Some things in life and good and noble but require courage. Still, they are worth doing and we should do them irrespective of the price.
Inviting the creator of the Clojure programming language to speak at the RailsConf isn’t one of them!
Allow me to explain.
The talk was one of the best I’ve heard ever. It might even go down in history as the most software architecture talk in the Rails history.
Rich is a genius, no doubt about it. Also, there’s no doubt about how good a language Clojure is.
There’s just one problem.
The Rails community just died on the inside listening to this.
Here’s this guy talking about extremely tiny but fundamental things that have a lifelong impact on the quality of code we write. He covers things as small as ordering, data representation, uniformity, etc.
Except that Ruby and Rails were built on more or less opposite foundations.
Ruby has too many shortcuts, special syntax, and tricks. Rails has too much cute stuff and helpful magic going on. It’s one astronomical pile of shit being made worse day by day by the countless “gems” out there. And the ongoing “evolution” isn’t helping, either.
As such, what can Ruby/Rails devs learn from this talk? Very little, because at the end of the day, we have to go back to writing logic in controllers, try to memorize the order of function arguments practice writing terse, clever code, and just drop in a foreign gem blindly and hope it works.
If we take these ideals too seriously, Rails will fall apart. And Ruby will soon follow.
Still, only the Ruby community is humble enough to invite a total outlier as a guest speaker and give them the respect they deserve.
Should I be happy or sad about the whole thing?
Honestly, I have no idea! 🙃