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Why Rails, despite the drama

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Greetings all,

In this week’s episode of Ventures, I (https://www.linkedin.com/in/wclittle) continue the Product and Code series that I started in Episode 128 to talk about how to best collect feedback on your initial idea and what the application.html.erb file is in a Ruby on Rails app. I walk through the head tag, briefly discuss the Content Security Policy (CSP) and Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) tags, and then showcase different parts of how the application layout file constructs the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to be sent to a requesting browser.

Check it out: Product and Code Series: Gathering early product feedback, and understanding the application.html.erb file

Rails is not dying anytime soon :)

I’ve had no lack of feedback from this series from ReactJS enthusiasts that - essentially - “Rails is dying”. The creator of Rails is certainly a controversial figure, but few argue that he is a talented software engineer who has released helpful open-source code to the world over the last couple of decades.  

The core of why I’m bullish on Rails is fundamentally because it’s been around for a long time, has a large community, and has double-downed on HTML-over-the-wire, a pattern also followed by Laravel and Phoenix.

The reason why this pattern is important is because the next ~3 billion people to come online in the coming decades will likely have devices that won’t run bloated front-end heavy frameworks very well. Web developers should be looking for “server-side” rendering as much as possible to ease this burden.  

This is what Hotwire does. It renders the HTML on the server side and then sends that HTML over a WebSocket connection to update browser elements as needed.

Plus, Rails is fun to write!

Also, as I’ve written about before, with the advent of LLMs like ChatGPT and Github CoPilot, I’m bullish on teaching people Rails vs. so-called no-code/low-code options.

I’ll be writing a lot more about this in the coming weeks/months, so stay tuned.

Have a great rest of your week!