Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Web Application Development for newbies

I have been working on web application development, primarily on Java platform. Indeed it provides a very concrete platform for web application development, but it probably is not the fastest in terms of learning curve involved. It's not that Java does not have enough weapons in its arsenal, the problem is that it has way too many. Fortunately I had the opportunity to work on Ruby on Rails and I was really impressed. I am not a RoR convert, but I certainly like the ease of development in RoR. If someone wants to begin with web application development with least fuss involved, I would suggest RoR. In circumstance where a person is not aware of Java as well as Ruby, I would any day advice to use RoR. It's faster to learn RoR and is well documented. Take a look at http://guides.rubyonrails.org/. There would always be contentions and someone might say that PHP is easier and faster to learn, I have don't have space in this post to argue that. 

To say Hello World in RoR you need to understand a bit of Ruby and a bit of RoR. To say Hello World in Java(web app) you need to Java and then come out of commotion. I say commotion because you would be flooded with advices. Should you use JSP, or spit it out via servlets so on and so forth. When Database based application has to be worked out, contention within Java grows rapidly. This contention is not between RoR and Java as platform. This contention is within Java, contention amongst plethora of frameworks. A newbie is lost in ocean of frameworks and arguments. Fortunately RoR yet has not reached that level.

Both Java and Ruby support object oriented programming, theoretically, they have a lot of similarities as far as OO is concerned. Syntactically there are lot of differences, if someone has worked on Java, he would find Ruby syntax a bit weird and vice versa. The most important difference is that Ruby is dynamically typed programming language while Java is statically typed. Coding web app in RoR is very terse, a simple Data retrieval in a Java web app would require a lot of Java code and Glue. There are few web applications framework stack in Java which are inching close to RoR, yet I understand that it's going to be a while before they really get there.

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