Something that bugs me about the Monorail project

The location of the Monorail project is here.

So, I'm skeptical of Rails.  There is something about it that strikes me as horribly, horribly wrong.  And Monorail seems to be an approach that throws out the baby with the bathwater in order to try and recreate the baby afterwards.

I'm aware that my 'it strikes me' list is often based on lack of information, experience, etc. so I'm willing to take a look at things.  Especially because, as part of my development as a philosopher, I felt it to be of utmost importance to understand a position I disagreed with as much as possible.  More often, I still disagreed, but I felt I could explain and defend that disagreement better if I tried to think like someone who didn't disagree.

In terms of Monorail, I'm going to be watching Ayende's presentation very soon.  Whether I agree or disagree with him, I find reading his blog highly informative, and I enjoyed his presentation on Rhino Mocks.

But, there's this comment on the Monorail project site:

"Developers that were introduced to Web development using pure WebForms also lack the basics http protocol concepts required to use MonoRail (or any other web framework for that matter). "

Excuse me?  I can pull off the arrogant, elitist, jackass routine with the best of them if I care to.  I received my Ph.D. at the age of 25 (26?  I forget).  My tested IQ is way up there.  Etc. etc. etc.  My professional career is littered with numerous cases of where "I told you so" could have been uttered (and in moments of frustration and/or arrogance, was uttered).

Don't insult my intelligence with this sort of crap.  If you have to include insulting comments under a section of why you wouldn't use Monorail, you're a douchebag.

Bite me.

posted on Thursday, May 24, 2007 8:03 PM Print
# re: Something that bugs me about the Monorail project
5/24/2007 8:48 PM
If you knew how many times I was asked "how can I associate a button with an event in MonoRail?" you would understand why this statement was included.
# re: Something that bugs me about the Monorail project
5/24/2007 9:03 PM
My immediate reaction is "If I was frustrated, that's something that I would have/had said."

My followup reaction is, if your documentation didn't SUCK, you wouldn't have to worry about things like that.

You could add a 'newbie' section to your FAQ and never see things like that. You could actually have decent documentation that wasnt' garbage in the first place.

You could create a starter kit, like was produced by what's their name when Bellware pressed them on it. Actually, if you haven't already added it, you should see about adding it as a download. A good sample/starter kit works wonders.

Instead, you put in insulting bullshit comments. Yeah, I'm real enthused about learning more about Monorail OR contributing to your project by providing better documentation because I unfortunately have to do stuff like that.

Typical of OSS projects, so you're in good company. To really match the experience, set up a new Usenet group and then insult anyone who posts to it.

# re: Something that bugs me about the Monorail project
5/25/2007 3:58 AM
Here's the link to the Monorail.example solution post from Eleutian:,guid,e20768db-4b5a-4af6-b1c6-ca15dfc1012a.aspx

I particularly like the IScottBellwareDetector implementation.
# re: Something that bugs me about the Monorail project
Ayende Rahien
5/25/2007 5:53 AM
Is there really a reason for the coarse language?
I have interviewed more than my share of "experianced" developers that couldn't explain to me something as simple as the difference between GET and POST, or figure out how to build a table in HTML, etc.
There is a lot of experience behind this statement.
# re: Something that bugs me about the Monorail project
Anonymous Too
5/25/2007 7:40 AM
I'm sorry, if you didn't understood the statement or thought it was offensive, I can assume you either don't know what WebForms are, or what is the HTTP protocol. No matter you have a Ph.D. or not.
# re: Something that bugs me about the Monorail project
5/25/2007 9:24 AM
The problem is to locate the documentation of Castle Project. You've subsites like or you've the (old?) wiki or you've the documentation subfolders ... arrrgggh Where should be the info?
Putting the info at one place and deleting the others will avoid confusions and frustration about your doc.

