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That's really interesting - is there a place where I can read more about these early Rails performance issues?

There was some back-and-forth between Zed Shaw and DHH that I remember being interested by at the time. Zed deleted all his posts - but here are some places to get started:

- Shaw's opening volley: http://web.archive.org/web/20080103072111/http://www.zedshaw... [lots of stupid personal flames - but his technical points are consistent with what I remember from the time]

- DHH's response: http://david.heinemeierhansson.com/posts/31-myth-2-rails-is-...

- I can't find a copy of shaw's actual response, but here's the relevant HN thread: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=364659

The salient point (quoting Zed):


Now, DHH tells me that he’s got 400 restarts a mother fucking day. That’s 1 restart about ever 4 minutes bitches. These restarts went away after I exposed bugs in the GC and Threads which Mentalguy fixed with fastthread (like a Ninja, Mentalguy is awesome).

If anyone had known Rails was that unstable they would have laughed in his face. Think about it further, this means that the creator of Rails in his flagship products could not keep them running for longer than 4 minutes on average.

Repeat that to yourself. “He couldn’t keep his own servers running for longer than 4 minutes on average.”


I've never been much of Ruby/Rails guy - but my understanding is that everyone had to restart Rails a few times an hour cause the memory leaks were so bad in those days.

I certainly wasn't anywhere in the loop, but at least on my site, FastCGI didn't work, and Mongrel did.

Zed's rant/flame goes into so much personal detail that he doesn't really articulate the point. Rails was receiving this enormous amount of hype, but there wasn't even a working application server yet.

I started using rails after all of that, but regardless of how it was back then, I think it's worth pointing out for people who aren't aware - there are really good app servers for rails now.

No one cares how the sausage is made. They care that they have sausage. I write code to make money, not for uptime competitions. If something that makes money needs to be restarted every 4 minutes and customers are willing to pay for it why should I give a shit?

FCGI problems were very customer-visible. Prior to Zed coming along, the issue wasn't being discussed much anywhere, making it unclear if it was your code, ruby issue, framework issue, or appserver. Now it is your problem to fix!

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