Call for Activism!

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Mike Gunderloy

Apr 2, 2009, 9:05:30 AM4/2/09
Hi folks -

We've got nearly 300 people signed up to this mailing list. That
includes the four core Rails Activism team members (myself, Gregg,
Ryan, and Matt). So far, there are a number of activism projects that
are moving along, including case studies, the relaunched Rails wiki,
some conference-focused activism, and more. The four of us have very
full schedules at the moment. But that's not enough for us! We're like
to figure out how to tap the energy and creativity of the hundreds of
smart people here - and we'd like you to help us.

Our mission is to "empower and support" Rails activists, not to
dictate what they should do. We can provide a variety of things for
interested projects: feedback, publicity, networking. But we need to
know where the interest is. Presumably every one of you had a reason
for signing up to the activism mailing list. Is there some itch you
feel the need to scratch? Something you think can be done to enhance
the Rails ecosystem? A way that we can make things easier for
newcomers or more rewarding for veteran users? Tell us about it!

In the best of all possible worlds, we'd have dozens of activism
projects going on, ranging from local user groups to international
publicity efforts, from documentation to conference talks, from ads to
demonstrations. But to make that happen, we need to tap into your
energy, and we need people to step up and say "this is what *I* think
needs to be done". If you have a great idea, please let us know - but
don't be surprised if we ask you to put some energy into helping make
it happen.

The Activism Team will have a presence at RailsConf this year, which
we can use in part to brainstorm future directions. But we can use
this mailing list thread right now to start the brainstorming. The
floor is open.



Apr 3, 2009, 10:52:46 AM4/3/09
to Rails Activism
Hi Mike,

Thanks for boosting energy into activism group to get things running.
Personally, I'm very interested in knowing how the case-studies are
shaping up. From my experiences, I know still there are investors and
consultants who believe Rails can be used only for applications of a
particular domain and it isn't matured enough to be considered for any
critical apps. We know that these are purely myths. But it's very
difficult to convince these business folks without proofs from real

Today, there are lots of successful Rails apps for diverse contexts.
Those would clearly reflect the flexibility and real power of Rails. A
case study on such an app could cover;
- Infrastructure used
- Performance stats (if there are any improvements, if it is migrated
from some other technology)
- Challenges they had to overcome
- Core features that have benefited the application (i18n, middleware,
ActiveResource and etc)
- plugins or gems used on top of rails

Apart from these being helpful to convince the business folks,
developers will be inspired by reading the under-the-hood details of
other similar apps.

I really like to see case-studies becoming a regular feature in (perhaps something like 'App of the week'). Also, I
would like to help the activism team in any way I can to make this

Best Regards,

Joe Fiorini

Apr 3, 2009, 12:18:29 PM4/3/09
Hey Mike,

Thanks for the post and the call to action!

The reason I'm interested in the activism team is because I'm from a state that is known for being somewhat behind the times. While Rails has been growing and maturing for almost 5 years now, we are only now starting to see the first few businesses using Rails as their primary web framework. My goal with the Cleveland Ruby Brigade is to bring knowledge of the Ruby language to developers in the city, and get companies based on the web at least looking at Rails as a great alternative to ASP.NET or PHP.

I joined the Activism group because I'd like to help the team support myself and others who are in my situation. For example, more organization around experts on the speaking circuit, marketing-based presentation materials like case studies, savings figures, etc, writeups of ways others have helped their local communities adopt Rails as the framework of choice. These are all things that would be helpful to everyone when trying to build up Rails as the mature framework it has become.

In essence, my itch is to make my community more friendly to developers who want to work in Rails full time and help businesses see how they can save money using it. Any way we can help support that with this group would be great!

Thanks for listening. This group shows what community involvement can do!
joe fiorini
// freelancing & knowledge sharing
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