Rails 3.1 Adopts CoffeeScript, jQuery, Sass and.. Controversy
Guess what? Yep, the forthcoming Rails 3.1 is going to be bringing in a few new friends as dependencies: CoffeeScript, jQuery, and Sass. What does this mean? Why has this been controversial? I'm going to quickly run through the details here.
jQuery - A Non-Controversial Switch
It was back in March (2011) when David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Rails, dropped an interesting nugget of info on Twitter:
Given this, DHH's announcement passed with little controversy since Rails developers had become used to using jQuery and installing the jquery-rails gem anyway. A good move and a progression with the times - awesome.
Trivia: The creator of CoffeeScript, Jeremy Ashkenas, was inspired by Marc Andre Cournoyer's Create Your Own Programming Language e-book. Yes, I make a small commission on this. If I get enough to build a mansion, I'll have your name etched into the cornerstone.
Sass - CSS, Improved
Controversy - Bullpoop, Same Old
Given that you can "opt out" of having CoffeeScript and Sass included in your Rails projects by making a minor change to your Gemfile, this faux-controversy is nowhere near as interesting to me as the legitimate RSpec vs Test::Unit debate that DHH kicked off.
However, if you want to grab some popcorn and enjoy the bullshit, the comments on this GitHub commit page are epic. People have even gone so far to produce graphics to express their opinions. Rock and roll. There's also a significant level of pie-slinging going on on Twitter too.
But what about HAML!?
It had to be asked right?
Last but not least:
I'm glad David's stepping into these sorts of discussions again. He seemed to fade away during the year before Rails 3 came out, leaving a lot of the "thought leadership" to Yehuda Katz. Now he's back on top form and talking sense - long may it last.
UPDATE: Wanna play with Rails 3.1 and CoffeeScript right away?
Oh, and do you actually want to play with Rails 3.1 RIGHT NOW? You can - just click that link. I already wrote a tutorial post about it.