I see things....
Lately i've seen a lot of "hysterics" from the Open-Source community about Ruby and how Ruby is going to take development to another level and how the Microsoft .Net platform is shaken and loosing followers.
Haven't we seen this all before? PHP was the biggest thing since sliced cheese 5-6 years ago..and now it seems it's disappearing slowly..we haven't had a major update for quite a loooong time and frankly i'm not surprised.
So is Ruby going to be another PHP? No, honestly i don't think so..Ruby has far more potential than PHP did and i think it's here to stay. Is it going to shake the foundation of the .Net framework to the extent that people are fleeing it?
IMHO no..i seriously doubt it. What i like - or rather - what i find amusing is the somewhat almost heroic poise that seems to be common from the Ruby community, which just screams injustice at the big bad wolf (aka. Microsoft)..The absolute need for them to justify their choices and the platform they support by pointing fingers is almost the self-same reaction that came from the PHP camp not so long ago.
Why is it that these feelings seems to center around Microsoft constantly?
For whatever reason there is, the Ruby community feels obliged to fight Microsoft...but isn't that just becoming a little too old? seriously, is it vindication that now another horse has entered the race and they need to support it en masse to make an impact?
Frank Arrigo's post in response to Martin Fowler's post - RubyMicrosoft contended that .Net was dying. Martin stated that "Alpha Geeks" are leaving the .Net platform which is a first to me. My observation is that .Net is becoming bigger and bigger..jobs are available in abundance because of massive growth. Either Perth is just so special that it hasn't noticed this change yet, or the indicators are swinging in the opposite direction of what Martin Fowler claims.
Now lets look at what really supports a platform - it's not really the developers that are the final decision maker in this scheme...no...money is..pure and simple. A development platform is strong if it provides stability, flexibility, strength and most importantly, rapid development life cycles.
The generation of languages available today shows that this is true, otherwise we'd still be doing punch cards.
.Net is becoming more flexible, more stable, stronger and development life cycles are shortening and the adaption rate is growing as well. Again, this is from my observations only.
Now back to money..the big M..mulah..well, lets see how the process goes for a corporation which is in need of a developed solution.
1) get requirements
2) invite ISVs to tender for the project
3) choose the most affordable solution which covers all aspects of the requirements
I know that's simplifying it a great deal, but to keep it short that's really what it comes down to. Money talks, it's as simple as that. With infrastructure costs being as they are today, nobody is going to swap their entire server architecture out in order to cater for a new application..
So where am i going with this? Well, from this side of the country, all companies i've worked at has been almost entirely Microsoft based and none would have swapped 20-30 server operating systems out in order to cater for an application. No, the application simply had to run on the hardware and software available (were possible of course..upgrades are sometimes needed).
Martin Fowler also states that the Alpha Geek is leaving the .Net platform. Well, that is the nature of an Alpha Geek, even according to Martin's own interpretation - to try out new things. So, IMGO Martin is taking a very clean (and safe) stance here by basically stating the obvious.
At first i thought that Martin's post was indepth and thoughtful - yet it seems more and more to me to be the pure ramblings. None of the facts or statements he's made is in any way reflected from what i've seen from this side of the country. On the contrary..job offers are floating in constantly with more frequency than before..all demanding .Net skills.
Back to Ruby..is it a fluke..no i don't think so. But as i'll constantly maintain, all languages and platforms has a place. Some are successful and takes the world by storm..some are not. Ruby will be hugely successful on its own, but the main factor for its success is and will continue to be the support on the Windows OS..simple as that. The alternatives are just looking too bleak.