Aimred Developer Blog April 2008 Archive

Passenger Takes The Pain Out Of Rails Deployment

One of the biggest gripes with Ruby on Rails has been the pain it can cause when it comes to deployment. Since Rails was released there have been an evolution from

  • Apache with FCGI to…
  • Mongrel to..
  • Mongrel with an Apache frontend to finally…
  • Mongrel with an nginx frontend

which is a bit more effort than for instance trying to setup PHP which requires just Apache and mod_php.

Luckily Passenger has been released by the guys at Phusion. Put simply Passenger is mod_rails for Apache. You configure your application directory in your Apache config file and simply drop your application in that directory and Passenger will pick it up and execute it. According to initial benchmarks released it provides excellent performance as well.

At the moment it’s a Rails only plugin, but I wouldn’t expect there to be to long before it’s widened to other frameworks. In particular providing support for Rack would allow for a whole host of new and exciting frameworks.

New RSS Feed

Please note we have a new address for this blog’s RSS feed. Other Aimred RSS feeds are available on our RSS Homepage.

9th April Cape Town Ruby Brigade Meeting

The next meeting of the Cape Town Ruby Brigade takes place this Wedndesday, 9th April 2008 at 19:00. The venue is once again the conference room of the Bandwidth Barn (125 Buitengract St, Cape Town). This month the presentation is on integrating YUI – Yahoo’s Web UI API – with Ruby on Rails.

Dynamic To Static

Despite Ruby on Rails being the dynamic web framework sometimes static is the way to go. So that’s why we’ve moved the content management system behind this site from a dynamic database driven system – Radiant CMS (a fantastic CMS in it’s own right) – to one that produces static files. After looking at a number of contenders (nanoc, Webgen, Staticmatic) we chose Webby So why choose a static engine over a dynamic one? Here are a few reasons:

  • Simplicity – All we require now is a standard Apache install, whereas with Radiant we also need a Ruby interpreter, the Ruby on Rails framework and a database such as MySQL or Postgres.
  • Speed – Static pages are served a lot faster than dynamically generated ones.
  • Security – No code running on the server means less potential for security exploits.
  • Convenience – Changes are made and previewed locally before being uploaded via RSync.

We should stress that Radiant is a great tool to use and we highly recommend it if you find it suits your needs, but for us it was just too much overkill.

About Aimred

Aimred is a specialist Ruby and Ruby on Rails development house and consultancy based in Cape Town, South Africa.

We provide Ruby and Ruby on Rails development, consulting and training services to businesses and organisations of all sizes. If you want to find out how we can help you, contact us at