Ruby Weekly is a weekly newsletter covering the latest Ruby and Rails news.

Interesting Rails Tidbits #4

By Peter Cooper / February 25, 2008

How To Avoid Hanging Yourself With Rails


Rowan Hick put together a great presentation called How To Avoid Hanging Yourself With Rails for a recent meeting in Toronto, Canada. A PDF is available. In the presentation Rowan focuses on ActiveRecord performance and the best way to frame queries. He tests different techniques by loading a database up with thousands of rows of fake data and then compares different approaches.

Create a FaceBook App Using Rails in 7 Easy Steps

In "10 Minute Quick Start Guide for Facebooker," Gerald Bauer walks through seven steps involved in creating a Facebook app using Ruby on Rails. It only covers the basics but provides a great starting point for anyone who hasn't yet got on the Facebook app bandwagon.

FastSessions Plugin

FastSessions (official project page) is a Rails plugin that performs some interesting tricks on the way that Rails handles session storage. It appears only to work on MySQL and no hard performance numbers are given yet (though a "10-15% performance gain" is suggested), but I've seen quite a few people linking to it, so it might be worth a look. (YouTube-for-PDFs) supposedly uses this in production.

Insights Into a 300 Million Pageview Per Month Rails App

In "Friends for Sale Architecture," Todd Hoff looks at the architecture behind Friends for Sale, a popular Rails-based FaceBook application that serves up 300 million pageviews per month. It's a pretty candid view and makes for interesting reading.

Substruct: An Open Source E-Commerce System on Rails


I haven't had time to dig into this properly but Substruct came onto my radar a few months ago and now seems to have a public release available. It bills itself as the "first and most robust Ruby on Rails open source e-commerce project" and as well as e-commerce / store functionality, it also provides regular CMS functionality along with blogging capabilities.


  1. Cameron Booth says:

    all great links, thanks for this!

  2. Steve says:

    "first and most robust Ruby on Rails open source e-commerce project"???

    If it's the first then it's gotta be the most robust LOL

  3. Peter Cooper says:

    So it's the least robust as well. It's also the most Australian, and the least Zimbabwean.

  4. Mr. Potter says:


    There is more than one open source Rails e-commerce app. Substruct was the first, and it is still the most robust.

    Perhaps programming is not your best option.
    (insert LOLs as appropriate.)

  5. Peter Cooper says:

    Ha, good point :) That said, I got the impression it was pretty new. I saw a page about it several months ago but it was unreleased at that time.

  6. Seth says:

    Hey ruby gang...thanks for the spotlight on Substruct - but it's been publicly available for about.....2 years now.

    The version number is very misleading.

    We just moved to Google Code and released a few new versions which might have sparked the latest interest.

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