Ruby on the Cross

Author's note: This is a piece I wrote back in 2006, but didn't publish because I was afraid people might find it offensive. I found it while looking through the backlog of unpublished/unfinished entries in my drafts folder and thought it was funny enough to share. It's a satire of "magic" frameworks like Ruby on Rails (which was the big thing at the time), which are sold as the solution to all your problems. Thinking about "Rails evangelist", my mind naturally jumped to the new testament evangelists, so this is sort of a merger of the two. No offense intended to any Christians in the audience - I just thought software and eternal salvation made for a funny juxtaposition. But maybe I just have a weird sense of humor. Enjoy!

That's it - the "programming problem" will soon be solved. Next week is the official first, last, and only ever release of the ultimate web development framework - Ruby on the Cross.

What is it

What is RC? It's the ultimate web development tool based on the Christian faith. Think of it as a cross between Ubuntu Christian Edition and Ruby on Rails, but infinitely more productive. It was inspired by the Book of Matthew, chapter 17, verse 20:

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Using this principle, RC is able to reach untold levels of productivity.

What does it do?

As you probably already know, Ruby on Rails takes all the pain out of developing CRUD applications by taking your database schema and automatically generating models, controllers, and default views for it, giving you a working, if simple, web application just by running a few commands. RC takes this one step farther: it generates your domain logic for you.

That's right, you heard me: Ruby on the Cross is capable of doing your business analysis for you. In fact, not only can it generate your domain object, but it generates fully functional controllers; rich, AJAX-driven views (which are fully backward-compatible with Mosaic 1.0, by the way); and even writes your database schema. Best of all, it is 100% guaranteed to be future-proof and to be maximally performant. Thus there will never be any need to maintain the generated program!

How does it work?

At this point, you're probably thinking that this is too good to be true. How could anyone possibly promise those things?

Well, remember the quote from Mat.17:20? By drawing on the faith of the programmer, RC is able to miraculously harness the power of God to create genuinely perfect software. There are no algorithms to debug, no trade-offs or design compromises to make. Just the pure invokation of divine power, which not even Murphy's Law can resist.

Hard to believe? It shouldn't be. Just think about all the things people thank God for. If He can get someone a parking space or help the high school basketball team win their big game, why can't He write software?

How do you use it?

Using Ruby on the Cross is quite simple. You simply need to run a few shell commands. You start with:
ruby cross praise jesus
This command initializes Cross and prepares your system for an infilling of the Holy Spirit.

The next command is:
ruby cross supplicate <app_name>
This command forms a prayer, asking the Almighty to design your application. Note that no configuration, or even knowledge of the problem domain, is necessary for this step. Being omniscient, the Lord is able to determine exactly what your customer needs, and will need in the future, with perfect precision.

Lastly, you simply need to ask God to put the project files on your PC so that you can deploy them. To do this, you simply run:
ruby cross create ex nihilo <app_name>
This will cause the completed project source code to appear on your hard drive. Note that you do not need to specify a path on the filesystem - the Lord knows the most appropriate place and will put the code there. And don't worry about source control: God has already added the code to your RCS - not that you're ever going to need to change it.

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