For the first time, really worried about the future of Rails

Hello guys.

Maybe you've heard about the crisis going on with DHH, Basecamp and the whole politics. I won't judge any decisions or sides, but I'm concerned and really worried seeing Rails core members leaving the project and strong contributors talking about forking the project. From the outside it seems like the whole thing is falling apart.

Ruby on Rails has come to be one of the loves of my life and watching all this is causing me a great deal of distress. I would like to think that if the problem is within Basecamp, the earthquake should be contained there, but I guess it is the consequence of a tightly coupled system plus a context that is not the best. Anyway, very sad.

20 thoughts on “For the first time, really worried about the future of Rails”

  1. Rails core and comitter teams are actually quite big ([]( Not to mention other contributors.

    As for Stimulus, yep, someone will have to pick up the slack. I believe Basecamp might assign someone else for the maintenance.

    I respect Sam’s decision, but personally, it’s weird to abandon your own “baby” like that.

  2. Help me out…I’m not seeing the direct connection here. Because Basecamp is making some internal changes to how they operate *as a company*, Rails as an open source project is going to be directly affected? There must be more drama or whatever that I’ve not seen yet…

    **Edit** Just found Sam’s [tweet]( There must be some underlying stuff we’re not privy to. Maybe they can work it out…seems pretty knee-jerk from the outside looking in.

    **Edit** I could see [Jason’s #6 item]( “We are not a social impact company.” ruffling some feathers. And I know DHH has exclaimed for years that a company, Basecamp included, is NOT a “family” like how big companies like to falsely advertise…a company is simply where you work. I can see how a company should also not be a source of social impact. I can understand that.

    **Edit** [Javan left Basecamp]( as well. This is getting crazy. Sam and Javan were the biggest hitters with the “new magic” that DHH has been so giddy with. Shit’s getting real. Basecamp and the Hotwire project are losing some serious talent. Just curious as to the real *why*?

  3. I agree that the change in political commenting is stupid, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with leaving the company if you don’t feel comfortable working in it anymore. And maybe Sam and other people leaving have a too strong association between those open-source projects and working at Basecamp, so much so that they’d feel like they were still working there if they heep maintaining them, idk.

    Now, I don’t know what’s the story is on wanting to fork Rails, but that bit is complete nonsense, what the fuck. It’s literally child mentality in “the ball is mine so I’ll take it if you don’t play by my rules”

  4. There are a lot of talented and committed devs working on Rails, ownership of particular features might shift, but if it solved a problem or is truly innovative I don’t think it will be abandoned entirely. OSS FTW!

  5. Nah. Rails is old (a grandpa in framework-land) and a lot of people and huge companies support it. `rails != basecamp` There’s been drama before and DHH has rubbed feathers and there have been public freak-outs before. (Google Zed Shaw and DHH)

    Obviously, a fork of Rails would be dumb at this point, and everyone knows it. Don’t take brinkmanship on Twitter as a barometer for how the whole community is feeling.

    Take a breath, enjoy the weekend. This too shall pass.

  6. People come and go from open source projects for all sorts of reasons. If Rails was some small thing, or was only used only by one big company (Basecamp), then I’d be worried.

    Rails is huge, is used by multiple large, ongoing concerns (Shopify, Github etc). And its open source.

    If anything, less dependency on Basecamp (or any other single entity) is a good thing.

    For Rails, consider the current situation at Basecamp as a battle-test. Rails will emerge the other side of the turbulence stronger, not weaker.

  7. For me it’s not the framework, it is the loss of the absolutely best IDE in existence for Rails – RubyMine. There is no comparable IDE – but work must continue, so it’s finding the right code editor. If you don’t depend on an IDE (unlike me, I NEED the IDE) anyway, developing and maintaining your Ruby on Rails applications should not be impacted by current events.

    Losing PHPStorm is also painful.

    Edit: Very very sorry, I was responding to a different crisis. Turns out I have NO IDEA what the OP is talking about. Please disregard my remarks about JetBrains IDE products.

  8. I’m not really worried. It’s nice to see rubyists decoupling from rabid politics and not much has really changed outside of Twitter drama.

