The original question was:

I'm currently trying to decide what server-side language to learn and use for web development, and while it's relatively easy to get information on why x, y, or z is a good thing, it's harder to figure out the downsides to each of them.

In particular, I'm curious about what drawbacks there are to learning and/or using Ruby on Rails as opposed to any other given language/framework.

And my answer (there were about 10 solid answers already posted to the question):

This is coming from a spanky new RoR coder, so... I'm POSITIVE my point of view is the one you are looking for. (since we're in the same boat)

I'd have to say the biggest problem you'll encounter is ... well... the high number of "a-holeiness" coders involved. Take this highly scientific ascii graph for example:

   40                                                        *
a  |                                                *        *
   |                                                *        *  
h  30                                               *        *
o  |                 *                    *         *        *
l  |                 *                    *         *        *
i  20                *          *         *         *        *
n  |                 *          *         *         *        *
e  |                 *          *         *         *        *
s  10        *       *          *         *         *        *
s  |         *       *          *         *         *        *
   |         *       *          *         *         *        *
language      PHP   ASP/.NET    JQuery    Java     Perl     RoR 

You know when you've out-done PERL coders in this graph, that there's something serious going on (Not going to say any more about PERL coders lest I incur their wrath). Of course there are the caveats that the a-holiness of the ASP and .NET developers is kind of the inverse of of the other languages, as their levels stem strictly from having to work in a windows environment, so is based from anger, rather than a strict religious adherence. Similarly, the lowest scoring language is PHP, as their coders are blissfully ignorant as to actually HOW to code. JQuery is kinda middle of the road since it attracts the best (and worst) from every language... and yea... it's a front end language, so the worst (see: me) happily cavort about butchering it, and the other half (see: you other half) publicly stab us (me) with a-holy pitchforks (I just included this for referential purposes). Java has a very interesting caveat as well, since their a-holiness stems from their smug "why bother worrying about a job when I can plop 'java' on my resume and land a kush gig with out even trying" attitude.

Whelp... hope that helped!

(pssssst! Just between you and me I'm casting my vote for js on the server (see Node.js)... I think in the near future, REST-ish interactions will go the way of the TCP/IP layer, and you'll just write js like you would a native app! But... I really do like RoR a whole lot too!)

The comments:

Welcome to Programmers. Stack Exchange isn't a place for unsubstantiated opinions. We require answers to be backed up by references. Please read through the FAQ and improve your answer, or be prepared to see it downvoted and possibly removed. Thanks. – Anna Lear♦ 9 hours ago

One's perception of the attitude of programmers of language X may be rather biased if one hasn't sought out every forum, mailing list, chat room, etc. where people talk about language X. For example, in an IRC channel with hundreds of users, the tone seems to be set by the small handful of users who are the most active. When you gauge the attitude of a group of people, go back to your logs and make sure you're not actually gauging the attitude of one or two people. – Joey Adams 6 hours ago

3 No offense, but this site (along with others in the StackExchange network) has a more professional tone than you might be used to (though we do like to have fun from time to time). It's hard to start "flame wars" on this site, as such posts will likely get deleted quickly. – Joey Adams 6 hours ago

I originally upvoted for the main point which is the rails community can be a bit elitist, but I have to downvote because your entire attitude does not belong on stackexchange. Trash talk and flame baiting should be taken somewhere else where we don't attempt to be constructive. – Raynos 1 hour ago

Now, I added 2 comments (1 was fairly snarky I'll admit) that I deleted when I woke up this morning that aren't included (sorry for the incompleteness... I was going to be frank and set things straight before I realized it had been deleted).

Mostly I'm confused. Was it not apparent that I was totally joking? From the replies that I got, it seems like folks took me seriously. Also, the reason stated by the moderator for deletion was weak at best (imho), as EVERY answer was an opinion, the question was opinionated etc.

If the reason was more like: "ha... funny... but we try to keep the clutter down and only include 'good' answers so I'm gonna delete"... THAT makes sense.

