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Twitter Reportedly May Abandon Ruby On Rails

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the call-it-a-derailing dept.

Social Networks 423

Raster Burn writes "According to TechCrunch, Twitter has plans to abandon Ruby on Rails after two years of scalability issues. Candidates to replace Rails are said to be PHP, Java, and Ruby without the Rails framework." The post links a brief comment (at 139 characters, probably a tweet) from Twitter founder Ev Williams saying it ain't so. The comments following the post embody the controversy over whether or not RoR sucks.

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423 comments

What is Twitter? (0, Redundant)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275540)

What is Twitter and why is it significant that they are abandoning it as opposed to anyone else?

Re:What is Twitter? (5, Informative)

revscat (35618) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275592)

Twitter is a major site, even if you yourself have never heard of it, with many tens of thousands of users. As such it is felt by many to by *the* flagship RoR application. Unfortunately it has suffered from numerous outages, some of these lasting days at a time.

Re:What is Twitter? (3, Funny)

gatzke (2977) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275830)


In my day, we had talk, finger, vi, and elm and we never complained! Green vt100 terminals were all anyone really needed! Get off of my lawn!

Seriously, talk had advantages over IM. You actually could see what the other person typed as they typed it, including backspaces...

And finger worked great. I knew a nerd that had his .plan updated automatically to show where he physically was logged in. As if anyone cared?

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Re:What is Twitter? (1)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276036)

As such it is felt by many to by *the* flagship RoR application.
Thanks, it makes sense now. That was the important info missing from the summary.

Re:What is Twitter? (4, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275598)

twitter is a microblogging system.
You can twitter from your cell or PC.
I think it is one of the most usless things on the face of the earth but it seems popular for some strange reason.

Re:What is Twitter? (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275680)

I think it is one of the most usless things on the face of the earth but it seems popular for some strange reason.

Most popular things are useless.

Re:What is Twitter? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276010)

Most popular things are useless

Yeah, like cars, telephones, computers radios, houses, food, utensils, tools, books, clothing, water, the internet...

Re:What is Twitter? (1)

Roxton (73137) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276382)

I'm sick of this elitism. If someone likes something, it's useful. Just because someone else doesn't think like a robot doesn't mean their values don't matter.

If flesh and blood humans exhibit this kind of bigotry, what chance do we all have when the robot insurrection comes?

Re:What is Twitter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23276660)

Sex is pretty popular, and it's hard to call that useless.

Re:What is Twitter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23275804)

Twitter is useful because it's been a whole 10 minutes since your above post and yet we haven't had an update on what you've been doing in your life in all that time.

Twitter means no-one ever has to ask again, ever.

Re:What is Twitter? (1)

tmarthal (998456) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276384)

Also, since it is fully "Web2.0" with a fully functional API, if you update your twitter status with "what you've been doing in your life" in the last 10 minutes ... you can automatically push that status to Facebook, Myspace, AIM Status, livejournal, irc, all from one completely free microblogging site.

And its not just cell text integration, with an iphone web application like hahlo [hahlo.com] , an IM interface twitter@twitter.com on gmail, an SMS messaging interface not to mention the plain old web interface. So, it is a nice service, and the one that I use.

Re:What is Twitter? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276470)

Well I feel it is useless because most people's lives are deadly dull. Minute to minute updates? Sure for some people it may be interesting but for the most part I really don't care what somebody ate for lunch.
Notice though before you get your knickers in a knot.
"I think it is one of the most useless things on the face of the earth."
I didn't say, "It is one of the most useless things on the face of the earth."
My statment is without question factual since that is how I feel about it. If you find it useful well then you disagree and that is fine.

Re:What is Twitter? (2, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275892)

I think it is one of the most usless things on the face of the earth but it seems popular for some strange reason.

It depends on what you use it for. For what I use it for [twitter.com] it's quite useless but if you're into notifying groups of friends what you happen to be doing and want it to be delivered by their preferred method of receiving that information, then it's great.

I want to tell 10+ people that I'm going away for the weekend and I don't want to deal with two SMSs, three e-mails, four IMs and one phone call so I just fire off a message on twitter and it's all done and everyone gets the information quickly and easily.

