JavaScript & Rails: a `webpacker` evaluation

Webpacker is still opt-in for new Rails projects. But this might change. The JavaScript ecosystem is moving fast and new JavaScript frameworks are pushing customer’s expectations to higher levels. To use these frameworks with your Rails app, you had a few options:

  • Include the JavaScript manually; which requires you to manually copy the files in place
  • Use a gem-wrapper to to install the JavaScript library; but this required quite some maintenance on the Gem-author’s side.
  • Try to mangle npm or yarn into the asset pipeline yourself
  • Use Rails Assets (an automagic Gem-wrapper)

A small praise for Rails Assets

I have been using rails-assets.org the past few years to keep my JavaScript dependencies up to date. It thought it was smart solution; instead of requiring individual developers to maintain Gem-wrappers, Gem wrappers are created on the fly by RailsAssets.org. It was smart and light weight on the developers side and worked perfectly with the Rails' Asset p…

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Building on sunk assets

An article, posted more than 10 years ago filed in business, efficiency, innovation, economics, legacy, henry ford, netflix, blockbuster, investments, start-up, assets, profit & costs.

I don't know that much about economics, but I do have (a bit of) common sense. In a Harvard Business School article, Clayton Christensen writes about "How Will You Measure Your Life?" It ends with a bit of religion inspired thinking (to which I, even as an atheist, can somewhat relate to (stay true to your principles)), but let's not focus on that. The start of the story is on how to think of investments, and how different thinking about investing is between start-ups (with few assets) and established companies. He takes Blockbuster as an example (an old-style video-rental store in the USA):

> Blockbuster's mistake? To follow a principle that is taught in every fundamental course in finance and economics. That is, in evaluating alternative investments, we should ignore sunk and fixed costs, and instead base decision…

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