Angel on the Shoulder by Jarkko Laine

Another good guy and kindred spirit, Jarkko’s central point was how to build an effective framework for developers. Or, precisely, what are the principles that make Rails’ framework effective? Good stuff, but not enough for a full-length RailsConf session. Don’t mean to sell you short, Jarkko — I’ve spent a bit of time recently building an internal testing framework while using Rails, so maybe the principles feel obvious.

It really boils down to the carrot-and-stick approach: make it easy for developers to do the right thing. And the right thing should be sensible, terse, and as intuitive as possible. The “wrong” thing should be hard to find, documented with warnings and deprecations, and lead to many more lines of code. (This is certainly characteristic of Rails. Whenever it takes me more than 3-4 lines of code for something simple, I immediately suspect that David’s already thought of a better way to do it.)

Carrot: How dead simple it is to write an automated test in Rails
Carrot: All the magic REST methods
Stick: CruiseControlRB

Jaarko says that you should ask: “How does this help the user kick ass?” He’s the lead a developer at dotherightthing.com, and he wrote, “Beginning Ruby on Rails E-Commerce.”

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