I knew almost nothing about designing a website in 2005. But if I had known anything, I would have been hearing a lot about Ruby on Rails.
I still know nearly nothing about it, except that it’s a Web application framework for the Ruby programming language. In short, it was a way to build dynamic websites — like Crunchable.
Chris Klimas described the experience like this:
The whole Ruby on Rails thing was ill-advised but I didn’t know it. I had been reading a lot of buzz online about it and got what was one of the first books about it. There were a ton of great concepts in it that I still use at work every day. […]
I was eager to do a project with RoR and it worked pretty well — on my own laptop. When it went live, it crashed and burned.
Dreamhost [Crunchable’s Web hosting provider at the time] was just not really equipped to run a RoR app — their bread and butter was PHP, so they didn’t put much time into supporting it.
If you didn’t fiddle with the config, it ran insanely slow… like 45 seconds to serve a basic request that hit the database like twice.
This means an average page on Crunchable would take the better part of a minute to load, leaving readers staring at blank screens for a looooong time.
The joke I then heard online was Ruby on Snails.
There were directions on how to make RoR faster on Dreamhost that worked ok, but there were tons of mysterious crashes. I think it was also that RoR was fairly immature itself at that point, too.
I again admit my ignorance here, but if Wikipedia is correct, the first fully-set version of Ruby on Rails was only a few months old when Chris was working with it.
Doing the RoR version was a way for me to try crazy ideas out that wouldn’t have flown at work. It wasn’t really a good move for Crunchable. […]
I think at that point my desire to do Crunchable was pretty much gone.
And that’s where I came in.