  • Anna: Is there any way to get back those comments that I deleted, or are they gone forever? (thanks for purdyin up my post)
    – user28480
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 13:29
  • @Pope They're only accessible by the developers now. We're not likely to see them back unless somebody still happen to have the window open on an older version of the question.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 13:32
  • 2
    I just upvoted this question in order to counter the -1 it had. I think someone asking "what was wrong with this other thing I posted" is a perfectly valid question, and indeed the point of having a meta site.
    – jhocking
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 19:45
  • @jhocking - votes on meta also mean "I agree" and "I disagree" as well as the standard meaning.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 9:37
  • ah, I thought they meant "this question has value."
    – jhocking
    Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 11:09
  • 1
    If something is insulting, it doesn't help that it is just a joke. Just think about all the racist jokes about minorties.
    – user281377
    Commented Jun 24, 2011 at 9:14

4 Answers 4


If the reason was more like: "ha... funny... but we try to keep the clutter down and only include 'good' answers so I'm gonna delete"... THAT makes sense.

Although I didn't find it particularly funny, I did see you were going for a joke. That's why I originally simply left a comment.

Overnight your answer received a few flags and a bunch of downvotes. You also added comments that gave the impression that you were flamebaiting instead of attempting to answer a question in a humorous way. I made the decision to remove your answer at that point, especially in light of your comments.

Judging by Joey's and Raynos' comments, I wasn't the only one left with that impression.


I'd actually avoided putting my Super-Community-Manager-Diamond-Hat-of-Doom (+355 in case anyone from rpg was wondering) on in here until I saw this post. But, you convinced me to do it, so here I am. I have also appointed myself the Queen of Bluntness until some other Community Team member sees fit to depose me.

Joke answers have extreme negative value here. They destroy our signal/noise ratio, which is one of the most important advantages of the SE format. Anna was being very nice by letting it ride to see if it was turned into anything useful. When it wasn't, she tried to close it in a polite way, rather than going "Jokes are for forums, KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!" on you.

Pointing out that your answer was argumentative (which it was) is nicer than saying "joke answers are a drain on the community, please learn to do something constructive while you are here". (My thoughts there -- I'm not speaking for Anna.)

We try really hard to be nice here, even when users (especially new users like you) do something that isn't good for the site. One never knows where really great contributions will come from, and often they come from someone who behaved one way before they really grokked the ways in which SE is different from, well, everything they are used to, and an infinitely better way after they got it.

TL;DR: A ridiculous amount of the internet (almost everything that's not porn, and some things that are) is devoted to humor. Stack Exchange is about something else -- being a place to find answers when you need them, and pay it forward to other users -- so stick around and get a feel for how things work here. I bet you'll find it valuable.

  • 1
    Let me disagree with you on SNR from a searcher's point of view: signal is the lonely answer with a green tick to the left of it. Everything else is noise, no matter for how serious they were going or how much reputation they had. Jon Skeet is a humorous guy sometimes, but who downvotes.. (that's my joke for now :)
    – vines
    Commented Jun 25, 2011 at 12:31
  • +1, also, good or bad tradition on SE, jokes often end up in question comments, to keep answers clean.
    – Matthieu
    Commented Jun 30, 2011 at 15:47

Apparently it wasn't apparent that you were "totally" joking.

If you've been posting anything anywhere on the web, or indeed just surfing the web, for any length of time you should be aware that some people take what you post very seriously indeed regardless of your motives.

While there is humour, posting something you think is humorous on an otherwise serious site is going to have it taken seriously.

Put this down to experience, and remember - think before you hit that "Post" button.


I would say no, as long it has some value in it.

It says the community may seem elitist and be demotivating. How is that less valuable than the absolutely worthless and flame-ish "it made me hate ASP.NET" answer (score 59 right now)?

  • Where's that answer?
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 9:36
  • @ChrisF programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/85559/… Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 9:56
  • @Konrad That's a pretty poor answer all around and the fact that it has that many upvotes is just sad. But, at least it's not making sweeping generalizations and insulting large groups of developers based on their language choice.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 13:23
  • 1
    It does have the advantage of being short though, so even if the joke is not funny at least it does not waste your time. A wall of text that contains only a simple insight and a lot of flame bait is a much worse answer IMO.
    – Jeremy
    Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 13:47
  • And now that answer was erased too ...
    – Marcelo
    Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 22:52
  • @Marcelo Converted to comment.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Jun 24, 2011 at 13:50
  • @Anna thanks for letting me know.
    – Marcelo
    Commented Jun 24, 2011 at 13:53

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