How You Can Help The State of Ruby Webapp Deployment In The Next 5 Minutes
Can you remember what a hideous chore it was to deploy Ruby-based apps (Rails apps being a key example) before early 2008? FastCGI, proxying schemes, plain old CGI - it was all a bit of a mess. It was so bad, in fact, that in January 2008 we posted No True "mod_ruby" Is Damaging Ruby's Viability On The Web and kicked off a major discussion about it (115 comments!)
A couple of months later, an as-then unknown Dutch company called Phusion (headed by Ninh Bui and Hongli Lai) released mod_rails (a.k.a. Passenger), an Apache module that automatically handles server processes for Ruby apps and makes it a snap (just upload and touch a file) to deploy any Rack-based Ruby webapp with Apache - everyone has benefitted, including Sinatra, Merb and Ramaze development.
Phusion is now looking for help. They're a company but they essentially give away their two main products: Passenger and Ruby Enterprise Edition. You can pay for an "enterprise license" but it's really just a donation system. Now they're looking to specifically raise $14,000 to get the next version of Passenger out of the door. They're promising a lot - extended documentation, improved support and security, finalized Ruby 1.9 support, and, heck, too much to count.
They have just $8,336 to go and if you want to help push forward the state of deploying Ruby-powered webapps, click here to donate (or read more about what they're achieving). All donors will be credited.
P.S. In May 2008, we ran 28 mod_rails / Passenger Resources to Help You Deploy Rails Applications Faster that you might like to revisit.
P.P.S. Update: Ruddy 'eck - it's only 24 hours on and it's down to just $2854.70 to go.. nice one guys!