So, how do I feel about CoffeeScript being included with Rails? Well, I’ll get to that. Let’s go over some of the most common arguments I’ve heard from people this week about why they’re anti-CoffeeScript in Rails.
“It’s going to be a hinderance to newbies. It’ll be too much of a learning curve!”
Here’s a fairly common Rails stack:
What do all those things have in common? Well, they’re all abstraction layers that sit on top of something else, don’t they? Let’s look at that list again?
- ActiveRecord - SQL (Structured Query Language)
- Haml - HTML
- RSpec - Test/Unit
What I’ve found funny about the particular argument is that I’ve heard it MOST from those who use things like HAML, which is a DEFINITELY an abstraction layer that sits on top of HTML. See where I’m going with this one? Good, I don’t want to belabor the point. :)
So, finally, where do I stand on this whole thing? Well, I view like it Test/Unit and Prototype. Those are both the current standard (although jQuery will replace Prototype in 3.1) and I don’t like or use either of them. Instead I configure Rails to use jQuery and RSpec. I don’t like Haml, but those that do simply replace ERB with Haml and they move on with their day. So my take is this, it’s there, it’s included. Use it if you like, or don’t. Is it really that big a deal? No, it really isn’t. If Rails dropped ERB and went with Haml as the default, would I bitch and moan, probably a bit, but then I’d just install the Rails-ERB gem and move on with my day, just like I do with jQuery and RSpec today.
So sit back, relax, use the libraries that you want to use, Rails let’s you do that. Oh, while you’re relaxing why not try out CoffeeScript, who knows, you might just enjoy it. Or not.