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Is there room for both Ruby on Rails and J2EE?

| by Peter Cooper Follow 0 Followers on Jul 25, 2006. Estimated reading time: less than one minute |

In an article for IBM's developerWorks site, Aaron Rustad, technical architect at Anassina, Inc., takes a look at Ruby on Rails from the perspective of a J2EE developer. He includes a couple of useful diagrams showing the differences between the two styles of hierarchy between the frameworks, useful for Rails and J2EE developers alike who aren't familiar with each other's platforms. Rustad ultimately concludes:

Should you dispense with J2EE altogether in favor of Rails? Absolutely not. J2EE is a well-established standard with several solid implementations and, most importantly, is a proven technology. But I do suggest that you download a copy of Rails and start hacking away. Many of the tutorials that are available are introductory and will get you up and running in no time. Again, I don't guaranteeing that you'll experience joy as a result of working with Rails, but I do bet you'll find contentment.

Rustad doesn't look at the Ruby or Java languages, in particularly, instead choosing to focus on the framework hierarchies instead, making this a useful article for those higher-up the decision-making chain.

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Is there room for both Ruby on Rails and J2EE by Dorel Vaida

There seems to be confusion about what J2EE means, everytime. What's worse is that the confusion appears on one of IBM's sites in an 'advanced' article.

I just looked to the two diags at the start of the article and noticed that at least in the Web Tier the author confuses J2EE with something like Struts. Wait. It IS Struts ! Things evolved since Struts ya know ?

And to say J2EE and refer to Tomcat + a java web framework + Hibernate, what's J2EE in that except of Tomcat which is conforming to the the Servlet spec ?

If you would compare a lightweight Java web stack (not J2EE for correctness's sake that was a suite of SPECS last time I looked !) to Ruby why not pick up a real lightweight stack. From those 80 Java web frameworks and growing you had to choose Struts ain't ya ? It's even worse than Apples and Oranges thing.

Re: Is there room for both Ruby on Rails and J2EE by Aiden Mark Humphreys

Struts is not J2EE, sure. But Aaron's goal was to contrast the a J2EE stack with Rails. Given the degree of developer buy-in to Struts, it seems reasonable to use it in his "street" J2EE stack vs Rails comparison.

Straw man by Aiden Mark Humphreys

"Should you dispense with J2EE altogether in favor of Rails? "

That's so light weight.

Maybe before you all rush to throw away J2EE for Rails on the basis of the article, it could be augmented to include such minor issues as ActiveRecord's as yet immature support for virtually every commercial database, the hard slog of mapping a non-ActiveRecord compliant schema, the composite key issue (the new Gem withstanding), performance, deployment, skills shortages (4 days on Rails doth not a Ruby programmer make), trusted security frameworks etc etc.

In business, developers do not decide which systems get built, committees of risk averse managers do. As a contrast of the two stacks this article is OK in as far as it goes. In positing the straw man of replacing J2EE with Rails it's, ... well ..., maybe a little narrow in perspective?

Re: Is there room for both Ruby on Rails and J2EE by Alex Popescu

Struts is not J2EE, sure. But Aaron's goal was to contrast the a J2EE stack with Rails. Given the degree of developer buy-in to Struts, it seems reasonable to use it in his "street" J2EE stack vs Rails comparison.


I think Dorel is quite correct. Everything in that stack except Tomcat being an implementation of the servlet spec, has nothing to do with J2EE. And talking about possible stacks, I guess we can find better examples around the Java world. And last, but not least: I am not sure how this stack vs stack comparison will decide if it is room for both (and I read it as both stacks).

./alex
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