Rails 7 - Talk about a Revolution

Love, Love Me Do

I loved Rails the instant I watched DHH’s “How to build a blog in 15 minutes with Rails” around 2005. To set the scene, at the time I was working at a ringtone startup in San Francisco (remember ringtones?!). The business was doing amazingly well - our first million dollar ringtone was 50 Cent P.I.M.P. in all its polyphonic glory - and we had a small dev team delivering a pretty simple flip phone app, API and website. At the time, our tech stack was typical for the day - WAP, Brew and J2ME for phones, Java, JSP’s, Spring, Servlets all running with Tomcat on Sun Solaris boxes hosted at Rackspace.

Getting Better

I really wanted to use Rails right away, so set to work building some reporting tools to poke around the framework and understand it. It really was night and day compared to our “enterprise” stack, and I knew instantly I wanted to work with this all the time. This was so obviously a better way to work for me.

Ticket to Ride

For my next job I found a small team working with Rails, building a citizen journalism SMS based product and jumped in. For the next three years I rode the Rails train at various startups through versions 1.2 to 2, then to 3, until making a big move to Japan in 2010 to join Cookpad who had embraced Rails the year before and were in a high growth phase.

And Your Bird Can Sing

To cut a long story short, after moving back to the UK in 2016 and starting to build Cookpad’s Global services over the next few years I got to code less and less, taking on more strategic responsibilities. It wasn’t until after Rails 7 was released at the end of 2021 that I decided to jump back in and work on a side project around local produce and local shops, to scratch an itch but at the same time brush up on the latest and greatest of Rails.


All I can say is WOW. Talk about a revolution. I really feel like I did back in 2005 when first seeing Rails. Excited. Rails 7 is the new Rails 1.x! I think we needed the last 15 years to understand what matters. To go through the whole SPA, “idempotent” JavaScript everywhere, reactive, responsive, and all that jazz. For me, Rails 7 builds on all that understanding and takes things to a whole new level while sticking to the core principles of HTML Over The Wire aka Hotwire.

Here Comes the Sun

The proof is in the pudding of course, and I think after working on this prototype for the last few months in my spare time I can really say Rails 7 brings all the benefits I need for client side interaction and realtime updates without onerous amounts of JavaScript. It really is joyful.

Rails Code Example!