Re:What is Twitter? (1)

Facetious (710885) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275614)

Well, Chandler, it's a site that lets people blog in minutia with a big emphasis on social networking. It has become quite a big deal, and the only "big deal" I am aware of that runs RoR. Or, it is the username of a Linux enthusiast on slashdot. Take your pick.

Re:What is Twitter? (1)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275660)

Well, Chandler,

You think I sell candles?

Re:What is Twitter? (1)

Facetious (710885) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275778)

No, I think you are one of the actors from the TV show "Friends." What, you're not?

Re:What is Twitter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23275848)

I thought he was the guy who was at the helm when Transmeta was digging itself a big ditch.

According to Penny-Arcade: (4, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275622)

This [penny-arcade.com] is what Twitter is for.

Re:According to Penny-Arcade: (1)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276500)

Okay poop is coming out

Ah yes, twitter users are create at expelling excrement.

Re:What is Twitter? (2, Informative)

svandoren (1076277) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275638)

What is Twitter and why is it significant that they are abandoning it as opposed to anyone else?

It's a service to announce to your friends what you're having for dinner, how satisfying your bowel movements are, and whether or not you intend to see the hip concert that is happening next week in your neighborhood.

It's the blog without the content, the conversation without the words, the letter to a friend without the feeling, and the kiss goodnight without the tongue.

As for the significance of them allegedly leaving RoR, that's anyone's guess. Probably to incite more PHP vs. RoR battles on /.

Re:What is Twitter? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275978)

twitter [reference.com] Audio Help /twtr/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[twit-er] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
-verb (used without object)
1. to utter a succession of small, tremulous sounds, as a bird.
2. to talk lightly and rapidly, esp. of trivial matters; chatter.
3. to titter; giggle.

4. to tremble with excitement or the like; be in a flutter.
-verb (used with object)
5. to express or utter by twittering.
-noun
6. an act of twittering.
7. a twittering sound.
8. a state of tremulous excitement.
***

Twitter [slashdot.org] is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send "updates" (or "tweets"; text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) to the Twitter website, via short message service (e.g. on a cell phone), instant messaging, or a third-party application such as Twitterrific or Facebook.

Updates are displayed on the user's profile page and instantly delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. The sender can restrict delivery to those in his or her circle of friends (delivery to everyone is the default). Users can receive updates via the Twitter website, instant messaging, SMS, RSS, email or through an application. For SMS, four gateway numbers are currently available: short codes for the United States, Canada, and India, as well as a United Kingdom number for international use. Several third parties offer posting and receiving updates via email.
Toilet was blogged once. A day to clear it, it took." --Yoda on blogs [uncyclopedia.org]

Re:What is Twitter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23276318)

What is Twitter and why is it significant that they are abandoning it as opposed to anyone else?

I used to think twitter was for people so vapid and self-absorbed that normal blogging just wasn't enough, people who want to be able to moblog every time they scratch their asses thoughtfully, see a dog with a puffy tail, or take what they consider to be an interesting dump.


But I now suspect that the Soylent Green Company is behind the technology, which they will soon use to hunt down tender nerd meat for their fine products.


In any event, it's popular, but so is cat juggling in some cultures. As to the stats in other replies to your question, "many tens of thousands of users" doesn't mean popular. I certainly hope they have more users than that.

There's a whole monty python sketch for this shit (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23275542)

...and maybe it won't? Maybe the moon is made of cheese, but maybe it isn't! who's to say?! This isn't news, it's a conversation starter for people who enjoy arguing.

Re:There's a whole monty python sketch for this sh (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275632)

...and maybe it won't? Maybe the moon is made of cheese, but maybe it isn't! who's to say?! This isn't news, it's a conversation starter for people who enjoy arguing.

Isn't that what we do here?

I'm surprised they didn't do it sooner (2, Insightful)

drix (4602) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275572)

How complex can Twitter be on the inside? In the 1.5 years they've been publicly grousing about Rails they could have redone it ten times over.

Re:I'm surprised they didn't do it sooner (4, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275702)

You're obviously underestimating the amount of effort it takes to store usernames, passwords, and phone numbers in a database, then associate them with messages no more than 120 characters in length.

Re:I'm surprised they didn't do it sooner (5, Funny)

neoform (551705) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276224)

That sounds like advanced stuff to me.

On an unrelated note, is anyone here good with hello world programs? Mine keeps crashing.

