The best blogging system ever

Hmm it looks like my rant touched off a spirited defense from the writer of Mephisto.

Hey, that’s my blogging system! I’m just curious what kind of error page a bad url should show? Something like this?

And yes, the mephisto title is me having fun. Lighten up, dude :-D I never said it wasn’t shitty, but it scales just fine.
rick, the creator of Mephisto

I’ll admit, I was a little harsh on Rick. Shit, anyone who calls himself “technoweenie” is probably someone I need to kick of few beers back with—preferably with the Plasq peeps so we don’t have to spring money when Skitch is out of beta.

Any way you cut it, it’s ballsy to say Mephisto “scales just fine” given that WordPress does not and it’d pretty much crushes Mephisto out of the box on on availability, ease of install, extensibility, performance, and scalability.

That’s typical of Ruby programmers, always making outlandish claims that aren’t true and then saying that I have the burden to prove the negative.

Speaking of Skitch, How’s this for “lightening up”?

Mephisto the best blogging system ever
“I’m Rick Olson, I invented friggin Mephisto. Have you heard of it?

You’re not going to demand that I prove that Mephisto isn’t “the best blogging system ever” are you, Matt? ;-) (This is a reference to WordPress’s funding.)

BTW, unlike his Ruby compatriots so quick to throw him to the wolves, I actually like that he is writing Mephisto in Rails. When Matt was forking b2 to write WordPress in PHP, I thought MoveableType had won and I was perfectly happy installing mod_perl. So what do I know?

As to Rick’s “curiosity,” Mephisto shouldn’t generate or allow a post slug with “/” or “:” etc or, if it does allow it, it should encode it. In the screenshot you linked, I don’t have that post slug on this blog with that URL and WordPress wouldn’t allow it so the screenshot he took is moot. It does, however, show my great taste in WordPress themes.

[more Ruby bashing after the jump.]

Ruby gang bang

What touched off the comment was that a bunch of RORcats were harassing me on twitter that the error page message doesn’t prove that Ruby doesn’t scale because “Mephisto is crappy, not Ruby (which is superior)”, but that wasn’t the point at all!

Twitter site down
I’d prove to you how I was harassed, but Twitter is down. :-D

My point is that someone who would choose to use Ruby to develop a social network and content management system over the advice of their experienced colleagues is the same hubris that causes one to use Mephisto as a blogging platform over a proven solution like Moveable Type or WordPress for something as simple as a corporate blog. It’s called not invented here and the Ruby world has a horrible (all caps) case of it.

Then when I call them out on this, they think that I am saying that “Ruby can’t scale.” I never said this. I said programmers who choose to use Ruby don’t know scalability. See the difference?

It’s about making choices and the consequences that follow from those choices.

For instance, this blog has been hacked twice. I teased Matt about that and how ugly the codebase is the last time I saw him. That’s a consequence. If I actually had a problem with all the stuff I shit talk, I’d be using s9y or something similarly lame. :-)

Not Invented Here

I think Not Invented Here and the overly defensive nature of people like Rick is because the “convention over configuration” demands a religious zeal and myopia as a consequence.

Hmm, in fact, in light of my admission that Mephisto is “the best blogging system ever,” I should change this blog’s title “The Woodwork: wherein I prove that Ruby developers are all cultish morons.”

And then when these defensive shits comment on it, I’ll google them and poo over their comments saying, “I never said Ruby can’t scale, so lighten up, dude.” :-)

11 thoughts on “The best blogging system ever”

  1. That commentary-thing doesn’t work properly on most browsers (except for Safari that is) because they cut off the titles.

  2. I’ve tried Ruby(onRails) myself a bit and I’m sure it got its thing. Generally I can’t quality on code and style and awesomeness of those apps because I just don’t know enough so I better shut up. ;-)

    What makes me always curious about things [framework, language, whatever] is when people say (for example), “Oh, I’ve done PHP for ages and found Rails and I absolutely love it. I am not doing PHP ever again.”. I met some RoR people in NYC last year and one of them felt like he needed to argue RoR over PHP with me when he my client introduced me to him and I just realized that he didn’t have a super-clue about PHP.

    Whatever he said I was able to disprove and I’m a) not the smartest person on the planet, b) not the best(est) PHP coder ever, c) had too many drinks that night and d) my English is suck too. I just realized (since this wasn’t my only encounter of this sort) that most of those people who run to RoR wrote terrible PHP too. Stuff I get to fix when I migrate clients to a new major PHP release. I just hope their rails apps don’t suffer from the same problems sooner or later.

    One of my clients also did a RoR project lately and on the one side it’s pretty cool how fast the company they hired came out with a ready project. Kudos to them. It also looks pretty (a major advantage over many RoR apps over their PHP counterparts) and works.

    But I also have to mention that they started out with a footprint of 15 servers and now (not even three months later) had to double the capacity. But not just because traffic doubled, etc.. ;-) The bright side of this dilemma is that EC2 is pretty cheap and that their app apparently scales pretty well – when you throw enough hardware at it.

    Though this is not very convincing.

    If time permits, I’m gonna check out Merb next. It’s another Ruby framework and I read good things about it.

  3. @Duke Sure. Serendipity is far more secure than WordPress, it has always been. OO-wise it is also has a nicer design, though I think they go too far—maybe it’s me, I never really got the OOP “religion.”

    As for “lame” at a certain point you have to think what you have time for. WordPress has a large community of developers (as did Moveable-Type) with a huge number of people who know how to install, maintain, design for, and optimize it. It’s easy to install, etc. When security isn’t an issue (I suppose if I got a malicious hack, I could always rebuild my database and reinstall), I don’t know why someone shouldn’t use WordPress over s9y.

    @till:
    I’ll have to address this in a once and future post (as in, I wrote it last summer, I just haven’t published it). The title should be: “That Kung Fu experience.” :-)

  4. Wow… I thought you moderated my comment, but apparently it was promoted :)

    Ah, I see what you’re talking about. They actually put a url into the permalink field? That’s hilarious. Mephisto does encode permalinks, but assumes the author knows what they’re doing when they put in manual permalinks.

    I run the rubyonrails.com/weblog.rubyonrails.com/prototypejs.org sites on a cluster of processes on a single server. The key is I implement probably the same caching features that those WP caching plugins do out of the box. That’ll get me by for a long time before I have to look at multiple data centers, CDN’s, sharded databases, etc. But, that’s all out of scope for a little open source blog platform.

    As for why these startups are using Mephisto for a boring corporate blog? No idea. I guess they have the infrastructure in place for serving rails apps, or want to show love to the rails community? I wholeheartedly agree with the NIH argument, though. Seriously, writing a blog engine is boring as shit once the honeymoon is over.

    Finally… The tag line was more funny when taken in context with my major releases named after lame cosmic marvel comics characters. But now I suppose it’s a bit pathetic considering the latest major release was about 18 months ago.

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