Twitter co-founder refutes rumors of ditching Ruby on Rails

Twitter, Inc. Co-Founder Biz Stone today refuted published rumors that Twitter is dropping Ruby on Rails as an application development environment for the social networking site.

The controversy got started with a report published in TechCrunch yesterday, which was then reiterated in some other online publications and ultimately linked to in Slashdot.

"We're hearing this from multiple sources. After nearly two years of high profile scaling problems, Twitter is planing to abandon Ruby on Rails as [its] Web framework and start from scratch with PHP or Java," according to the post in TechCrunch.

The site also maintained that, as another possible solution, Twitter was looking at sticking with the Ruby development language while moving away from the Rails application development framework.

But in e-mail exchanges with BetaNews and others today, co-founders said Twitter uses multiple application development environments, anyway, and there are no intentions to dump RoR.

"Twitter uses Ruby on Rails for some of its infrastructure now and we have no plans to change that," Stone said, in an e-mail to BetaNews.

"Twitter currently has no plans to abandon RoR. Lots of our code is not in RoR, already, though. Maybe that's why people are confused," said Evan Williams, another Twitter co-founder, in an e-mail linked to the Slashdot post.

But other factors might be involved in the confusion, too, such as the recent high turnover among Twitter's IT team. Its lead architect Blaine Cook -- reputedly a fan of RoR -- left the company last week, supposedly on the heels of a major three-day outage at Twitter.

The very next day, Cook got followed out the door by Lee Mighdoll, engineering VP, who had only been at Twitter since January.

As previously reported in BetaNews, a start-up firm named New Relic this week launched an SaaS service designed to help improve performance of RoR applications. Other high traffic sites now using Ruby on Rails include Hulu and Helium.com.

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