Rakish resolution – more flame

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Happy 2008! At the risk of being a cad (or just plain annoying and silly)…

Zed Shaw, (ex-?)author of Mongrel, makes this remark in his end of year epiphany Rails is a Ghetto;

(15:11:12) DHH: before fastthread we had ~400 restarts/day
(15:11:22) DHH: now we have perhaps 10
(15:11:29) Zed S.: oh nice
(15:11:33) Zed S.: and that’s still fastcgi right?

This one single statement [from 2007-01-20] basically means that we all got duped. The main Rails application that DHH created required restarting ~400 times/day. That’s a production application that can’t stay up for more than 4 minutes on average.

Let me put this into perspective for you: I’ve ran servers that needed to be restarted once in a year. They were written in PHP, Python, Java, C, C++, you name it. Hell, I’ve got this blog on a server I’ve restarted maybe 10-20 times the whole year.

Now, DHH tells me that he’s got 400 restarts a mother f***ing day. That’s 1 restart about ever 4 minutes b****es. These restarts went away after I exposed bugs in the GC and Threads which Mentalguy fixed with fastthread.

If anyone had known Rails was that unstable they would have laughed in his face. Think about it further, this means that the creator of Rails in his flagship products could not keep them running for longer than 4 minutes on average.

Repeat that to yourself. “He couldn’t keep his own servers running for longer than 4 minutes on average.”

Rewinding back to February 2006 and another rant

Meanwhile, in these days of long tail enthusiasm, other than PHP, you don’t get to hear much about when stuff sucks. Put specifically, don’t bring me your FastCGI unless you’re providing free SMS to go with it, so I can alert myself when it goes down. There are smallish sites I own / run, built on PHP, which I don’t look at for months but are still, magically, running next time I go there – be it impression or not, PHP just keeps on running – restart Apache or reboot and it’s back without sysadmin effort.

Nah nah! Told you so! You were warned ;)

So this years resolution is to be a little bit more active, blog-or-otherwise. Here’s looking at Terry.

Harry FuecksHarry Fuecks
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Harry Fuecks is the Engineering Project Lead at Tamedia and formerly the Head of Engineering at Squirro. He is a data-driven facilitator, leader, coach and specializes in line management, hiring software engineers, analytics, mobile, and marketing. Harry also enjoys writing and you can read his articles on SitePoint and Medium.

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