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Snakes and Rubies conference recap

Jacob, Simon and I met in Chicago this weekend for the Snakes and Rubies conference, where I presented Django and David Heinemeier Hansson presented Ruby on Rails.

Turnout was fantastic: More than 100 people showed up and packed themselves into a standing-room-only meeting room at DePaul University.

The Django presentation went quite well, and lots of attendees who hadn't yet tried Django said they were intrigued by the framework and wanted to give it a try. Django even got plenty of kind comments from the Ruby folks, including David himself, who said he'd probably be using Django if he hadn't written Rails. We hope at least some of the Ruby folk will check out Django as a fine competitor to Rails (and Python as a saner Ruby).

A theme to which we returned several times during the event was the similarity between the two frameworks. They certainly have more in common than not, and common "enemies" -- PHP, Java, Perl -- and common philosophies -- beauty, cleanliness, perfectionism -- unite the communities even more.

Still, the frameworks clearly have different opinions on what they should and shouldn't do. For example, David said he has no plans to offer internationalization, an RSS framework, or an admin interface, in Rails proper, because he sees those as outside the scope of the project. Yet Rails includes an Ajax framework, which, one could argue, is just as "high-level" as RSS or internationalization. Django, on the other hand, includes these things but doesn't include an Ajax library (yet). The differences, and well-argued justifications, are fascinating to think about.

Jacob is working on editing video and audio of the presentations, and we're hoping to Web-post those on this site later this week. In the meantime, check out some blog coverage of the event (in no particular order):

Posted by Adrian Holovaty on December 4, 2005