I’ve been working with Ruby On Rails 2.2.2 and Ruby 1.8.7 for a little over a year now. The Mightyvites site is built on that foundation, as is the Mighty Nice site, and a few of our client sites. However, with the release of Rails 3, and it’s compatibility with Ruby 1.9.2, I’m itching to upgrade both. There are a few reasons why I want to upgrade the cores of our RoR sites:
- I don’t like to fall behind in upgrades. If you skip too many stable releases of a critical software package you’ll run into big headaches when you do decide to upgrade.
- I want core support of Rails Engines. Currently I use Rails Engines as a plugin. The less plugins to manage the better.
- I want the bug fixes and performance improvements. I have no complaints with Ruby/Rails performance, but I would like to use the new Ruby interpreter which is supposedly 15% faster than the old (but slower than the previous interpreter with ActiveRecord? Yikes!).
- Rails routes have a new sugary syntax (er. DSL) which will help clean up my routes.rb files.
- Ruby has some cool new features
That’s more than enough reasons to upgrade, and thankfully I’ve got the time to do it now. In preparation I’ve cut a new development branch and I’ve talked to some fellow Chicago Rubyists to get their take on the upgrade process. One fella I met at last month’s software craftsman meetup pointed me to the rails_upgrade plugin, which I’ve already tried out and am impressed with. The plugin takes the pain out of the upgrade guess process by running through your code and printing out all you need to change and why. That’s super handy, and should help cut down significantly on the brute force break/fix upgrade cycle. There is also a good lookin’ PDF written on the upgrade process.
One thing to note: a few people have told me that moving to Rails 3 isn’t bad, but moving to Ruby 1.9 is not as easy. The reason being that many gems and plugins aren’t yet compatible. I’m going to give the move to Ruby 1.9 a try, but we’ll see how far I get.
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