Friday, August 11, 2006

Ten random parallels between PHP vs RoR and DOS vs DirectX

As promised, I started exploring Ruby on Rails... slowly... I installed Instant Rails and it lay dormant for weeks before I started to explore. I think I'm resisting the change. There's something about right now that reminds me of something about ten years ago - and this troubles me.

Coming out of high school in 1994, I had a lot of programming projects in the works. A big one, The Legend of Talibah, was a DOS based console style (mid 90's console) RPG. As I worked on TLOT, I turned to the Internet for support of all kinds. What I found was a computer game development scene up in arms in a debate between DOS based game development and what Win95 promised to bring to the gaming world - DirectX.

Here are 10 random parallels I see between now and then:
RoR vs PHPDOS vrs DirectX
Everyone is debating RoR vs PHP.Everyone debated DirectX vs DOS.
Some of the people evangelizing RoR are respected friends.Some of the people evangelizing DirectX were respected friends.
RoR means learning something new.DirectX means learning something new.
RoR abstracts us further from the system.DirectX abstracts us further from the system.
PHP has a big community and lots of libraries while RoR is relatively new and unproven.DOS had a big community and lots of libraries while DirectX was relatively new and unproven.
PHP has lots of frameworks to choose from while Rails just has ROR.DOS had lots of frameworks to choose from while Win95 just had DirectX.
RoR has a huge pile of code before you ever get started building something.DirectX has a huge pile of code before you ever get started building something.
Most webhosts provide PHP.Most systems, even the new Win95 systems, had DOS support.
RoR is being pushed by the Mac camp.DirectX was being pushed by the MS camp.
Every new copy of OSX will have RoR support.Every new copy of Windows would have DirectX support.

So, I kept working on The Legend of Talibah. Against the advise of many peers, I continued the project in DOS. I had libraries that did everything I wanted from joystick support to audio mixing. It lingered on until the end of 1999, when I officially canned the project. There was no room left in the world for my little DOS game. I was on the wrong side of the DOS vs DirectX debate.

I realize this whole thing is a rather unfair comparison. I'm just say'n that I'm feeling that same vibe again.

Hey, at least I was right about one thing. I've never did like Java.
*evil grin*

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Apples and Oranges. You are making a completely invalid comparison based on some absurd broad criteria. No doubt someone could use some other criteria to spin the argument in the other direction.

Also you a ignoring the fact that there were fundamental technical and economic reasons why DOS died. Reasons that don't apply to PHP. I don't see PHP being killed off anytime soon as much as I think it is grossly overrated as a development tool.

Oh and RoR is another one of those hype driven technologies that go nowhere. I fully expect to be reading lots of "what happened to RoR" articles in 2-3 years.