Is Rails Dead?

May 26, 2016

Listen...people be askin' me all the time,
"Yo Mos, what's gettin' ready to happen with Hip-Hop?"
Where do you think Hip-Hop is goin'?
I tell em, "You know what's gonna happen with Hip-Hop?
Whatever's happening with us."
If we smoked out, Hip-Hop is gonna be smoked out
If we doin alright, Hip-Hop is gonna be doin' alright
People talk about Hip-Hop like it's some giant livin' in the hillside
comin' down to visit the townspeople
We are Hip-Hop
Me, you, everybody, we are Hip-Hop
So Hip-Hop is goin' where we goin'
So the next time you ask yourself where Hip-Hop is goin
ask yourself: "Where am I goin'? How am I doin'?"

Mos Def, Fear Not of Man

The "Rails is dead" meme has been around for a few years, and it's been picking up steam again recently. Even among those who still profess their love for Rails, it seems like some aren't excited about Rails 5. One recent post even imagines what a Rails 6 that recaptures the imagination would be like.

I make a living working with Rails, so this discussion interests me on a personal level. What does the future hold for Rails? With frameworks like Phoenix gaining in mindshare, is Rails finally dead?

What these discussions leave out is the fact that we are Rails. Rails will die when we stop using it. To put it another way: Rails will stay alive as long as we continue to choose it for projects.

There's isn't an official "Language and Framework Committee" that decides which technologies are dead. Our small choices, when aggregated, determine the fate of technologies.

So is Rails dead? I don't know. It's not dead for me: I love Rails and will continue to use it. But the larger point is that no one gets to tell you that Rails is dead; you need to decide that for yourself.

Relevant Links

My Time With Rails Is Up

Rails Has Won

I Accept That Rails Is Yesterday's Software

It Takes All Kinds

Announcing Rails 6: An Imagined Roadmap

You can discuss this post at Hacker News.