How Duplo (and I) Offended People

My recent and certainly provocative post generated a lot of noise. Just by reading some of the comments on my blog or on reddit I could only notice that some people took offense and some people tried to push the metaphor way too far. At the same time, it generated a lot of interesting discussions even outside of our small Ruby community.

A few clarifications:

  • Rails is an awesome framework, and to be honest I really like the fact that it’s accessible to newbies while offering great tools

  • Rails Plugins that I like calling Duplo blocks are great and I use a bunch in most of my projects

  • I, myself wrote a bunch of plugins and gems never as great as the one mentioned in my post though

  • No, I don’t think you are dumb if you don’t have a clue how Rails or Rails plugins work

I also agree that the Duplo metaphor is very limited and doesn’t stretch… but who cares.. it’s funny.

What did I mean to say

  • Rails plugins are useful, use them and ABUSE them. Even though most of them are very well written I strongly believe you would become a better developer if you understand how they work.

  • A Duplo doesn’t do exactly what you want it to do, don’t bitch about it. Try submitting a patch or if you can write your own plugin.

  • If you are using a plugin on a regular basis, give it some love. Submit some documentation, write a blog post, send a thank you email.

  • A great framework and a bunch of nice plugins are awesome tools for developers but they won’t replace your brain.

So, there you go, this time around I tried to be more straight forward and I even apologize if I offended you.

Finally, I don’t believe the Rails community is a bunch of obnoxious-arrogant-wannabe-rockstars, and certainly not a ghetto. We all started as newbies and I hope a lot of newbies will join the fun and learn through Rails and later provide the community with a lot of awesome Duplos!

By Matt Aimonetti