingers. It takes me quite a long time to get used to an environment and get it customized to my liking. Sometimes its just the situation you are in. I consult and some clients mandate the use of a particular IDE for all their development.

  4. Jason Kratz says:

    “JDev has many drag n drop facilities, wizard, editors and diagrammers that none of the others come close to matching in numbers”

    Is it at all meaningful that JDeveloper has a large number of features? I certainly don’t find it meaningful. The editor has been really lacking for a long time in comparison to something like Eclipse or IDEA (though I have no looked at the latest release). Who cares about wizards and drag-and-drop if you can’t get basic coding editing right?

    The “big deal” about Rails (at least one of the big deals) is that dealing with the database is easier than any of the ORM tools available for Java. Not that ActiveRecord is the best fit for all situations but its very compelling and there is no equivalent in Java. Django in Python has the same thing. No..you haven’t been doing the same in JDeveloper for 8 years or something. Java, unfortunately, doesn’t touch Ruby/Python for sheer speed of development.

  5. Grant Ronald says:

    “The editor has been really lacking for a long time in comparison to something like Eclipse or IDEA (though I have no looked at the latest release).” Jason – would be really useful if you could feedback on what is lacking…also, it might be prudent to comment on the latest version. Its honest of you to admit you haven’t looked at the latest release but JDeveloper is moving on at a great rate of knots and I despair when I hear comments passed on old versions – I could say the same about Eclipse or IDEA.

    Next point : “Who cares about wizards and drag-and-drop ” – tens of thousands of developers do!. Those coming from a VB, Forms and PeopleTools background find it ridiculous seeing developers write code for things they do using visual declarative tools – for alot of people coding in a 3GL manner is like going back to putting kids up chimneys – something that happened in the old days and we shouldn’t go back to! ;o)

    Would also welcome your clarification on “no you haven’t been doing the same in JDeveloper…” if not, we’ve been pretty damn close ;o)

  6. John Stegeman says:

    The “big whoop” comment that I made was specifically directed at the audience reaction to the NetBeans demonstration with drag-and-drop creation of ActiveRecord and a default (read pretty bare bones) web page. Yes, you are right bare-bones java doesn’t have anything like ActiveRecord, but JDeveloper sure does – ADF Business Components. They’ve been around for 8+ years.

    Thanks for the comment.

  7. Nate says:

    Oracle JDeveloper:

    Too many features custom-tailored to Oracle stack deep-rooted into the Integrated Development Environment.

    The IDE is free, but there are very good components that can spoil a developer and then leave him hanging dry when he wants to use them in production – due to licensing costs.

    Oracle’s DB/AppServers are among the most resource intensive that I’ve ever tried. Their Express Edition DB Server was using over 350 MB of RAM right after startup, and their AppServer is heavy. This makes it hard to use them on a development workstation because even with 2GB RAM they totally rape your system’s resources.

    The User Interface is too crowded.

    Certainly, it has some really nice features. It is just more of an “Oracle tool” than it is a general purpose development tool, IMO. I keep getting it every version and doing some test runs but it doesn’t look like Oracle is willing to “disconnect” some of those proprietary features and/or make them more “General”.

    That being said, Red Hat Developer Studio is looking like it’s coming along quite nicely.

  8. hrishy says:


    Jdeveloper is free but you can only do so much with Jdeveloper and other open source tools.Jdeveloper 11g has got grovvy and with that its close to Ruby on certain aspects .

    But remember when it comes to Ruby on Rails etc Jdeveloper loses out as the component ADF BC is not free and thats where ROR wins in my opinion.

    if only ADF/BC becomes free then Jdeveloper would match up with ROR and if you throw JHeadstart then it might be even better.

    But at present i would give my vote to ROR although i have been doing Jdeveloper and ADF


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