Re:I'm surprised they didn't do it sooner (4, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276298)

I'm fairly certain your problem is trying to talk to the whole world at once. Your computer program's seeing that, and it's trying to yell too loud. Try doing "Hello user" and see if that helps.

Re:I'm surprised they didn't do it sooner (1, Insightful)

ubernostrum (219442) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276364)

You're obviously underestimating the amount of effort it takes to store usernames, passwords, and phone numbers in a database, then associate them with messages no more than 120 characters in length

Yeah, because message queues and SMS gateways and email-parsing daemons just write themselves, freeing you up to belittle things on Slashdot!

Rails is a Ghetto (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275600)

Re:Rails is a Ghetto (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276142)

Horizontal scrolls in 1024x768? What a lamer! If that guy wants me to read a web page about technology he'd better learn to code a fucking web page. I mean jesus, HTML ain't exactly assembling machine code by hand.

Does anybody have a javascript snippet to automatically go back a page if the idiot who wrote the page you landed on has a horizontal scroll? I'm too lazy to write the two lines needed (actually you could probably do it in just an anchor tag).

Even though I didn't bother reading the page, It was informative: as it was a page about Ruby, it told me that Ruby users are fucking idiots and I'd better stay the hell away from Ruby. And Twitter.

Does a clean architecture matter? (5, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275608)

I have an argument with a coworker frequently about architectural orthogonality vs performance. I fall on the "architecture should be clean and easy to understand and maintain" side of the argument and he falls on the "speed, memory, and response time at all cost" side.

What is more important? Is developer time and productivity over the software lifetime more valuable than CPU cycles? If the price of that productivity imposes a maximum limit on performance, how much optimization should be undertaken?

It's a hard question to answer. On the one hand employees are expensive and hardware is cheap. On the other hand, you can't simply forego developing for performance just because of some religious belief that architecture should be clean.

Re:Does a clean architecture matter? (1)

magical_mystery_meat (1042950) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275722)

If a platform won't scale, it is by definition not good for production usage, unless your volume is low and you have no intention or hope of growing in usage.

Twitter outgrew its platform. It happens. If you're lucky, anyway.

I'm more in favor of your co-worker's position. Code always tends toward sucking over time, and the longer the time, the more probability of hacks. Eventually your beautiful clean object model will become hacked and coupled and your shop will require specialized domain knowledge to maintain it. That's unavoidable unless you rewrite every so often.

You could also make an argument that "clean architecture" is Taylorism in disguise.

Re:Does a clean architecture matter? (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275842)

Personally I come down on the side of clean architecture and consider performance to be an aspect of the overall architecture. A 'perfect' architecture is of no use if it does not meet the customers performance requirements and similarly an uber performant app quickly becomes redundant or forces the business into certain processes to accomodate it because its too fragile or too difficult to modify. I am prepared to compromise on design when necessary to achieve the requisite perfomance (assuming we started out using the appropriate tools in the first place) but I will not tear a design to bits just to save a few bytes or clock cycles.

There is a lot to admire about Rails but performance has been an issue from day one. Rails proponents themselves have frequently commented that to get better performance the best solution was to throw more hardware at the problem but even that only goes so far.

Re:Does a clean architecture matter? (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275854)

Frankly, I think Twitter is doing the wrong thing here. Its a very rare case for the actual architecture of the program to inhibit performance. Usually, the bottlenecks occur in one or two suboptimal modules, that, when optimized, significantly increase program speed.

On the other hand, perhaps the bottlenecks are somewhere inside the Rails framework, and the Twitter team thinks that it'd be simpler to move to a new framework than to invest the effort to fix Rails.

Re:Does a clean architecture matter? (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275980)

Yes, I bet you're right... I'm sure the Twitter people have never heard of profiling before.

Re:Does a clean architecture matter? (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276694)

On the other hand, perhaps the bottlenecks are somewhere inside the Rails framework, and the Twitter team thinks that it'd be simpler to move to a new framework than to invest the effort to fix Rails.

That would be the crux of it, as I read it.

The rails framework is aptly named. Its like driving a train. You follow the rails. Its easy, simple, and those are its strengths. But if one day, you decide you want to cut across a field save a few hours of travel, well, you probably shouldn't have chosen 'train' as your mode of transportation.

