[Nitro] RFC: Basic Points for a Better Nitro/Og

s.ross cwdinfo at gmail.com
Fri Sep 21 13:58:46 EDT 2007

Are you sure? I think each barrier to entry stops some possible  
adopters. At a certain point, you have narrowed your pool of  
potential adopters to "bleeding-edge" people who try anything once.  
How many people on (ackkk!) Windows do you think want to get working  
installations of SVN, DARCS, Mercurial, git, CVS, or whatever else  
and then remember the different commands for each? That's one barrier.

Barrier two: No updated soup-to-nuts tutorial on installation through  
working app. The sands shift quickly, things are deprecated and  
replaced, and the Google is little or no help. Here's an exercise:  
Find "rails install on mac osx" in Google. Then find "nitro install  
on mac osx" in Google. I accept that the results will be more sparse,  
but one thing that jump started Rails was the Rails wiki. The info  
was, at first, sketchy, but there was a place to go for info about  
info. Nuff said.

Barrier three: Version conflicts. Right now, a gem install simply  
doesn't work. Try gem install rails and everything works as  
advertised. Try gem install nitro and virtually nothing works as  
advertised. Again, accepted that this will take a while. Still, ease  
of entry makes it a softer sell.

I'm trying really hard to love Nitro and Og, but it's tough to know  
what's there. My expectations are clearly different from what's  
there. E.g., what's the right directory structure. Not documented.  
Examples have templates in a flat directory called templates. Is this  
mandatory or optional. Can they go in subdirectories. Do I need to  
experiment? E.g., how do I create a link to an action like 'new'? I  
know how to do it in Rails. Is it really a <a href=> tag in Nitro?

I believe 37s had a working app built on Rails before DHH open  
sourced it. While not completely stable, there was a lot of goodness  
baked in and people jumped on board. Generators were tres cool,  
because they encouraged good behavior like test-driven development.  
Directory structure was laid out in the initial application  
generation and generators kept people on the straight and narrow.  
These all tore down barriers to entry.

Lots to like about Nitro/Og. I just can't wrap my head around the  
lack of documentation right now.

Anyhow, that's my $.02 for the day.


On Sep 21, 2007, at 10:13 AM, Kirk Haines wrote:

> People aren't going to choose what framework to
> use, or what ORM, or what library of utilities, based on the revision
> control system.

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