For all those of you who have missed it, today it was announced that Merb will be discontinued and merged into Rails 3 sometime by the end of next year:
What does this mean for Mack and other alternate frameworks? Well a lot, and nothing, all at the same time. I personally, am not pro the merge. Merb was the biggest the alternative to Rails out there. This has been a problem for us smaller frameworks in that it was hard to get a fold hold into the alternative to Rails marketshare that Merb had a hold on. So with Merb going away, why aren’t happy that Mack has the opportunity to become the big alternative to Rails?
Well, the answer to that question is simple. Innovation and competition. With Merb becoming as big as it was becoming it was forcing Rails to become a better framework. It also made the other alternative frameworks, such as Mack, to be better frameworks as well. Mack has always strived to be a great hybrid of all the frameworks out there. It has strived to provide the best of all those worlds. If all those worlds merge together, what space is left for something like Mack? Mack, and others, could end up being no different than Rarb (Rails + Merb), and then where is the innovation?
If this was the two biggest cable companies or banks merging the government would be screaming monoply. While I’m not saying that, I do feel that this certainly will have an impact on innovation, an impact that only a good healthy competition can bring. Now, please don’t get me wrong, I think Rarb will definitely be innovative. It should be as both Rails and Merb independently have done some amazing things, and I hope that they continue to do so.
So what does the future hold for Mack with this news? Business as usual. Mack will continue to try and be innovative. It will try to make your life a little easier as a developer, and make developing portals and distributed applications easy and fun. Hopefully, Mack will fill the void that will be left by Merb and more people will pick it up as a mature web framework. Hopefully, that will do what Merb once did, force Rails (or rather Rarb), to be more innovative. Hopefully, it will become the alternative that will create another web framework to be innovate to knock it down, and so on…
How do you feel? Are you happy? Are you sad? Are you indifferent? I’d love to hear what you think.