Why is Ruby on Rails more popular than Django?

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info
Fri Mar 8 18:47:36 CET 2013

On Wed, 06 Mar 2013 18:58:12 -0800, rusi wrote:

>> My questions:
>> 1.  Why is Ruby on Rails much more popular than Django?
> "Where there is choice there is no freedom"
> http://www.jiddu-krishnamurti.net/en/1954/1954-03-03-jiddu-

Surely that should be, where there is NO choice there is no freedom.

You must work down the mines every day until you die. Are you free?

You must use Rails for your web app. Are you free?

The "Paradox of Choice" is real, that is, *too* much choice can lead to 
paralysis. Freedom is not an unmitigated good. But there are ways to work 
around that, starting with the simple fact that products often are aimed 
at niche markets and so are not actually direct competitors. The hard 
part is deciding what niche you exist in, not what product you want.

> GvR understood and rigorously implemented a dictum that Nicklaus Wirth
> formulated decades ago -- "The most important thing about language
> design is what to leave out." Therefore Python is a beautiful language. 
> Unfortunately the same leadership did not carry over to web frameworks
> and so we have a mess.

The entire software ecosystem is not equivalent to designing a single 
language. Apart from the practical matter that it would require a 
totalitarian dictator to declare that there is One True web framework 
which everyone must use on pain of death, there is also the little matter 
that individual products can concentrate on different strengths. No one 
product can solve all problems -- you can't have a web framework which is 
simultaneously lightweight for those with small needs AND heavyweight for 
those with large needs. (Or at least, it is *incredibly difficult* to 
have a single product be all things to all people.)

'I'm sure we can pull together, sir.'
Lord Vetinari raised his eyebrows. 'Oh, I do hope not, I really do hope 
not. Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull 
in all kinds of directions.' He smiled. 'It's the only way to make 
- Terry Pratchett, "The Truth"


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