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My not-so-inner geekdom

I’ve been a member of an online Star Wars club for…wow…almost 10 years now. At the time that I joined I was just learning about databases and web-programming and was rather impressed with the functionality that existed (and still exists) in the club’s website.


The site is coded in old-school ASP, with SQL Server on the backend.

I cringe just thinking about it.

I’ve been trying to convince The Powers That Be for a while now to look at recoding the site to some other environment. For a long time I tried to push them towards PHP, but they just dug in their heels and refused to look at that option really.

Then I discover Ruby on Rails, and I see how much better RoR would be for this site. It would provide structure to the codebase, organization, and seriously increase readability. And since the club is a volunteer organization, with a pretty regular rate of people transitioning in/out of positions, having a strong test suite would be HUGE towards helping new developers ramp up on how the system is supposed to work and quickly identifying when a change in the code has broken something else in an unforeseen manner.

Of course as I’m making those discoveries, The Powers That Be decide to move ahead with PHP…

So, on to the question at hand: What do you do, what information do you use, in an attempt to convince someone to switch from an older technology (ASP, PHP) to Ruby on Rails?

  1. Build a prototype by yourself in a weekend and let it speak for itself!

  2. Brennan Falkner says:

    What’s the motivation to move from ASP to RoR as opposed to Modern ASP.NET?

  3. andy says:

    I convinced our CTO to allow to convert all the legacy web apps I had inherited from PHP & Python to RoR.

    I just made it *real obvious* that all the different technologies was negatively impacting my effectiveness. Once I converted one the rest fell like dominoes. Now RoR is taking over other projects on other teams — ha ha ha!!!

    I think the arguments you articulate in the post should suffice, though. But they probably have different concerns, first is likely the availability of volunteers with the right skills. PHP is old, compared to RoR, so it has more mindshare. Maybe if you find more clubbies with RoR skills to donate you might gain some traction to your argument.

  4. Dave Giunta says:

    I would agree with Lar Van Der Jagt… I worked at a company where we were evaluating a number of different frameworks to move our bloated, disgusting PHP codebase to, and it literally took 2 days of work in Ruby on Rails to make an acceptable prototype, and a few weeks before any of the other frameworks were even close. I say, start building it, and start getting people using it as soon as possible. Once people see how quickly you can adapt to their needs, the choice will be obvious.

    May the force be with you.

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