Archive for April, 2007

Well, that's that then…

Last weekend was the first race meeting of the year at Silverstone. It didn’t go well…

The first piece of bad news was that sticking with my venerable 8-year-old engine for this season was a bad move. A lot of drivers have upgraded to the Suzuki GSXR, and it has a *lot* more power. On one occasion I exited the hairpin right underneath Frazer’s rear wing and by the end of the straight he was a good 5-6 car lengths ahead.

The second piece of bad news was that the car was handling terribly, and chewing up front-left tyres. After a lot of head-scratching, we came to the conclusion that the problem was most likely a result of the chassis not being straight after the accident at the end of the season at Snetterton.

All of that was made moot by what happened in the second race on Sunday – at the start of lap 2, Kat Impey spun on the exit of Copse (very fast – taken in a continuous 4-wheel drift in fifth gear at around 120mph). I was unable to avoid Kat and ended up hitting her very hard indeed. Two further cars then went into the back of us, and the debris hit a couple of other drivers.

The marshalls and paramedics had lots of fun getting me onto a back-board and neck brace and carted me off to the medical centre to be checked over. Luckily there wasn’t any serious damage – although I’m definitely feeling it now!

The car is a complete write-off (as is Kat’s). There are a few bits that I might be able to salvage, but basically it’s a “start from scratch” job.

So, that’s it for a while at least.

Drat.

Is Ruby on Rails a Silver Bullet?

This article originally appeared upon on texperts.com

Here at 82ASK, we’ve been using Ruby on Rails for well over a year, and we love it. We switched to Rails because we believed that we would see dramatically better productivity, and (in the main) that’s how things have turned out.

Something’s been bothering me about this though. Back in 1986, Fred Brooks wrote his brilliant paper No Silver Bullet (included in the Anniversary Edition of The Mythical Man Month). It was, and remains, one of the most influential papers ever written about software engineering. In it he argues that there will be no more techniques or practices that will serve as “silver bullets” and massively improve programmer productivity.

So, how do we square this circle? Was Brooks wrong? Has David Heinemeier Hansson (the creator of Rails) uncovered something that invalidates his argument? Or are we fooling ourselves, and Rails isn’t really giving us the kind of productivity boost we think it is?

Continue reading ‘Is Ruby on Rails a Silver Bullet?’

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