On Wed, Mar 01, 2006 at 04:43:37PM +0900, Moni wrote:
} I've spent the past few weeks desperately looking for good comparisons
} on ASP.NET 2.0 vs Ruby on Rails.
[...]

I know of none. I don't think it's likely that a good one will be
forthcoming. To truly understand the value of either one requires using it
to attack a significant problem. In the time it would take to complete such
a project in one, there would be a newer version of the other. It would be
extremely difficult to get an in-depth, apples-to-apples comparison.

I think the best you can hope for is either a comparison of a cursory
understanding of one against a deep understanding of the other or a
comparison of an old version of one against the current version of the
other.

} So I'm wondering if my time an investement is better spent on RoR than
} on ASP.NET 2.0. VS2005 is a wonderful IDE but C# is perhaps too
} elaborate for speedy development.

What you've said here is largely meaningless without a goal in mind. Are
you aiming for employability? Learn and use ASP.NET. Are you working on
personal projects? Learn and use whichever is most comfortable. Are you
planning a startup? Learn and use Rails (you will be able to attract
brighter people to work with you, thus improving the odds of your startup's
success).

} Can anyone give me real life experiences on switching from ASP.NET to
} RoR development? Is it really as good as the hype says it is? Is it
} worthy of a long-term investment in time and money?

As above, it depends on your goals.

} I really want to get to the bottom of this. I've been advocating
} ASP.NET for a long time but now I'm having doubts about it. Maybe RoR
} is the way to go?

Rails is a tool that is great for certain kinds of things. The same applies
to ASP.NET. Rails works very well for standalone webapps. It does not work
nearly as well as an interface to data shared by multiple applications. In
particular, ActiveRecord (the ORM component of Rails) does not deal with
stored procedures and expects some fairly strict naming conventions in the
database.

For rapid development of a standalone web application, nothing beats Rails. 
Its AJAX support is also quite good, though Microsoft's Atlas may wind up
being just as good if not better. Its test-driven development support is
another major benefit. Finally, the fact that there are no software
licensing costs involved in deploying it (i.e. it is itself free software
and can be used on a stack of free software, including the operating system
and RBMS) can be an advantage in many environments.

I've used ASP.NET 1.1 and I've used Rails. Of the two, I think ASP.NET is a
good tool for a broader problem domain than Rails. That doesn't mean that
ASP.NET is better than Rails, it means that I think it is better for more
purposes than Rails is. It emphatically does not mean that I don't consider
them both valuable and worth knowing, nor does it mean that I will refuse
to use one or the other. Furthermore, I am in favor of (and may contribute
to) increasing the problem domain for which Rails is a good tool.

} Thanks,
} Moni
--Greg