The simpler and easier a framework is the harder it is to change its behaviour in ways the designers didn't expect. Its like using Microsofts web rendering controls in an application... they are drag and drop simple to use and that's great. But if you want to tweak them so they handle a particular css element in a different way [read standards compliant way], its not going to happen. The -best- you can hope for is to pre-parse the document to rewrite it in a way that the rendering control will get the appearance right, because you are NOT going to change the rendering behaviour itself easily. Better by far to just switch to a different rendering engine.

Conversely the more robust a framework is, and the more hooks they give you to inject/alter behavior, the more complicated and bug-prone it is to develop with.

Rails is a trade off... great when it fits what you need, abysmal when it doesn't. And rails in particular from what I've heard is especially frustrating when its 'oh-so-close-but-not-quite' what you need.

Re:Does a clean architecture matter? (1)

Iraneus (1112535) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276002)

The architecture needs to match the problem as well ... which is not the case here. Twitter is a modest msg routing problem, RoR sticks a DB into the flow of every msg, and DBs make really, really bad routers [appistry.com] . No surprise that it's run into problems this early.

Re:Does a clean architecture matter? (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276756)

> DBs make really, really bad routers [appistry.com]

I was expecting some actual explanation, but this just reasserted the point without any support. A sort of blog spam I suppose, but I guess no more obnoxious than all those "trackbacks" and "pingbacks".

Most JMS systems use a database for a message store. So does MQSeries. Big Erlang apps also tend to use a database like MNesia, but I'll admit that's a different sort of thing, and it's also fully distributed.

Come to think, Erlang's a right nice candidate for Twitter. Shame the language itself is not terribly fun to work with (chars as 4-byte ints, but no unicode support. Wacky.)

Re:Does a clean architecture matter? (2, Insightful)

Penguin Programmer (241752) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276330)

I think Twitter has probably done it right: use the clean architecture to build the app cleanly and quickly, then put developer cycles into making it fast and efficient, possibly losing some of the niceness of the architecture in the process.

That said, I don't really think that clean architecture and speed are orthogonal goals. Frameworks like Rails add overhead because they are general - they allow you to do all sorts of things on top of them, and still support all those things even when you're only using some of the functionality. You can maintain your clean design while improving efficiency. What you lose is the ease of adding new features, since you strip out the generality and agility of the framework.

Re:Does a clean architecture matter? (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276702)

> Is developer time and productivity over the software lifetime more valuable than CPU cycles?

For development, you bet it is. For production, I'd rather pay developers to work on a faster platform than have to purchase and manage five times more hardware just to make the thing scale. The "hardware is cheap" argument runs hollow when you start literally running out of data center space all because the software is crap.

Re:Does a clean architecture matter? (3, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276740)

While system responsiveness is often a product of optimization, scalability rarely is. When a system can scale across orders of magnitude, it's because of a clean, maintainable architecture that allowed components to be completely revamped and swapped in, identified and eliminated high-polynomial (or worse) growth patterns, and allowed more developers to be spun up on it fast enough to keep up with demand.

On the other hand, if you spend all day pondering the ultimate architecture, you'll never ship and if you do you won't meet requirements. Learning where those tradeoffs are is all about experience and is why the engineers with over a decade of real world experience earn more.

View of a tech dinosaur (-1, Troll)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275630)

GET OFF MY LAWN!!!

Seriously, ruby is ugly. Really ugly. So amazingly stupidly ugly. It's so ugly, that "ugly" is complaining about being called ruby.

I know it has fans and people who really love it, what can I say? good luck with that.

Yes, I know this is a troll. I've gotten a few +5 "interesting" and thought I'd blow a few karma points and "rail" on ruby.

Re:View of a tech dinosaur (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275736)

You're right. Ruby is ugly if you try to write Ruby like you'd write PHP, or Python, or whatever language you think is beautiful. And although Ruby lets you code in that style, to really realize what Ruby has to offer you have to understand that Ruby is quite different than most other languages and use that to your advantage.

Re:View of a tech dinosaur (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23275878)

You're right. Ruby is ugly if you try to write Ruby like you'd write PHP, or Python, or whatever language you think is beautiful.

Oh, dear god, someone is actually postulating that python is a beautiful language.

We had a consultant who wrote a whole bunch of shit in python -- ugliest fucking language I've ever seen.

Making white space syntactically significant is something only a moron would do.

