Is the Ruby On Rails/Java performance argument going to kick off again?

Oddly enough this argument has been going on since I first wrote about in Java Developer’s Journal in 2006 ( and since then I’ve always had this thing in the back of my mind about the scaling of such a technology.

So here’s the real question… does the Twitter decision to go from Ruby On Rails to the JVM now finally throw a nail in the coffin to the scalability folk? Watching the video from Raffi Krikorian from the OSCON 2011 conference made for very interesting watching.

Here’s the vid if you want to watch it now:

My first thoughts would be that Twitter would move to something like JRuby thought from previous tries with JRuby I often found initial performance to be sluggish and when you add Rails on top things got worse.  

Scala I’ve not tried but it’s something I’m going to look into. Simple reasons really, I’ve had no real need to.  What does interest me most of all is Finagle which is a RPC based async server (always been a fan of XML-RPC since the beginning but I’ve got Edd Dumbill to thank for getting me into that).

Let me say this, for most people’s sites Ruby On Rails is fine, near perfect for getting rapid development done. You’ll hit most pain barriers in one form or another regardless of the language and platform you are using.  Scale only becomes a problem when it’s a real problem and customers are complaining.

What will be interesting to see will be how the developer community looks at Twitter and has to decide for large scale web/api processing what it will move to. Perhaps Java’s not dead after all…


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