[Nitro] 1.0 (revisited)

James Britt james_b at neurogami.com
Thu Feb 2 00:02:26 EST 2006

Aidan Rogers wrote:
> All,
> I think the Nitro community to date has been very focused on  
> functionality and in getting stuff out there.  This is why I've  
> mentioned 1.0 in the past.  For Nitro to become more mainstream, it  
> needs a face lift.


> Compare http://www.nitrohq.com, http://www.rubyonrails.com, http:// 
> www.djangoproject.com - if you didn't care between Ruby and Python,  
> and were researching web app development frameworks, Nitro would not  
> go on your list of choices.  (In fact, most sites with have Google  
> ads on them automatically get less attention from some people).

Maybe.  It depends on how in-your-face are the ads.  But the pint is 
well taken.  If you have ads, the rest of the site has to rise a little 
higher.  (I just put the Google ads back on ruby-doc.org, and I'm less 
than thrilled, but the occasional check from Google comes in handy.)


> Rails has a bunch of problems, which is probably why all of us are on  
> this list.  What is it they say in Robots?
> "See a need, fill a need."

Oh, very much so.  And, while there are similarities, they are different 
enough, with different strengths, that people should not see them as 
either/or choices.

> Nitro has the potential to allow simple creation of extremely  
> powerful and very attractive web sites, without needing in depth  
> knowledge of:
> 2) JavaScript
> 3) SQL

But, and this is important, using Nitro should not trip you up when you 
want to go do all that stuff by hand.

> If I were in charge of this project, I would set a goal to reach that  
> state.  Create some milestones saying "We need to be able to provide  
> X, Y, Z functionality."  Throw them out to this community and get  
> feedback, and then set the direction based on those milestones.
> I've been using Og for developing a web-service application, and this  
> app also needs some web-based front-end work.  However, my business  
> partner has been questioning my choice of technology - he _does_ the  
> comparison between Rails and Nitro, and on the surface Nitro comes up  
> short.  I'm happy to contribute my time and resources (whether that  
> be materials or money) to getting Nitro to the level where it is a  
> serious competitor to Rails.

I've done a few Rails apps, and at least two live Nitro apps, and it is 
not uncommon that, while struggling with some ill-documented or 
poorly-named or bizarrely-magical counter-intuitive Rails thing that I 
think, "This would go so much smoother with Nitro."  But I have partners 
who also need to run with the code, and truthfully it is easier for them 
to get up to speed with Rails than Nitro.

> I've started a business that needs to use a framework like Og/Nitro  
> or Rails.  I don't want to be forced down the Railway Track :-)

The biggest headache I had with Nitro was that, just when I thought I 
was getting my head around it, the API would change. And change.  And 
change.  That seems to have settled down, and when the API becomes truly 
stable it will be a great deal easier to use, document, and promote to 
others via blogs, magazine articles, conference presentations, and the 

> Aidan
> p.s. Apologies if this comes across as a rant

I think it was right on target.

James Britt

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