Re:View of a tech dinosaur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23276476)

Ruby, the Cobol of the new millennium.

What's better? (1)

mkcmkc (197982) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275914)

Your karma-blow would be more useful if you'd say what you think is better...

Re:What's better? (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276404)

Your karma-blow would be more useful if you'd say what you think is better...

Then it wouldn't be a troll now would it?

Seriously, OK. What is a "better" language? Its hard to say exactly. For web sites, there is a subtle difference between the need for mere "scripting" on top of a database (like a CMS or something) and more extensive software development.

I guess, PHP is good enough for scripting and Java useful for more extensive development (as a rule of thumb, not a law), but don't ignore the utility of C/C++ for back end service system like databases, search, and recommendations systems. I don't see the value of adding a perl or python if you are already using one interpretive system. (Yes, java is "interpretive" and no, I'm not going to debate "if you run it like..." arguments.)

Answers to complex questions are difficult to make simple and clear cut. There is a lot of common sense in the notion of using the right tool for the job, but many people use personal preference over a dry technical evaluation of the requirements. There are also some tools that are "better" in quality than other irrespective of the job, for instance MySQL vs PostgreSQL. PostgreSQL is better.

(And yes, on Slashdot showing a preference, say for PostgreSQL over MySQL, marks you as a troll, but there are technical reasons to use PostgreSQL over MySQL while the converse is hardly true. So flame away and mod me down, like I said, I expect to be seen as a troll.)

Re:View of a tech dinosaur (1)

doti (966971) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276268)

No, Rails is ugly.

Ruby is not just beautiful, but great.

Rails is just making bad publicity for Ruby.

RoR dev team (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23275650)

With douchebags like "Zed" (of "Zed is So Fucking Awesome" fame) working on RoR (you might remember his "rant" which was featured here on slashdot a few months ago - he basically threatened to beat everyone else in the world up because he's such a bad ass), why would we expect RoR to be anything other than a steaming pile of shit?

Re:RoR dev team (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23275758)

RoR is the bomb, meaning that it causes things built using it to crash, burn, and explode.

In one summary we get an issue that is not real + (1)

1_brown_mouse (160511) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275666)

one debate that is yet to be resolved, if ever.

The whole cause is not real and debunked. But the crowd is spoiling for a fight.

"Probably" a tweet? (1)

nevali (942731) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275690)

Given that the linked "comment" is a status message on Twitter, it's most definitely a tweet. No "probably"Âabout it. Half an ounce of logical thinking would have told kdawson that.

Ruby Can't Scale (5, Insightful)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275714)

And for all those Ruby people in denial to the fact that people have been saying this for years, here is your proof yet again. Of course I will be marked down as being a troll for pointing this out by the RUBY comunity but it is time that they acknowledge the inherent achilles heel of the language.

Re:Ruby Can't Scale (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275822)

From all the statistics I can gather, Yellowpages has quite a bit more traffic than Twitter and it seems to be performing just fine. Without seeing the code, their experience is mostly meaningless. I can write a program in assembly that will perform worse than the same program written in Ruby if I wanted to. Does that mean assembly won't scale?

Re:Ruby Can't Scale (1)

PylonHead (61401) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275996)

So, your proof is a rumor that has been immediately denied by the people actually running the site?

QED! QED! You go man!

Re:Ruby Can't Scale (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276064)

Rails has its place. It's a toy that you can use to build small-scale sites, and it's a tool that can be used for rapid prototyping in preparation for coding with a more appropriate tool. The problem is that people try to build large-scale, production sites using Rails, and they find that it just isn't elegant anymore due to the hacks that you have to do to get it to support large volumes of users.

Of course, by then, they're committed, both in development time and emotionally to the project. It's hard to let go of that, so rather than spending a little time rewriting the site in a more suitable language, they just try to fix Rails over and over. I hate PHP, by the way, but it's quick and efficient. One might try Python, though, if they're trying to get away from Ruby, or Django if they're trying to get away from Rails.

