Monday, March 13, 2006

> Ruby On Rails: Permission To Fail Faster


OK, two disclaimers here: 1) You need to be kinda nerdy to appreciate this stuff but if you are interested and invested in what is possible, you will want to pay some attention to Ruby On Rails.
2) A few years back Fast Company published an article entited, Fail Faster and the premise was that making mistakes and failing was actually good, we just need to do it faster.

Karl Long authors a blog called Customer Experience Strategy and in it he asks a very good question, "Does “rails” contribute to a better customer experience?"

Karl writes, "Now, I’m not a programmer by any stretch of the imagination, but I have taken a few tutorials, and viewed a few of the video screencasts of “rails” in action, giving me some limited insight. It seems that the “rails” “write once” philosophy forms an incredibly tight relationship between the User Interface and the database. In other words you write one piece of code and it creates all the UI elements and database stuff automatically. The “creating a weblog in 15 minutes” screencast provides a great example where the programmer creates an item in the program called a “post”. A post has a title and a body that contain text, and as the programmer specifies this, a web view of a post is created, with a title and a body. Not only that but the functions for creating, deleting, and viewing lists of posts are all there as well, with the requisite “create”, “edit”, “delete” buttons.

In 15 minutes, we go from scratch to complete weblog engine: with comments and an administrative interface. But since the actual application only took 58 lines to complete, we also have time left over to do unit testing, examine the logs, and play around with the domain model. What this illustrates to me is really the “power of patterns” on customer experience, and the value of consistency."

Simon de Haast posted this response to Karl's thoughts and I just think it is spot on...

It just doesn’t matter. Check out this blog entry from 37Signals that reinforces their “focus on keeping it simple.
http://37signals.com/svn/archives2/it_just_doesnt_matter.php
“I think that statement embodies what makes a product great. Figuring out what matters and leaving out the rest.”

Sage advice for web design...and life: Figuring out what matters and leaving out the rest.

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