My First Live Rails App

My very first Rails app went live today. The project had a very tight
deadline and we managed to go live only three days late which, in my
book, is on time. Interestingly, this is the very first application
that I have deployed live on the Internet. Prior to this all my web
application experience came from working on a web application
framework. That was interesting work but it is a bit little different
feeling when someone else actually does the deployment on their
hardware, data and application code. I like this feeling of having
accomplished something “real”, for lack of a better word. I think that
feeling of realness come from the fact that this app solves an actual
business problem and that is available to the public.

I have learned a lot in the last couple of weeks. I might blog about
some of the in more depth at some point in the future but I want to get
some things off my chest before I forget them.

  • Ruby on Rails — After doing a project from start to
    deployment I still think it is really nice. It’s fast to develop in an
    overall a really solid platform. I still don’t like those URIs, though.
  • Lighttpd — Seems reasonably fast and solid once you get it configured but the
    documentation is teh suck. Many fairly important configuration options
    are not even mentioned in the documentation. And that configuration
    language leaves a lot to be desired. On the other hand I am comparing
    it to Apache, which is a tough act to follow as far as easy of use and
    documentation go .
  • CSS — Sweet. Absolutely brilliant. But how on earth did we get to version 3 and still not have a parent pseudo class?
  • JavaScript — This is a very nice little language. Really nice semantics. Would be
    nicer if it did not have those ugly curly braces all over the place,
    but if you skip the semi-colons (and they are, in fact, optional in
    most situations) the code can look half decent.
  • IE — That annoying other browser that really, absolutely work. I know that
    complaining about IE incompatibilities is passé but how are child
    selectors not supported?
  • Firefox — What can I say… Get it, use it, love it.
  • Commuting by bus — No matter what is going on you are guaranteed 1 hour of sleep each day. Priceless.

Over all the technology stack is really nice. There are a few rough
edges here and there but it is eminently workable and the experience of
building an app with the set of technologies is mostly about building
the app, not about spend excessive amounts of time learning the
infrastructure.

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