MenuTree helps you find food fast

MenuTree is a new Rails application that seeks to make the search for new take-out places a more enjoyable experience. They just launched, so do help fill up the options in your area.

New Enterprise Ruby Studio

Right on the heels of Martin Fowler writing up Enterprise Rails, the Pragmatic Studio has announced the addition of their latest studio, Enterprise Ruby, the first of which will be taught by Relevance LLC’s Stu Halloway and Justin Gehtland in Boston, September 11-13.

Some of the material they’ll be covering includes metaprogramming, domain specific languages, LDAP, XML, and web services. These topics and more will help use learn how to use the power and expressiveness of Ruby, and how to use it as your enterprise “glue.”

Those who attended Stu Halloway and Justin Gehtland’s talk at RailsConf on Rails internals already know how engaging they are as speakers. They are also currently working on the upcoming Rails for Java Programmers book.

Though not Rails specific, they do incorporate Rails in parts of the course and learning such things as LDAP and web services in Ruby is directly applicable to your Rails work.

Sign up by July 31st for a $200 early registration discount. You can register at

David Heinemeier Hansson's RailsConf 2006 keynote now online

David’s RailsConf 2006 keynote, Discovering a World of Resources on Rails, is now online.

In this talk he announced the new ActiveResource project, for consuming REST web services and evangelized his new infatuation with regimenting his domain into simple CRUD operations.

You can get the slides and a slice of David’s point of view on all this, over at LoudThinking.

For those twitching at the flash video player, Ruby Central will be making the footage available in the future in an unflashy format.

RailsConf keynotes on video

If you missed RailsConf 2006, you’ll be glad to know that videos of the keynote presentations are being made available for online viewing and (coming soon) download. A collection of slides synchronized with recorded audio for all presentations will also be available soon. Videos and information about audio and slides can be found at ScribeMedia at the RailsConf 2006 Keynote Series page.

The first two keynotes by Dave Thomas and Martin Fowler are already available. The other five will trickle out over the next few weeks. Next up, David Heinemeier Hansson’s keynote on “A World of Resources”.

Pound makes lighty and Mongrel play nice

With the rocket rise of Mongrel, we’ve seen a growing number of folks jump ship from lighttpd to Apache 2.2 because of mod_proxy_balancer. It’s great to see that Mongrel is putting Apache back on the map as a premiere Rails web server, but unless you desire Apache for other reasons, you certainly don’t have to jump ship.

The trouble with lighttpd is the state of its mod_proxy implementation, which leaves a lot to be desired when used as a balancer between multiple Mongrel backends. But because the whole Rails deployment stack is going straight HTTP, it’s surprisingly easy to rectify. All you need is to add a more capable load balancer to the mix and you’re golden.

One such balancer that has seen a lot of play lately is Pound (OS X install notes). It’s light, fast, and proven on mega sites. So here’s what you do if want to stay with lighttpd and still use Mongrel:

  • Setup lighttpd on port 80 with mod_proxy to point at one back-end server (see the Mongrel lighty docs, but just only use one backend instead of four).
  • Setup Pound on a high port, like 7999, and make it point to any number of Mongrel processes (see the Mongrel Pound docs).
  • Start n number of Mongrels, from say port 8000 through 8002, using either mongrel_cluster or the soon-to-be-committed Mongrel-compatible script/process/spawner

And bingo, you should now have a production-ready stack ready to take on the world. This is a pretty good outline of how we at 37signals intend to use Mongrel in production shortly.

You can also take pleasure in the fact that Jan Knesche is busy at work making the Pound crutch unnecessary. Over the Summer, he has promised to elevate mod_proxy to be on par with the competition, and this three-way stack should again become a two-way one.

Learning more about Active Resource

Active Resource was announced at RailsConf and the first tiny pieces of code has already been checked in, but what is it exactly? Ryan’s Scraps tries to answer that with a summary of the stuff that’s already working and the ideas for how to implement the rest of the interface.

Rails 1.1.4: Security fix without breakage

The security fix from Rails 1.1.3 might have closed the hole, but it also caused breakage for people with controllers in modules. We’ve fixed that now, so Rails 1.1.4 should work for any application that also ran under 1.1.2. We apologize for the problem with 1.1.3 and encourage everyone running 1.1.x to upgrade as soon as possible to this release.

Note: Edge Rails was never affected by this security issue as it includes a rewritten routes module. So if you’re running on the latest edge, you don’t need to worry about upgrading.

European RailsConf talk proposals

Talk proposals are now being accepted for the European Rails
, to be held September 14-15 in London. Accepted speakers
will get free admission to the conference. Join a line up that already includes the creator of Rails, David Heinemeier Hansson, Pragmatic Programmer Dave Thomas, best-selling author and passion maven Kathy Sierra, Rails core developers Jamis Buck, Marcel Molina, Jr., and Thomas Fuchs, Rails authors and trainers David Alan Black, and Chad Fowler, and Rake author Jim Weirich.

Proposal suggestions span a variety of Rails topics, including:

  • case-studies in interesting Rails applications
  • Rails add-ons and adapations (including experimental ones)
  • analyses and critiques of specific aspects of the framework
  • the use of Ruby in/for/with Rails development
  • comparative analysis of Rails and other frameworks
  • testing, coding, deployment, and all the rest!

The deadline for proposals is July 21. You are asked to submit a title, a short abstract, and a slightly longer
description (400 words or so). You don’t have to have the whole talk
written, just a reasonably detailed overview.

Send in your talk proposal.

You can write to David A. Black (dblack at if you have questions about the proposal

Keep an eye on the conference website feed for updates.