Moral of the story, choose your platform wisely. When I drafted this post in the spring, the intent was to showcase the power of highly developed platforms like ASP.NET as opposed to Ruby. I was then going to throw all the RoR people under the bus for jumping on a bandwagon [prepare for getting hit over the head by Ruby people]
But now that I am in an environment where I am constantly confronted with a heavy Java back-end, this comparison seems so much more powerful. [prepare for getting hit over the head by Java people] Granted process has a lot to do with the excessive production time some companies face, however, language and platform choice clearly has a significant impact. In large corporate environments, elevations to production can creep on several years of work. Platform choice, along with process management goes a long way in cutting down on time it takes to elevate.
Below is a collection of 4 screencasts from betterwebapp.com that I found on Viddler depicting a “bake-off”. Essentially developers were given the same task of building the same basic web application. The results were recorded and put side by side.
ASP.NET, Ruby, Java, Perl Side by Side Comparison
In the end, if time is money the findings show that it would be logical to use ASP.NET. In many cases, this could be attributed to Visual Studio as an excellent development tool. The intellisense available in VS is very different and far better from almost ever other tool/editor I have used.
One can argue over intricacies of the languages, however, the speed of C# and RAD capabilities in Visual Studio make the VS/.NET combo a robust and rapid web development platform.
And I Digress…
While slightly off topic, this also serves a nice message to Adobe. Flex is a step in the right direction, but Visual Studio 2008 is a far better development tool than Flex Builder is in its wildest dreams. If Silverlight begins to get better market penetration, Adobe will be forced to innovate, and perhaps Microsoft would even create a development tool for Mac. The reality is, Flex will have the Mac market so long as Visual Studio is Windows only. If Adobe is to keep their choke hold on the RIA market for years to come, they need to take some lessons from VS2008.
Oct 29 2008