[typo] Deploying Ruby on Rails Applications (was: Re: Can't update feeds?)

Scott Likens damm at livid.dk
Tue Jul 15 23:22:04 EDT 2008

To whomever it may concern,

I notice the common thread here.  How to deploy typo?

There is many ways to deploy typo, the most common is

1) FastCGI.  (It's also the most murky confusing documentation imo, I  
don't blame this on typo, I blame this on FastCGI Documentation and  
the people who wrote it).
2) Mongrel/Webrick
3) Phusion Passenger (aka mod_rails?)

Now, there's no real difference with Mongrel/Webrick if you run nginx  
or Apache or lighttpd.  It works, it's well documented and takes the  
most amount of memory (actually all of them really take the same  
amount of memory, you just don't see the ruby process hanging around  
using up 140megs of memory).  Phusion Passenger... Excellent option,  
if you have a cheap Dreamhost.com account that is going to be your  
easiest option, documentation is decent and it's much easier to deploy.

So there you have it, 3 basic methods to deploy your blog.  If your  
coding Ruby on Rails chances are this is nothing new to you, and you  
have no problem with it.  But those who have come from the "PHP  
Boat" (as we'll call it, a/k/a wordpress, etc) they just untar files  
into a directory edit a few files, loadup their web browser and bam.   
It works.  This is because the company behind PHP has spent a great  
deal of time and money at making PHP the dominant language.  It  
doesn't make it better, or worse or anything.  (It scales horribly  
also for those of you who are talking about scaling).  Let's say you  
grab a Perl based blog, what's your common problem?  Well mod_perl,  
perl with ithreads enabled.  Yeah you can use it as a cgi script and  
have it exec perl on each page/function.  But again, we'll go with it  
does not scale well.  We have Python and django, I know have not  
touched any of the django software really so I won't go there.

So let's bust out some simple myths,

Rails is hard to deploy, FALSE.  In fact Ruby on Rails Applications  
are quite easy to deploy provided your hosting company gives you an  
environment where it can deploy sanely.  This is something that DHH  
has commented on a few times; there is no way to make the pain of  
deploying a Ruby on Rails app on a "bad/cheap hosting server" go  
away.  Is that the fault of Ruby on Rails? or the company you chose to  
host with?  I'll let you decide on that one.

Rails does not scale, FALSE.  Ruby on Rails does Scale well if the  
developers write the application with scaling in mind.  Put the Rails  
app behind a Local Traffic Manager, and inject parts of the page to be  
pulled from services like Akami and other various things.  Look at  
Twitter and other Ruby on Rails based web apps.  Anyone who tells you  
that Ruby on Rails is not enterprise ready, lied to you.  Ask for your  
money back and tell them to get the heck out of your office.

Any questions? good great.

There is alternatives to Ruby on Rails, such as Merb (http://www.merbivore.com/ 
).  You can read the website about it, it's interesting, it's thread- 
safe and it's quite exciting.  Which brings me to Featherblog (http://featherblog.org 
).  It's currently a work in progress and is in no way shape or  
fashion complete.  However it's extremely fast, and will be more  
lightweight.  One of the developers of it (eldiablo)'s web site is  
running feather at http://crazycool.co.uk

My single point of this post is that there is great documentation (for  
the most part) on how to deploy Typo, or any other Rails app.  I will  
freely admit that the last decent version of typo in my personal  
opinion was typo 4.1.1.  That whole Rails 2.0 version really jaded me,  
and now Rails 2.1 is out.  Makes me more jaded, and is making me walk  
away from Rails as a viable option.  They are throwing out more and  
more versions, and quite frankly I have not kept up, I need to buy the  
new version of Pragmatic Programmers for Rails 2... which is already  
out of date as 2.1 is released :(

I think the best thing I can say out of this, is if your having a  
problem deploying Typo (or anything else) please file a bug, write an  
email, give as much detail as you can.  The more detail the better, so  
the developers of typo can find and squash the bugs.  Remember, if you  
don't raise your voice, you don't say this is broken; you have failed  
the community.  Just as much as you have failed the community if you  
fix what is broken, without reporting it and giving a patch so it can  
be addressed.  Not everyone is a developer, not everyone can program  
ruby on rails.  But Frédéric cannot fix a bug he is not aware of, nor  
can Piers.

Thank you for your time.


Scott M. Likens
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