Matt Aimonetti: Hi Jason, could you please introduce yourself and tell us what you do for a living?
Jason Seifer: My name is Jason Seifer and I do mostly web development for a living along with podcasting and screencasting.
Matt Aimonetti: How did you get started with Ruby, what’s your background?
Jason Seifer: As far as my background goes, I have a degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. I got started with Ruby by way of learning Rails. I used to do some hacking on perl and php but never anything for full time work until Rails came along. I fell in love with the Ruby language that way.
Matt Aimonetti: You chose to learn and use Merb, could you please let us know why and how that happened?
Jason Seifer: Doing the Rails Envy podcast, I’ve been keeping up with the latest merb news for a while now. Along the way I’ve been extremely impressed by how the merb team handles things, listens to its users, and implements new features. At the same time, I’m pretty lazy when it comes to coding so I wanted to wait until the API was stable and version 1.0ish before jumping in to building merb apps. I have a lot of Rails experience so picking it up wasn’t too hard.
Matt Aimonetti: Do you have some Merb projects available online we can look at? what was your experience so far?
Jason Seifer: I don’t have anything online at the moment but I am working on a couple of things that I hope to release in the coming months. Working with merb is a pleasure most of the time, though it’s pretty easy to get confused with some common rails functions that differ slightly by name (before/before_filter, etc) if you’ve been doing Rails for a while. One thing that’s really nice about working with merb is how compact and easy to understand the framework code is. It’s very easy to jump in and see how something works if you’re having trouble.
Matt Aimonetti: What is your favorite aspect of the Merb framework?
Jason Seifer: As far as features go, I love run_later. It’s pretty nice not to have to run a message queue for decoupling simple things like sending email from the request/response cycle. There are a number of smaller features like that which make merb nice to work with.
My favorite aspect of merb, though, is the stable api. It’s very comforting to know that by upgrading to the next stable point release of the framework that I’m not going to have things that break. This of course doesn’t mean that a stable and comprehensive test suite isn’t important but it is one less worry.
Matt Aimonetti: Could you please mention an aspect of Merb you hope to see being improved in the near future?
Jason Seifer: If you had asked me this question a few weeks ago I would have said documentation, but that itch is being scratched by the merb book. Though not exactly merb, I’d really love to see DataMapper get JRuby compatibility so we can get the full stack on JRuby for deployment. That would be very exciting what with everything going on in JRuby land at the moment.
Matt Aimonetti: Thank you for your time. Anything else you would like to add?
Jason Seifer: I would encourage people to try merb if they’ve been holding out at all. It’s a great time to get involved and the community is great, too. Also, I’ll be starting a merb podcast soon so stay tuned for that. Thanks very much for talking with me.