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June 28, 2005 / jnolen

Second day on Rails

OK, so it's more like the fifth day on Rails. But after several weekends of travel (1, 2), David and I got back in the Rails saddle this weekend and made great progress. We were able to implement the core bit of functionality for our application. (I know I'm being vague, but we're not nearly ready to launch yet.)

But this was the only bit of functionality that was more complicated than plain-old web framework stuff. It took me a full weekend and many lines of code to implement it in Java when I half-built this a few months ago. We did it today in 120 lines and about 2.5 hours. Unfortunately, I had to leave before we could finish writing all the tests. (Ack, XP-foul!) But I promise we'll get to those soon.

Anyway, I just wanted to say again how much fun this is, and how easy Ruby and Rails makes things. For example, we needed an XML parser and a little bit of googling found REXML, which installed easily and worked like a charm. I'm a little worried that we may hit performance problems down the road with REXML, but I suppose that would be a nice problem to have. But it was the simplest thing that could possibly work at the time. And we reminded ourselves of the rule: don't optimize prematurely. When you have no users, there are no performance problems. Though if any of you Rails folk have advice on the matter, I'd love to hear it.

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