Hansson said more than 400 professionals in 55 countries said they are doing substantial or full-time work in Rails. There have been about 170,000 downloads of Rails since it was released about a year ago. And the Technorati blog tracking site has tracked more than 10,000 Weblog posts about Ruby on Rails, he said. And the first Rails book, "Agile Web Development with Rails," has sold more than 20,000 copies, he said. According to Hansson, Yukihiro Matsumoto, the author of Ruby, set out to create a language that would "make programmers happy." And "Rails attempts to run with that noble and profound goal and bring it to the world of Web application development. Were optimizing for humans first, compilers and the frameworks second. Its been a constant search for how we could make the development process more in tune with what makes programmers happy."Indeed, Fleury said RoR was the example JBoss followed in finalizing its own Seam Java-based lightweight framework. Click here to read more about JBoss Seam. Fleury said that while he does not wish to make a comparison with the productivity-focused Ruby on Rails dynamic scripting, language-based open-source Web development framework, he acknowledges that RoR "was what crystallized this. Seeing Ruby-on-Rails-style productivity was definitely a catalyst." Meanwhile, as Seam stands on its own as a lightweight open-source Java framework, a crop of RoR clone languages have emerged, including Biscuit, also known as PHP on Rails; Grails, a Java-based Rails-alike; Monorail, also a Rails-based framework; Turbo Gears, also known as Python on Rails; Cake PHP, another PHP on Rails-like offering; Subway, another Python-based Rails language; and the Catalyst Web framework, Hansson said. "Ruby on Rails is compelling because it represents a carefully thought-out best practices approach to database-backed Web sites," Ascher said. "Hansson, Rails creator, deliberately took a lot of the wisdom accumulated by the last few years of Web development technologies and implemented it in Ruby, taking full advantage of Rubys dynamic capabilities." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.
In a recent interview with eWEEK, Marc Fleury, CEO and founder of JBoss Inc., praised RoR, its simplicity and Hanssons focus on avoidance of doing "XML sit-ups."