Re:Ruby Can't Scale (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276662)

I think the slew of 37 Signals/BaseCamp stuff is also RoR powered, and I don't remember ever hearing about scalability problems for them. I think the issue with Twitter is that every time someone tweets, a mail message goes out to tens to tens of thousands [twitter.com] of people, and mailservers tend to not really care for that much activity especially when real time messaging is expecting. Architecturally, a tweet is just an INSERT query followed by a SELECT with some not especially complex JOINs - it's just that every row of the SELECT result requires a message in some format (primarily email, assuming they're using the phonenumber@carrier.com approach for texting, though they also have an AIM service - AFAIK all of the other clients are pull services rather than actually having content pushed to them).

You try sending out several hundred emails every time someone clicks a button on your site when there are thousands of users clicking that button several times a day and try not having scalability issues on any platform. My own experience with Ruby/RoR has been minimal but unpleasant, but unless they're doing something god-awful with their databases like I did with my very early code (read: foreach loops in the scripting language instead of a single join in the sql), I think the issue lies outside of the language/framework.

Re:Ruby Can't Scale (3, Informative)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276272)

They're complaining that the framework can't scale. Not the language.

Please refrain from commenting when you don't know what you're talking about. The desire to stir up a flamewar is not sufficient justification.

Re:Ruby Can't Scale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23276282)

Hello Mr. troll. The twitter developers chose to use a full stack high productivity framework for a simple website, that just can't use caching properly. It became popular and it doesn't scale.. oh my.. call me shocked. Well I for one think you should first worry about having the users in the first place, and then bash ruby/rails for being slow. I just fail to grasp, why "Rails cant scale(TM)" is even an issue, if you don't have any users to begin with. You're afraid you'll end up like twitter .. very popular ..

Re:Ruby Can't Scale (2, Interesting)

Masters Champion (855000) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276408)

What is it exactly, about the framework/language that makes it difficult to scale? Honestly, I've heard this complaint about RoR for years, but no one I know has enough knowledge to verbalize the issues. Can someone who is knowledgeable in RoR give a few points here?

Re:Ruby Can't Scale (2, Informative)

Standard User 79 (1209050) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276710)

Sure, the problem is that 1) Rails isn't thread safe/no native threads and 2) Ruby processes are very expensive in memory.

So. Since rails isn't thread safe you have to use a process model where one process handles one request. Now these ruby processes can get up to 100MB in ram (depending on application). That means it takes 100MB to post a comment, display a page,etc.. This is an extremely unforgiving environment when you are trying to scale. There are many scenarios where just a little extra i/o wait in your system will cause everything to crash and burn.

A lot of RoR developers are looking at merb. No native threads but it is thread safe and solves the problem I described above.

Hype vs. reality... again. (4, Insightful)

revscat (35618) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275780)

Rails was the cat's pajamas two years ago. The future. The in-thing. Revolutionary. Exciting. Radical. Amazing!

Then like so many similar times before, reality set in. It turned out to be buggy, unstable, less performant, and heavily dependant upon an evangelical base.

Ruby the language is interesting. Not my personal cuppa, but I have nothing against it. Rails, however... After having analyzed it and developed a prototype application for my company, I came to realize that there are other frameworks out there that are more worthwhile, epecially in an enterprise environment. The problems I've seen Twitter experience only solidify this.

If you are doing green-field development Rails should probably not be your first choice. Yes, Rails is interesting. No, it is not the end-all-be-all, and it certainly has some rather major warts.

Re:Hype vs. reality... again. (1)

captnitro (160231) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276094)

Yeah, but sometimes engineers blow off something that really is neat and exciting because of their silly, unscientific, emotional views about the way things should work.

Rails has its share of issues -- deployment is way complex, performance sucks, and the community can be rabid in the same unscientific, emotional ways -- but buggy and unstable? Come now, that's disingenuous.

When Twitter opened it was handling 11,000 requests per second and doing it well. Twitter has gone from nothing to sensational in a very small amount of time. If you hit the ground running that quickly, your growing pains will be evident regardless of what framework or language choice you're using.

Re:Hype vs. reality... again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23276496)

When Twitter opened it was handling 11,000 requests per second
Were those web requests through rails, or IM and SMS requests handled by some other daemon?

Re:Hype vs. reality... again. (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276124)

I feel like it's important to note that, most often, "hype" is not "just hype".

What I mean is, lots of things in life are over-hyped, but the hype usually comes from somewhere. There is something within the over-hyped thing that people are genuinely excited about, impressed with, or desirous of. They may have trouble explaining the true source of their excitement, but if you can find that source of excitement, you'll usually find something worthwhile.

