Interview with Jesse Cai(中文翻译)
I mentioned in my original article on working in beijingthat I would be chronicling a series of interviews with prominent Rails developers in China. The first person I was able to catch up with is Jesse Cai, founder of chinaonrails.com.
原文中曾提及在北京工作时，我会收录一系列与中国几位比较突出的Rails开发者的访谈。我有幸能够采访到的第一位就是chinaonrails.com的创始人 - 蔡望勤。
Tell us a little about your background (personal and technical)
I’m Jesse Cai, my chinese name is 蔡望勤 (Cai Wang Qin). I started programming in 1997 with Pascal, then Trouble C 2.0, and then 8086 assembly. I lived in southern China from 2001 to 2005, where I worked as a technical consultant for Cyberway, P&G. and made HRMS (human resources management systems) for Flextronics, AutoTec, and EuroTec. My previous experience includes ASP/PHP for 1 year, .NET for 1.5 years and Java for 2.5 years.
I started bloggingin July, 2005 and joined UUZone Inc. at the end of 2005, which was the biggest social networking site in China at the time.
Now i’m based in Beijing working for P1.cn, a fashion oriented social network focused on the emerging Chinese market. Of course, we’re using Rails.
我是Jesse Cai，中文名叫蔡望勤。我最早接触编程是在1997年使用Pascal语言，之后依次使用过Trouble C 2.0以及8086 assembly。2001年至2005年，我住在中国南方，并为宝洁公司(P&G) ,Cyberway担任技术顾问。同时，为Flextronics，AutoTec和EuroTec编写了HRMS（人力资源管理系统）。我的个人经验还包括1年的ASP/PHP，1.5年的.NET和2.5年的Java编程。
How did you first happen onto Rails?
When i started working for UUZone at the end of 2005, many web2.0-type sites were emerging and many of them had cool mashup applications. We saw this as an opportunity to join the trend and give give our members the latest and greatest user experience. At the time, we were using Java, and thought that if we built our new mashup application in Java, it would take too long to release. So we thought about using another language or framework optimized for web/mashup development.
Since we were Java oriented, we first found Groovy. It’s a Java-based scripting language, and we can use our existing packages and code, so that seemed pretty cool. But Groovy at that time was 1.0 beta, and there were almost no production applications using Groovy. We used Groovy to prototype an internal version of Delicious for UUZone members, and we finished it in 1 week, so that’s how we got turned on to the rapid prototyping of scripting languages. We then wanted to use Groovy for larger applications, but it wasn’t ready for production. I even exchanged several emails with the Groovy PM and received very fast response. But we never stopped looking for better, simpler way for web development, which lead me to Grails 0.3. Nobody was using it at the time, but that was how I came across Ruby on Rails 0.6, from the Grails site. I watched the video and tried Rails and found it simple and fast enough. Many people said it has performance problem, so I did many performance tests myself and found the results adequate. So I implemented my first Rails app: a UUZone members/photos and Google Map Mashup. After we debuted our app to our members, it received very positive feedback and the project was a very big success. I loved programming like this, so I stuck with Rails ever since.
由于我们的技术是Java导向的，我们最先发现了Groovy。这是一种基于Java的编程语言，它支持我们现有的程序包和代码，看起来不错。Groovy在那个时候还处于1.0beta版，而且市面上几乎没有使用Groovy编写的程序产品。我们使用Groovy用1周时间内部编写了一套原型：Delicious for UUZone会员。这就是我们如何一步步转化到编程语言的快速成型。从那以后我们就考虑使用Groovy编写更大的程序，但从生产角度来看发现它并没有准备好。我甚至为此和Groovy的PM做过几次邮件交流，并得到了很快的回复。但我们并没有因此放弃寻找更好、更简便的网络开发方法。这把我带到了Grails 0.3。那时候并没有人使用它，但这恰恰让我从Grails网站结识了Ruby on Rails 0.6。我看了视频并试用了Rails，觉得它够简单够快。很多人说它工作有问题，所以我自己对其工作做了一系列测试，对结果还是比较满意的。于是我编写了我的第一个Rails程序：一个UUZone会员/照片和Google地图Mashup。在程序首次和会员见面后，得到了很好的凡响，项目非常成功。我非常喜爱这样的编程方式，所以从此就和Rails结下了不解之缘。
Being the creator of Chinaonrails.com, you have a good pulse on the Rails community in China. What are your general thoughts on Ruby/Rails in China?
I created ChinaonRails.com at the beginning of 2006. There were only two books for Ruby on Rals, one was Programming Ruby, another one was Agile Web Development with Ruby on Rails. There were no Chinese books at all, and no Chinese community for Rails. As you know, the best part of Rails is its community!
For Ruby, I think many (Chinese) people have prejudice against it. I don’t know if it’s because it came from Japan or what. Maybe the Chinese education is too focused on Microsoft technologies since they teach Windows in school. Not a lot of people know linux or open source very well. For Rails, there are two kinds of people who use it: one is a senior programmer, they were expert in Java or other language, and the other is a newbie. In China, there are two kinds of companies using Rails: one is outsource consultancy and the other is startups. I haven’t seen many traditional commercial companies using Rails in China, and so it’s a little bit hard to find good Rails developers. I gave a talk at Beijing Institute and Technology University for Rails. The students ddin’t seem very interested, i don’t know why.
Fortunately, the Rails community in China is still growing and more and more good people are starting to be more curious about it.
我在2006年初创建了ChinaonRails.com。那时只有两本关于Ruby on Rails的书籍，一个是Programming Ruby，另一个是Agile Web Development with Ruby on Rails。根本没有Rails的中文书籍和中文社区。你知道的，Rails最好的部分就是它的社区。
Why hasn’t Rails taken off in China as much as the US or Europe?
As i said, not so many people know it. I think another big reason is there was no organization to push Rails in China. Is US and Europe, there are many RailsConfs, barcamps, but not in China. And the final reason is how do people make money using Rails in China?
What blogs or podcasts are you a fan of?
Many, I have more than 100 ruby on rails feeds in Google Reader. I especially like peepcode podcasts and Railscasts. I’m learning so many things through blogs and podcasts.
Who would you like to buy a beer for in the Chinese Ruby/Rails community?
bd7lx, he is a hero in the Ruby/Rails community in China. He always brings Ruby/Rails news to the Chinese community, and answers questions frequently.
Who would you like to buy a beer for outside of China?
Hmm, the first guy of course is DHH, but probably many people buy beers for him, so I will take someone else . There’s Jason from http://railsenvy.com, Ilya Grigorik from http://igvita.com, Josh Susser from http://blog.hasmanythrough.com, anyone from http://www.engineyard.com, I may need help from them soon, and you - you help bridge the Rails communities in China and English speaking world.
恩… 第一个人当然是DHH，不过估计很多人都会给他买啤酒，所以我还是选别人吧 :)。有一个来自http://railsenvy.com的Jason，来自http://igvita.com的Ilya Grigorik，来自http://blog.hasmanythrough.com的Josh Susser，任何来自http://www.engineyard.com的人，我可能都会很快需要他们的帮助，还有你 - 你帮我为Rails中国社区和英语国家建起了桥梁。