    Things’ll settle, people will be replaced, basecamp’s drama will have a minimal effect on rails, and everything will continue.

  9. DHH and JF are right; twitter and the lot are butthurt babies.

    DHH and JF said “No more discussion of politics at work because it interferes with work.” I fully agree, and at my company we have the same rule, as well as “No discussion of religion at work”. Because it interferes with work. People come to work to work, not to get inflamed about politics and religion.

    It’s not “hiding from the world”. It’s fucking nice to be able to do my job without having to worry about arguing politics or religion constantly with everyone all the time. The rest of my life seems to be arguing politics or religion constantly already, and it doesn’t need to ruin my workplace too.

  10. Is there a TLDR of what went down anywhere?

    Basecamp says people can’t talk politics on work slack channels anymore, now people are leaving Basecamp and talking about forking Rails? Did I miss something..?

    Why did they take the decision to ban politics talk at work anyway? Assume there was a heated debate or something?

  11. Yeah rails has been “dying” since I started learning it.

    Have faith in the mobs desire to not want to have to find a better option. Rest easy, friend.

  12. I am surprised people getting really mad at Basecamp decision of not allowing political discussion at work.

    This shit is pretty common in Argentina. No politics nor religion discussion. Most often political discussions are banned because here everything has to either be black or white lol

    As of Rails, I highly doubt it will lose traction. There are still great contributors and high profile companies like Shopify and GitHub that keep improving the framework.

    If features like Hotwire or Stimulus suffer well… that sucks, but I am way worried about the backend features

  13. Basecamp is once again leading in terms of how companies should be run. I fully support their policy to leaving politics out of the workplace.

    I’m sorry for people leaving and I wish them well. They are free agents and should leave if they can’t support a politics free work environment.

  14. Any of remember merb and later what happened with rials 3.0 ?

    If not 🙂 you didn’t see real framework wars yet.

  15. I think the most likely outcome is a significant governance change to Rails, along with a fork/rebrand. DHH does own the Rails trademark. Also, significant contributors to the framework are walking away.

    This is also an opportunity for the community to move beyond its connection to DHH and Basecamp, and that would be healthy for the long run.

  16. If you are worried about Rails, **please read this post from the Rails Team:**


    **This is the copy-pasted post content:**

    As some questions have been raised about how the Rails project’s governance functions, we’d like to clarify how the team is structured and how we operate:

    * Ruby on Rails is an Open Source project run by the Rails Core team. In addition to the Core team we have two additional teams – the Committer team who can merge code changes, as well as the Issues team who can triage issues and merge documentation changes.
    * There are 11 members on the Core team who work for various employers or are independent consultants. We make decisions and work towards consensus as a team when needed. We each strive to make decisions that are best for the Rails framework and community. The members of the Core team are:
    * DHH, Basecamp
    * Jeremy, Basecamp
    * Aaron, Shopify
    * Xavier, Independent Consultant
    * Rafael, Shopify
    * Andrew, Unboxed
    * Guillermo, Treasure Data
    * Carlos, YNAB
    * Matthew, Buildkite
    * Kasper, Independent Consultant
    * Eileen, GitHub
    * Through that consensus process, no one on the Core team, or their employers, have sole control over the framework or community. There is no individual or subset of individuals who have power to enact policies unilaterally in the Rails community spaces that we operate (for example on issues, pull requests, or the forum).
    * We encourage contributions from everyone and will work to make your experience as welcoming as possible.

    We care deeply about the Rails community. The work we do on the framework is for you. We will continue to work at making Rails a great framework as well as a vibrant, diverse community of users and contributors.

  17. I don’t know enough but wasn’t the controversy started around DHH and a private slack convo with employees then his partner, key words: His Partner) making the rule?

    This kind of reminds of of linus with the kernel drama before he got all “nice” and respectful.

    I think there is a big change coming to rails, but since (I believe) DHH created rails, like linus created the linux kernel, its impossible to kick him out, but people – as other have said – might fork the project. But does rails have anything to do with basecamp drama? I don’t think so.


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