Monday, April 04, 2005

Rails is Ruby's "Killer App"

Forget the hype over Rails -- not important. Forget the anti-hype too -- irrelevant. Instead, just look at this graph from Alexa.com. See any correlation? Rails is a killer app, regardless of hype or anti-hype. As soon as Rails appeared on the scene, Ruby has experienced a 200% increase in web traffic over three months.

Personally, I think this is great. Ruby is a pleasure to program in, and provides a good alternative to other dynamic languages, and sometimes even the more-mainstream languages. Any growth in Ruby's adoption will drive innovation and open up Ruby for mainstream acceptance. Congrats to David Heinemeier Hansson for his great work on Ruby on Rails, and his successful evangelism of both Rails and Ruby.

36 Comments:

Blogger Alain R. said...

Not sure the graph is meaningful: replace rails by jetbrains.com, and you'll get a surprise: ruby vs jetbrains traffic

April 05, 2005 5:16 PM  
Blogger Rob Harwood said...

I too noticed that, but you see I'm very careful which data I report. ;-)

I must admit it is possible that it is some other influence that affects all three sites, but in my opinion it's a coincidence. JetBrains currently has no connection to Ruby or Rails except for Sergey Dmitriev's article on Language Oriented Programming which discusses languages, though it doesn't mention Ruby by name. Perhaps the sudden popularity is an indication that people are realizing that the mainstream languages and environments are growing old, and they are looking for more productivity-oriented alternatives, such as Ruby, IntelliJ IDEA, and ReSharper.

I think in the coming weeks or months, we'll see jetbrains.com and ruby-lang.org show significant divergences.

April 05, 2005 6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have compared ruby-lang traffic to GMail, Onet (the biggest Polish portal) and several other sites. In almost every case, I have noticed the correlation. So maybe the graph just shows the overall increased web traffic and not the correlation at all?

April 06, 2005 9:49 AM  
Blogger binkley said...

It's a hockeystick graph with all the statistical problems that come with them.

So... when is IDEA supporting Ruby? :)

April 06, 2005 2:47 PM  
Blogger Rob Harwood said...

Actually, we've seen anomolies before with Alexa.com. Not sure if it's browsing trends, or it could also be trends in the usage of their tracking software. I try not to draw too many conclusions from the graphs; I just use them for comparisons (greater/less than, growing/shrinking). Anyway, I'll watch it over the next few months and see if it settles down.

As for IDEA supporting Ruby, one of the things we're working on now is a Language API for things like Javascript. Several people have expressed interest in a Ruby plugin, which this API would conceivably allow.

April 06, 2005 3:20 PM  
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