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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rails 3.0 – LIVE, released!

Or: How to NOT kill a brand.

WTF: a Play Station 3! What is this article about? Something I hope will NOT see in the near future.

Sometimes it is difficult a great brand to stay on top. And if that brand is an Open Source one…

Open Source philosophy is sometimes dangerous. Some people out there believe Open Source means “truly software democracy at work”, if you don’t like it, choose another one, or do it for yourself. Well; it is OK thinking that way if you have no serious business attached to an Open Source technology. Did someone asked how many production projects are running Rails 2.2.2? Or even Rails 2.0? Or Merb 1.0.5? Or even Merb 1.0? Why so many releases? Why so close?

Look at this Merb – Rails, so called “merge”. In between the lines we can Read: Rails “eats” Merb. But that is not necessary a bad thing. I think we are just on a high level of WTFs per hour on this subject. BTW, the best “merge” definition I have got is: “To blend gradually into something else”.

I’m a newbie here, I’m focusing on Rails, just because a newbie need to focus on something, but I have made a fast incursion on Merb at RubyLearning (beta course), and I need to say: I like what I have seen there. The only drawback was it wasn’t working fine on Windows, but I think they have fixed this on a later version, so…

Now back to the point: I don’t care if they call it Merb or Rails, but it is fair to keep the bigger market share brand, so, we can say the brand Rails “eats” the brand “Merb”. May be it is time to find a new real OPEN SOURCE logo (that is for DHH) and improve the brand into something like “Rails 3.0 – LIVE”, to celebrate that.

But the same COULD NOT be applied to the teams, they MUST be merged. That is what I really care about.

The way they will move from now on, will make history (or not). They have established the brand: “Rails 3.0” it is, but which is the strategy?

I think they must have a common focusing point on Rails 3.0, two in fact:

  • Convince Merb users that they can upgrade to Rails 3.0 and their project will remain almost the same, and they will not need to “rely on Mack, Waves, Sinatra and others to fill in the gap”.
  • Convince Rails users that the new options and technologies available will not necessary change their projects a bit, will not introduce new bugs and if they want Rails will remain as opinionated as it is now.

There must be a mission: “No pain, plenty of gain” for both current brands users.

I have read that “Merb will keep on living and be supported for a very long time. (we will keep on fixing major bugs even after rails 3.0/merb 2.0)”.

To be honest, I think it is a bad idea. It means the newcomers on the Rails core are still attached with their old brand, and if that is the point, they will be a team inside a team, not a merged team with a common objective.

So people from the Rails core: the older ones and the newcomers, PLEASE, THIMK.

The users, THE CUSTOMERS, don’t need two brands for so long IF the remaining one gives the options they need, so, keep in mind the two focusing point mentioned above and MOVE ON.

A real and complete team merge MUST be done when Rails 3.0 get released.

And Merb support MUST be ended with Rails 3.1 or Rails 3.2 at least.

Or, you can remember the classic: “How to kill your brand”. Coincidentally or not, they were talking about version 3 at that time too.

I hope there will be a time in the future we can say: we believe they two become one.

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