So although Rails was over-hyped by some people, we may not want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Re:Hype vs. reality... again. (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276562)

The hype came from people not realising that Rails offers little to nothing that hasnt been mainstream in the professional world for years before RoR got its name. People unaware of that saw Rails as a revelation. The rest of us yawned.

Re:Hype vs. reality... again. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23276146)

Way to go dipshit, you just made a fool out of yourself to everyone who bothered to read article and immediate denials from Twitter.

What shitty company has someone as dumb as you doing tech 'analysis'?

Re:Hype vs. reality... again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23276302)

I love your post - it's like a post with details and a valid technical argument, but with 100% less details and 100% more hype.

Wow, You're right! This *is* "like so many times before.

Reactionary BS (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23276568)

All of these slashdot conversations about rails have no technical details in them, describing which parts of rails are failing, which parts are preventing concurrency. The programmers on here can be just as stupid, unscientific, and reactionary as anyone else. As an example, you!

The funny thing is, for social networking sites, this is almost expected and par for the course. MySpace, and more famously Friendster had HUGE problems with availability due to their unexpected success. It's taken years for them to stop being buggy. Writing applications to handle this kind of load ain't easy.

Also, the one case of twitter's downtime being rails' fault, that I'm aware of, was due to Rails' lack of multiple db connections, which was fixed within days. And that wasn't really a bug, but a feature that was missing because no one using rails was dealing with twitter's requirements at that point.

The original statement? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#23275814)

There is no link to any original statement at all only a link to the response. If it was a twitter was the original statement: "ROR: Fail". :P

How about the fact they're running it on Slowaris? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23275876)

And the scalability issue is not the x86 Slowaris systems they're running it on? Scalability of a platform is rarely just a RoR issue...

As always... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23275932)

...there's not one size fits for all. Rails maybe perfect for some kinds of apps, but it can't be the silver bullet for all. And it's the same for J2EE, PHP, etc...

Twitter has no plans to abandon RoR... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23276362)

http://twitter.com/ev/statuses/801530348

unrelated note (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23276420)

Is it just me, but how in the world did Twitter get $5.4M of funding? It's a pretty simple system and I just don't get it - granted I'm sure it's not cheap to run a system so many use but it can't be that bad...

Do the funders think that people are going to be okay with little ads being on each tweet people send out eventually or did they just want a cool new web 2.0 toy themselves?

The problem is ruby (4, Interesting)

mdipierro (1163129) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276560)

The problem is Ruby. It is a very slow language (http://www.blognone.com/node/4385). My tests confirm it is 20 times slower than python in simple loops. Java is a dinosaur and PHP is not easy to maintain. I would go with Django or web2py. If they use web2py (http://mdp.cti.depaul.edu), I will help them. web2py scales very well because allows you to bytecode compile the models, the controllers and the views (so there is no parsing when serving a page) and cache every function in ram.

...and MonkeyMan may tie her to the tracks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23276616)

Twitter Reportedly May Abandon Ruby On Rails

I sure hope there isn't a train coming.

On Twitter (1)

therpham (953844) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276744)

I don't really get Twitter as a social thing, but it's damn useful for interfacing with Remember the Milk through SMS when I'm away from my computer. That's the only reason I have a Twitter account.

Rails Gives Fast Development, Not High Performance (2, Interesting)

randyjparker (543614) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276752)

Twitter was smart to use Rails to develop their business, and is also smart to move the performance-critical message queueing and posting portions to a higher performance technology when it got big and mature. The evolving parts are best left on Rails.

Rails remains the best way to develop solid and maintainable web apps. But it will not compete with C for speed. Once you understand your business process, and have developed a mature algorithm to make the business work, there is nothing wrong with writing the core infrastructure in C. There are lots of C libraries that do the core part of Twitter. But the company would have been idiotic to start with them, and would be foolish to move new development off Rails.

I saw it on the Internets, it's true (2, Insightful)

CommandoCody (1154955) | more than 5 years ago | (#23276760)

So, er... TechCrunch says "multiple sources claim that Twitter is abandoning RoR."

The guy who founded Twitter says, "no, not really."

And TechCrunch says, "but we have MULTIPLE SOURCES."

Guess what? I have MULTIPLE SOURCES that say the Earth is flat!

Must be a slow news day.

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