[GEEKY] Devise Gem – current favorite for authentication of Rails Applications

How to build authentication into Rails applications? Well, at least at RailsConf 2011, the buzz was around a new Authentication gem called Devise.

I played with it a little (here in the airport) at it seems quite nice and straightforward. Check it out if you were looking for something like that.


[GEEKY] Magic Rails Applications with Hobo

Another tidbit I came across at RailsConf is Hobo. I haven’t tried it myself but did just go through the screencast and tutorial. I think it’s worth a closer look.

“Hobo is a plugin for Ruby on Rails that brings a number of extensions—some small some large—to Rails application development. The common theme to these extensions is rapid development.

Like Rails itself, Hobo encapsulates a number of opinions about web application development. The opinion that is most central to Hobo is this: we have found that there is a great deal of similarity from one web application to the next. Much more similarity in fact, than is supported by today’s frameworks. We would rather implement this stuff once.” (from Hobo Web Site)

The question with these kinds of packages is whether they are flexible in the right ways or whether they will get in your way when you try to do what you need to do. I can’t answer for sure.

If you are looking for a further accelerator for building Rails apps, Hobo is a good option to explore.


[GEEKY] Yes, Virginia, Rails DOES scale

Why doesn’t every one love Rails? I am surprised when I run into someone (Pat?) who’s not so sure about Rails. Usually it’s about scalability.

[I warned you this is a geeky post]

When I am designing or building a system and am questioned about whether writing it in Ruby or Rails is a good idea. Or if someone asks me my opinion or for advice about whether it makes sense that his or her developers are recommending Rails for a big site.

What I believe is that scalability has to do with the overall system architecture — caching, queueing, horizontal scalability and so on. It does not have to do with the programming language. (What the LivingSocial guy said about this wasn’t quite as polite – he said “get better developers!!!”)

I am at this conference, RailsConf, overflowing with hard-core Rails fanatics, so the sample is admittedly biased. But I did pick up some fact-based tidbits.

Did you know that two of the biggest web sites out there today are built totally on Rails? And I don’t mean Twitter. No,  LivingSocial.com and Groupon.com. Both huge. Both perform beautifully. Both written totally in Rails.

‘Nuf said?

#railsconf — What, can’t I use hashtags in a blog post?