Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

Big boys embrace Ruby on Rails

It’s not much more than a year since my company, MediaConnect, did a total rewrite of our platform in finally moving away from Lotus Notes.

At the time, I decided to stick with what was then the defacto standard platform for web application – aka LAMP – although I did look pretty deeply into both Java and Ruby on Rails alternatives.

Well, we’re about to embark on yet another re-write, so we can better make-use of AJAX and also so we can allow for far more customisation and advanced functionality. I’ve spoken to a few other online app makers who are doing likewise. We sat on our Domino platform for six years (which admittedly was far too long) but it shows the pace of change in today’s web environment, that you have to do pretty fundamental rewrites so regularly just to keep your base architecture up-to-date.

Making this move at this point, I did stop briefly to ask myself, should we stick with PHP. RoR has made a lot of ground since we first made the decision, as has Python, and today I noted this week that Borland company CodeGear has launched a Ruby IDE.

If there had been a really good Ruby IDE a year or so ago, I may have gone that way. In fact, if I was doing a fresh startup today I reckon I’d use Ruby but we’ve invested too much in our existing PHP code-base to totally abandon it. Thankfully, PHP is moving forward with PHP5 as well and we’re looking like using the Symfony-Project framework which is pretty new but exciting.

Ah the joys of an online application company…

Filed under: MediaConnect, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Symfony, Symfony Project

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