Sam Newman's site, a Consultant at ThoughtWorks

At the last meetup, the majority of the people there were ‘thinking’ about using either Rails or Django on a real world project. So by way of some blatant agenda setting for the meetup on the 10th (don’t forget to go and leave a comment if you’re coming) what is stopping you from using either?

Is it concerns about maturity? Scalability? Deployment options? Does the lack of (development) tools put you off? The lack of a workforce, or simply the fact it is in a new language? Is there some killer feature that either one needs to make you use it? Perhaps if enthusiasts of both communities start addressing these concerns and start engaging in some (balanced) advocacy and honest discourse, the adoption of both can be sped up.

19 Responses to “What is stopping you from using Rails/Django?”

  1. Geert Bevin

    Because I don’t see any need to do so. I still haven’t seen anything revolutionary that makes me more productive for anything non-trivial.

  2. Abhinay Mehta

    I think Rails IS revolutionary for me. But the lack of a quality IDE like IDEA for java is a big concern if your going to do a huge project in Rails. Refactoring will be a headache, no? And doing all the other cool stuff like finding usages of classes, methods, etc. Maintainability is made so much easier with a good IDE. Although some would argue that using Rails means less maintainability is needed. But still, it’s an issue.

  3. Tom

    Good job Abhinay for quickly covering both sides of the argument. I haven’t used it to know if it’s “revolutionary”, but from what I’ve seen, your pros and cons are right on.

  4. Larry Williams

    I think that it’s mostly about politics and experience. The politics will be the most difficult part to overcome. Don’t expect things to change soon. The experience bit is just a matter of trying out what works and migrating it to Rails or Django. I’ve done one migration already and I’m extremely happy.

  5. Anonymous

    Performance and scalability. Are these two fellows friends of django? Prove this.

  6. Anonymous

    What do you mean by performance? What do you mean by scalability?

    You could have said the following and looked less of an idiot:

    “Marshmallows and jumpsuites. Are these two fellows friends of django? Prove this”.

  7. Dave Hodder

    I’ll be a little happier when Django can be referred to by version number, rather than Subversion revision number.

  8. Sam Newman

    I do actually have trackbacks still enabled, although I’ve just noticed that with the new design I don’t actually expose the URL anywhere…

  9. Peter of the Norse


    I don’t know if you’ve heard this before, (Although it’s been said many times in many ways) but all code lives and dies by its documentation. Django is just starting up and doesn’t have everything documented because most of the features are broken or in flux. Ruby on Rails is fixed, but all the documentation I find is either tutorials that go just far enough to not be useful or the API reference which is confusing and poorly written. This seems to be normal for Ruby projects. Before “this”:, I had nothing to do with it. If the Pragmatic Programmers would do a book on Rails, then I’d consider it.

    For example, does anyone know how to have users and give them privileges and restrictions?

  10. Ben Bangert

    Peter of the Norse: The Pragmatic Programmers have done a book on Rails… its called Agile Web Dev with Rails.

    I’ve read it, and it is by and far the most comprehensive documentation available for Rails. Many of the questions I see asked on the #rubyonrails channel are easily answered by anyone who has read the book. The problem is that the knowledge is in the book only, not on the web.

    Outside of Zope, not a single Python Web Framework has had book written on it, interesting, no? (If there has been, I’ve never seen it on a bookshelf anywhere)

  11. abc

    >> For example, does anyone know how to have users and give them privileges and restrictions?

    > Django has that built in in spades

    Right… Where? And how should I use it? Or, rather, where should I look to find how to use it?

    Adrian Holovaty’s answer to the Django-users mailing list is “documentation is planned, if you can’t wait then check the source”.

    So, I guess my answer to “what is stopping you from using either?” is “I want to use Python instead of Ruby, and Django isn’t accessible enough yet”.

  12. Drew McLellan

    For me it’s just a question of time. Everything’s so busy at the moment that I can quickly start a commercial project in PHP knowing how long it will take and that I can get it done competently.

    Whilst I believe that Rails would save me time by being quicker to develop, I can’t just dive in and use it on a commercial project without doing a few dry-runs on non-critical stuff. There’s just no time to make mistakes and try things out in the current environment. Catch 22:- I have no time to learn how to save myself time 🙂

  13. James Adam

    Sam, re: user privileges and permissions, Sean, Tom, Jon and I have developed a fairly flexible user permission system (based on “User”, “Permission” and “Role” model objects). Hopefully at some point we’ll have time to package it up nicely and release it to the Rails community in general (along with our Framework enhancement to Rails which lets you drop in whole application chunks to your own app).


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