ANN: preview of a new, large RoR site

Could you elaborate a bit more on why you choose rails and why not a
"proven" or "robust" framework like asp.net / java/spring. Aren't you
afraid that soon the "advantages" of rails are going to kick you from
behind (speedy development, but rails/ruby isn't the most stable
solution.. maintenance / keeping the site running might proof more
difficult in the future)

What I understand your "app" (like all ;)) is basically a front-end to
a database, letting people exchange info and more fancy searching. You
could do that in any language. While browsing the site already feels a
bit slowish (it takes a noticeable time to get the page, but it renders
quick enough (only the second time, the first time it needs to fetch
all the appropriate images etc)).

} Could you elaborate a bit more on why you choose rails and why not a
} "proven" or "robust" framework like asp.net / java/spring. Aren't you
} afraid that soon the "advantages" of rails are going to kick you from
} behind (speedy development, but rails/ruby isn't the most stable
} solution.. maintenance / keeping the site running might proof more
} difficult in the future)

Major decisions only occasionally have a single motivating force. I can
give an incomplete list, though:

- http://www.paulgraham.com/avg.html is nominally about Lisp, but the same
  applies to Ruby.
- people already working for the company were excited about RoR
- people already working for the company were excited about open source in
  general
- in a large company, the risk/reward balance pushes toward a "proven"
  framework because the reward of shipping on time does not outweigh the
  risk of high maintenance costs in the future; in a startup, the risk of
  shipping late is really the risk of the company as a whole failing (i.e.
  running out of seed money before shipping), thus outweighs pretty much
  any future reward

} What I understand your "app" (like all ;)) is basically a front-end to
} a database, letting people exchange info and more fancy searching. You
} could do that in any language. While browsing the site already feels a
} bit slowish (it takes a noticeable time to get the page, but it renders
} quick enough (only the second time, the first time it needs to fetch
} all the appropriate images etc)).

There is a lot of JS, a lot of CSS, and a fair amount of image data as
well. The vast majority of it is shared across the site, but there is an
upfront cost to loading it the first time. It also isn't too surprising
that the site is a bit slow in general; we're still scaling out and we're
still tuning.

I suppose you could consider almost any interesting web app out there to be
a front-end to a database, but that's like saying that Textmate is a
front-end to the filesystem; it's technically true, but doesn't really tell
the whole story. Ideally, we'd like our site to be the place where everyone
involved in healthcare, whether consumers, providers, insurers, facilities,
etc. can come together and make things cheaper and easier for each other.
In the same way that eBay reduced friction and inefficiencies between
buyers and sellers, we'd like to reduce friction and inefficiencies between
those who need care and those who provide it (or insure it, or research it,
etc.). It's a pretty grandiose plan, and we've only take the first little
steps. There's no guarantee that it will work out, of course, but it's a
worth a try.

--Greg

....

It's a pretty grandiose plan, and we've only take the first little
steps. There's no guarantee that it will work out, of course, but it's a
worth a try.

--Greg

You have an interesting line of thought. I myself would never risk to
deploy a project on such a scale on rails but i understand your
reasoning. I myself find that what language I code in isn't nearly as
important the "feel" (design pattern for example) of the entire
project, writing 1 or 5 lines of code to code some little procedure
isn't all that important. (yes, my first impression of rails was
wow!!!! amazing.. but the amazement is slowly replaced by a certain
amount of distrust.. all my personal opinion of course)
I hope you manage to pull it off, it's certainly an interesting project
:slight_smile:

You have an interesting line of thought. I myself would never risk to
deploy a project on such a scale on rails

snip...

(yes, my first impression of rails was
wow!!!! amazing.. but the amazement is slowly replaced by a certain
amount of distrust.. all my personal opinion of course

I'm curious where the distrust comes from?

The community as a whole is working hard to avoid these sorts of feelings,
and I'm sure it would be an interesting discussion in and of itself.

I know it's a discussion I'd love to have. :slight_smile: