} 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
- 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
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.