After it's usually easy to find a tutorial on a blog(half of them are not listed by castleProject website, perhaps a tip for castle project devs would be to take care of this list) to do basic stuff, and to let you understand that you could improve this. The problem is the next step when you want to do not basic stuff. There the lake of samples is boring. And when you find a sample you'll probably not meet one feature of maanrail explained but 150 features interacting between them, you'll simply be lost. Having a usefull sample is not simply having 25 classes of 75 lines. It's having with them a text explaining where you begin, why you do stuff and which problem you meet in next step and what's the solution. I've found too often lines of code with some small comments but where should I begin?

If you think monoRail is not documented take a look to facilities in Windsor ... When use them, where they help you, ... Can we've a minimal application that illustrate them (With and without the facility) ... oh what a dream.

Generally spoken CastleProject is good, the getting started are not bad, but the next step is really difficult.
# re: Something that bugs me about the Monorail project
5/25/2007 9:34 AM

I don't disagree. But let me ask you a question.

I assume you weren't born with your coding skills. So at somepoint, before you became the guy who could write 5 informative blog posts a day, implement P&P functionality in 40 minutes, invent your own mock objects framework, etc.....

You were a newbie. You didnt' know what you were doing. You had to learn.

An attitude that is prevalent all over IT is arrogance. You've all met the guy who knows how to create a pivot table in Excel and thus thinks he can debug a kernel (I exaggerate, but you know what I mean).

And I hate it. Absolutely hate it. This 'we're too good for the room and all you morons who can't understand our stuff' attitude. That's a lot more offensive than if I drop an f-bomb or 12.

You think Dino Esposito is too stupid to understand any web framework? Sure, he didn't 'start' with WebForms, but come on.
# re: Something that bugs me about the Monorail project
Tim Scott
7/13/2007 10:56 PM
This statement does not strike as saying that WebForms people are dullards. That would be arrogant. I think it says simply that Microsft hit their mark. That is, Webforms is an attempt to abstract away concern for "basics http protocol concepts" and thereby shorten the learning curve and get more people developing web applications. In this they succeeded. As a side affect it unquestionably true (and understandably so) that the majority of WebForms developers have not cultivated deep knowlege in this area.

Okay, maybe it would be more delicate to say that many WebForms developers might need to deepen their skills in "basics http protocol concepts" to use Monorail, but to call the Castle folks (who provide this wonderful alternative for FREE) arrogant seems a bit over-the-top to me.
# re: Something that bugs me about the Monorail project
7/14/2007 6:53 PM
If they had said something like "use of Monorail requires knowledge of the intimate deatils of http" blah blah blah, I could see what you are saying.

But they didn't say that, and the comments from Hammett, etc. make it clear it isn't what they meant.

I would go much further in my criticism and state that if you have a web application that required advanced knowledge of HTTP, then your web application sucks.

99% of all web applications can be created successfully using default wizards, drag and drop wizards, etc. Anyone who says otherwise lives in a bubble.

It would be nice to be able to prove this, of course, and I have no 123 proof to offer, but it is obviously true if you've ever had to build a web app.
# re: Something that bugs me about the Monorail project
Tim Scott
7/15/2007 8:57 AM
JDN, You say that developers should never need these skills then call it arrogant to point out that they lack them. Interesting.
# re: Something that bugs me about the Monorail project
7/15/2007 10:30 AM
I never said it was arrogant for pointing it out.

I said it was arrogant for saying you couldn't learn Monorail. Which is arrogant and false.

Keep in mind, less than a decade ago, we were building sophisticated and scalable apps using things like ASP and VB COM components for god's sakes. Think of all the horrendous things we had to do to get it to work (Response.Write anyone?).

But they were sophisticated and they did scale and we would have killed to have ASP.NET web forms.

So while ASP.NET is getting a little older, and some of its flaws are showing, I can think of worse.

Many ASP.NET web developers know some of the basic concepts of HTTP, but they don't need to know the intricate details except in a few cases.

Just as you don't need to know the intricacies of TCP/IP to set up a secure home wireless network. You have to know a little to get it to work and a little more to make it secure. But that's about it.

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