ROR: is the jury finally in?

A while ago, Joel Spolsky called Ruby on Rails a platform “where The Jury Is Not In, So Why Take The Risk When Your Job Is On The Line?” Since then, it seems that the jury’s in and the verdict is not particularly pleasant for ROR…

Alex Payne, a developer at Twitter (which developed the namesake application, which is reportedly the largest ROR application deployed to date), has this to say on performance and scalability of ROR:

All the convenience methods and syntactical sugar that makes Rails such a pleasure for coders ends up being absolutely punishing, performance-wise. Once you hit a certain threshold of traffic, either you need to strip out all the costly neat stuff that Rails does for you (RJS, ActiveRecord, ActiveSupport, etc.) or move the slow parts of your application out of Rails, or both. It’s also worth mentioning that there shouldn’t be doubt in anybody’s mind at this point that Ruby itself is slow.

Meanwhile, Google developer Steve Yegge says that trying to use Ruby at Google was “the famously, horribly, career-shatteringly bad mistake”, as Google was built for scalability, not for rapid prototyping. He also points out that Ruby interprets AST directly, which is very slow…

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