Amrita2: Another choice for templates in Rails

Amrita2 is a template engine that separates template logic and content. It’s a very different style than the standard ERb approach of Rails, but if squeaky clean HTML templates tickle your fancy, this is the place to go. The latest version is all wrapped up as a Rails plugin, which makes it silly easy to install and play with.

Rails RC5 (0.14.4): Next stop one-oh (really, this time!)

It’s been a month since we promised that RC4 would be the final countdown. And counting down we have. We’ve fixed a ton of major, minor, and aesthetic issues and now have a package that we would be very proud to call 1.0. No, it’s not completely spotless. A project of this size with thousands of programmers using it for every application type under the moon will never be. But it’s Pretty Damn Good.

So here it goes: Release candidate 5. This is the final, short pitstop before 1.0 materializes next week. Thus, you’re more than well advised to upgrade and make sure we didn’t leave anything heinous in there. This is the “speak now or forever hold your peace” part of the ceremony.

If you already upgraded to 0.14.x, going to RC5 is completely effortless. Simply call upon the gems to do your bidding with: gem install rails --include-dependencies. And you’ll be serving up your application with all the bugs squashed. On top of that, we’ve thrown in a new adapter for the Firebird database and added a beautiful new index.html that’ll greet you on new applications:

So upgrade, dammit! Now. And stand by as we finish setting up the fireworks planned for next week’s release of the long-awaited 1.0. It’s magical times, my friends, and the spellcasting is just getting started.

The interesting changes are in:

SwitchTower problems on OSX

This has been coming up often enough that it deserves to be posted somewhere visible. If you are trying to use SwitchTower with the stock version of Ruby that ships with OSX, you will fail. The stock OSX version of Ruby has a bad OpenSSL module, which wreaks all kinds of havoc with SwitchTower.

The solution is to install a non-stock version of Ruby, either via DarwinPorts, or Fink, or even just the good-old manual “configure/make/make install” process.

Interview with the CD babies: Derek and Jeremy

Robby Russell has interviewed Derek Sivers and Jeremy Kemper about the Rails rewrite of CDBaby.com for O’Reilly. A choice bit from Derek:

I was already studying Martin Fowler’s books like a schoolboy, ingesting the lessons while preparing for the rewrite. Then when Tobi really showed me Rails I got it : by sticking with Rails’ conventions, I would be already working by these best-practices I was aspiring towards.

The 37signals' Getting Real workshop

On January 27th, 37signals will once again be sharing insights, ideas, passion, opinions, and vision on how to build an online business in The Getting Real Workshop. We’ll be talking about the whole lifecycle including lots of thoughts on software development with or without Rails.

Yours truly and Jamis Buck will both be presenting and we’ve traditionally had a lot of great chats about Rails. So if you’re considering jumping on board or already have, but needs inspiration to take that somewhere, do join us in Chicago in the beginning of next year.

UPDATE: Sold out. All 50 seats where gone in 12 hours. That’s about 14 times as fast as last time.

SwitchTower as an Automated Deployment Archetype

Mike Clark has written a provocative article entitled SwitchTower as an Automated Deployment Archetype in which he suggests that developers of all stripes ought to consider SwitchTower for their deployment system, whether or not they are using Ruby on Rails. I know I’ve heard at least one story of someone using SwitchTower to manage a PHP application. Anyone care to share any other success stories of SwitchTower managing a non-Rails application? Any gotchas potential users might want to be aware of?