Use The Tools, Luke!

I’m sometimes amazed how little people pay attention to the tools they’re using. This applies to many aspects of life, but especially well for IT-work.

I switched to Macs couple years ago. I did it mainly because I noticed that my productivity kept deteriorating with Windows. Fairly soon after the switch I felt the joy of workin again — thanks to the new (and right) tools. After that I’ve been actively monitoring my work habbits and trying to shake off any old and worn ones that might need some re-thinking.

For example, Macromedia Dreamweaver was one of my most precious tools for basic Web publishing for a long time. And I mean a long time. Everything worked quite nicely with it so I just got used to fixing its not so good code and to its other annoyances after a while. Eventually I bumped into TextMate and asked myself “why couldn’t I just use TM and some small ssh/ftp-client instead of DW?”. Well, turns out I did. I sold my DW license (which is hundreds of euros) and bought a TM license for 39 euros. I’ve been happy ever since.

So what’s the lesson here? Go and buy a Mac and live happily ever after? No. The lesson is that you should always use the right tools for the job in hand. You should also be aware what is happening elsewhere. Don’t get stuck with that familiar environment. Explore and experiment! 🙂 By using right tools you’ll be more happy and more productive. It’s Good Karma.

PS. TextMate really is an awesome text editor. This post was inspired by this recent screencast. No wonder why almost every Rails and Django screencasts have so familiar looking editors.

Why RoR Rocks

I haven’t done anything (sane) with Ruby, ever. I managed to install Locomotive (standalone RoR package for Mac OS X) on my PowerBook and make a blog app with scaffolding by reading trough some tutorial. Rails was one of the frameworks that our web development company considered moving to but after playing with it for a while and reading all the horror stories about deployment of rails apps we eventually went with Django.

Anyway, I love Ruby syntax and I’m sure that Rails is very good framework for many situations. The best thing about Rails, however, is the attitude. Mr. Hansson (the lead developer) has very clear vision of what Rails should be and also what it shouldn’t be. For me this is one of the strongest selling points of RoR. Too many Open Source projects end up being a really big mess when trying to serve everyones needs. I wish everything good for Ruby on Rails, and especially that it wouldn’t never become everybodys framework. We need attitude.

Hello (English-Speaking) World!

Hello folks. I am a twenty-something year old IS (Information Systems) student from Finland. I’ve had this account since October last year but I really haven’t had anything to say. Recently, however, I’ve found myself playing with new web development frameworks like Django and Code Igniter (well, yes, RoR, too) and I feel that discussing about these kind of things in English might just be the thing for this blog.

In addition to that, it will be fun to write for nobody. I haven’t told anyone about this blog, and I will not promote this in my other (Finnish) blogs. I’ll just sit back and watch what happens. Maybe no one will ever read a single entry I’ve written here, who knows. I don’t really care. I’ll just write for fun!

Speaking of fun, today was my first day with Code Igniter. It’s a very young lightweight web development framework for PHP. After coding a couple of hours with it, I’m definitely going to write some more about it here. Soon.