Newbie: RoR good for "Kayak-type" site

Hi there,

We're a startup looking. A good usage model of our site is something
like the travel site Kayak. Lots of searching of database with
"stale" price data, with live crawling of many sites (for lower
prices), and various different views of information - a product will
appear in a results list, a full page overlay with details, and the
same product will appear on a map. Kinda like Kayak. Ajaxy.

Given the constraints of: performance is important (lots of data
sources merged), we're not familiar with the language (but our team
has not "core" web-framework under its belt, and some of the
programmers are more craftsman than architect in their thinking,
would RoR be a good fit? Alternatives (so far I'm looking at
Django).

We've watched some videos, checked it out, but we're in a position
where we need advice and may just go with it.

Thanks.

acuitycorp wrote:

Hi there,

We're a startup looking. A good usage model of our site is something
like the travel site Kayak. Lots of searching of database with
"stale" price data, with live crawling of many sites (for lower
prices), and various different views of information - a product will
appear in a results list, a full page overlay with details, and the
same product will appear on a map. Kinda like Kayak. Ajaxy.

That sounds like a reasonably good fit for Rails.

Given the constraints of: performance is important (lots of data
sources merged), we're not familiar with the language (but our team
has not "core" web-framework under its belt, and some of the
programmers are more craftsman than architect in their thinking,
would RoR be a good fit?

What languages *are* you familiar with? Why are you looking at a Web
framework in a language your developers are not familiar with?

What do your developers have to say about this?

What attracted you to Rails in the first place, if you're not familiar
with it or Ruby?

Alternatives (so far I'm looking at
Django).

We've watched some videos, checked it out, but we're in a position
where we need advice and may just go with it.

I'd certainly recommend Rails...but you might expect that here. :slight_smile:

Thanks.

Best,

few thoughts... I've been a ColdFusion dev for years and finally
decided to make the move to something better. I actually started with
Django, Google's App engine, a few recommendations from friends lured
me in. After about 2 weeks I got pretty fed up with Django + App
Engine, mainly bec the community wasn't very helpful. I then went to
Rails and haven't look back since. Rails (it's only been 3 weeks of
experience) has a stronger community which makes the barrier of
learning the framework a lot easier. It also seems to be the popular
choice these days which is comforting in terms of being worth the time
investment. All the plug-ins have been a surprise too! The plugins
actually work and are supported by the community.

love it!

I am about 1.5 years in to rails and have to say even with catching up with the changes on 3.0, the tools and way of thinking of this community is a reason why I am still writing code and excited because for some reason here on rails even when I hit problems I know there is light at end of tunnel and that I am becoming more efficient and able to do more cool things faster w better quality. Not that rails necessarily has a monopoly on this but I think it is a good bet.

In my experience, though - contrary to what I hear about the low ‘barrier to entry’, for me to get adept, the learning curve is steeper than in other languages/frameworks… and this is because to actually be good in rails you have to learn the conventions and what is available. Up until Rails that was not my style. I have to say in .NET I just hacked my way through for years while MS kept vomiting up new technologies and you could never figure out what was going to last and what disappear - no love or excitement for me to master it.

I dont get such a feeling with rails, things change but there seems to be a better evolving logic of the community as a whole. I guess one could hack their way through it, but then if that is what is desired, may as well just use php or something, because Rails is about the conventions — that’s what makes it beautiful to my eye. Every time I am hating life on a project is generally when I am fighting the way things were intended.

If you are open to start anywhere this is a good place IMO.

David

Thanks David and nobosh.

For us there are too many moving parts to decide only analytically on
something like this, but
your personal experiences are probably going to be similar to what we
encounter - and so
more valuable than a feature list.

What I understand is that it will probly take our devs longer to get
up to speed than something else,
because of the philosophy of doing things is more formed here and to
be successful you should get down
with that philosophy. But also the community is strong and growing
and has many other benefits.

Cool. We made our decision - we're going with RoR.