Thursday, August 27, 2009

Learned Today: Rails is a Harvested Framework

From ASP.NET MVC in Action (chapter 11):
Unlike many other MVC frameworks, Ruby on Rails is a harvested framework, one that was extracted from a real-world application: 37signals’ application Basecamp. Because Ruby on Rails is a harvested framework, all its features have been used in a production environment ...

Never heard the term "Harvested Framework". I think that is a good terminology to contrast the every so often encountered "ivory tower framework".


  1. Rails is hardly the only "harvested framework" in the world. The Django framework in Python-land can certainly lay claim to the same mojo.

    On the other hand, features added *since* the original harvesting haven't necessarily been "real world" tested by the framework originators, although for most successful frameworks you'll find that the vast majority of new features do indeed grow out of real world experiences by *someone* -- just not necessarily the original developers of the framework. So, after a (relatively short) period of time, the "harvested" origin means less than it might have at first.

  2. i think the first one who argued that rails is a harvested framework is Martin Fowler, railsconf 2006 keynote.

  3. I can see Rails starting out as a Harvested Framework, but it's become something else all together.


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