.Net gets thumbs-up, Ruby on Rails thumbs-down

In a ranking of application development frameworks, Microsoft’s .Net platform was rated top by developers, while Ruby on Rails ranked near the bottom, based on results of a survey released Tuesday.

The Evans Data survey, entitled “Users’ Choice Survey on Frameworks,” had Google’s App Engine and Google Web Toolkit coming in just behind .Net in overall satisfaction. Conducted in December 2009 and January 2010, the survey of more than 400 developers asked them to rank 10 attributes of frameworks they had used.

“The purpose of a framework is to make development easier by supplying prebuilt generic components and infrastructure, so ease-of-use is obviously important,” said Evans CEO Janel Garvin, in a statement released by the company. “The .Net Framework provides a full development stack and it also provides the runtime environment for newly developed applications, so users rate it high.”

“Rails, on the other hand, was rated surprisingly low, with its users unhappy in a variety of areas but especially in the area of a support community,” Garvin said.

Rails was third from last overall, while Microsoft’s MFC (Microsoft Foundation Class) finished last.

But Rails founder David Heinemeier Hansson was dismissive of the Evans survey, in an email response to an InfoWorld inquiry: “‘Research’ outfits that charge $595 for their reports on ‘developer satisfaction’ are very unlikely to have ever come in contact with the core constituency of happy Rails users. I know I would have binned an email from them as spam in a heartbeat,” Hansson said.

In ranking ease of use alone as part of the survey, .Net was first while the Spring Framework was ranked last out of 12 frameworks. Rails was ranked 11th. Survey participants ranked ease-of-use as the most important feature of a Web development platform or framework, topping performance and extensibility.

In other results of the survey, the Apache Axis open source framework for Java development received the top ranking for performance. Object inheritance, for developing new objects within an application using objects that had already been defined, was ranked the least-important feature among developers.

The syndicated survey was not funded by any vendor, Evans said. But Hansson pointed to Evans’ client list, which does include Microsoft. Among other companies on the list are IBM, Intel, Oracle, Red Hat, and Salesforce.com.

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