What’s Coming in Instant Rails 2.0 and Beyond – The Road Map

Since I took over the Instant Rails project a short time ago I have been working on learning the structure of the project and figuring out what to put in the next release and beyond. The next release will be Instant Rails 2.0. The reason for the jump is primarily because Ruby on Rails itself has jumped to be 2.0, so why not keep it parallel.

Instant Rails 1.7 Components

The current version includes the following core components:

It contains the following sample applications:

And a few ancillary applications which some of Instant Rails depends on:

Instant Rails 2.0 Components

The current version includes the following core components:

It contains the following sample applications:

And a few ancillary applications which some of Instant Rails depends on:

Instant Rails 2.0 and Beyond

I have chatted with several people who would like to see various features and components upgraded or added to the project. I can’t see with any certainty what components might be added but I can say I will do my best to add what people want but remain keeping the project light and stable.

Some of the items users wanted to see are:

  • PHP 5
  • SQL Server Support
  • IIS Support
  • SubVersion
  • SQLite3

Developers should take a look at the release notes for Ruby 1.8.6-26, which includes updates which provide support for running Rails applications under IIS7. The important components are FastCGI and ruby-fcgi.

It should also be noted that Rails 2.0.2 uses SQLite3 as its default database and therefore when creating Rails applications under Instant Rails, the command looks like this:

rails -d mysql myapp

Should SQLite3 be included in the next release of Instant Rails now that SQLite3 is the default database? I tend to think this would be the right thing to do but features like phpMyAdmin become a bit irrelevant being a MySQL tool. I have found a tool called SQLiteManager which is a web-based admin tool for SQLite3 databases. Anyone familiar with it? It appears to be a bit dated.

I am planning at looking to upgrade to Ruby 1.9 when available as well as at upgrading to the latest version of MySQL and Apache, but these will have to wait a bit since they work great just the way they are today. The sample Typo 2.6 installation could use an upgrade to Typo 4.x as well.

I would like to continue to hear what people would like to see, please email me at [rbazinet] at [gmail.com] or reply to this post.

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22 responses to “What’s Coming in Instant Rails 2.0 and Beyond – The Road Map

  1. I would like to see ImageMagick and RMagick installed and configured.

  2. Thanks Brian, I will add that to the list for consideration.

  3. SSL support for Apache would be really nice. But I’m afraid that this would require upgrading Apache to 2.x (which would be a not-so-easy task).

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  5. Is it an option for you to think in the other direction, away from a full dev stack (apache, php, mysql) and instead create a LITE version (ugh, hate that word) that is a complete Ruby/Rails/needed parts that one can drop INTO an existing WAMP or LAMP stack?

    I already have WAMP running, and don’t want to mess all that up – but would love to drop RoR+ into the mix and keep going.

    Thanks!

  6. Yep, include sqlite3.

    Also, I assume rubygems is included 🙂 Nonetheless, upgrading RubyGems to 0.9.5 ftw!

  7. @Dr Nic – yes, I am including Rubygems 0.95 and SQLite3 is in there too.

  8. @Mike – trying to understand the problem better. Instant Rails is self-contained and if you have Apache and MySQL already running then the Apache and MySQL within Instant Rails will not start.

    So, what is happening to your installations that is different than this?

    I would consider a lite version at some point, now that SQLite3 will be in there, we could remove MySQL, Apache and phpMyAdmin.

  9. I didn’t try any installs of this product/group.

    I was just asking for a ROR+ (all the great rails and ruby parts) without the AMP part of the stack. I have all that working already (XAMPP 1.6.4), and just want to drop a complete Ruby/Rails/Gems, etc slice into the pie. Making sense now?

  10. Addendum: would like mySQL integration with the RoR stuff.

    Thank you.

  11. Rob, first of all I wanted to say that I appreciate you taking over this project. I am a RoR newbie and have used InstantRails for about a month. What I would like to see included is rFacebook and/or Facebookr, if poosible.

    Thanks for your work.

  12. Hi,

    Just here to pass on my views and suggestion too. I think the main burning issue today is ROR’s limitation for Apache/MySql/Sqlite3 only.

    ROR should work smoothly with IIS and SQL SERVER. Zend and MS have partnered to run all PHP applications on IIS and SQL SERVER with Fast CGI. A very good choice for PHP developers

    Very soon, with IronRuby… ROR shall be running on Windows with IIS. This will divide the “Just Ruby” community in to IronRuby. I do not know why DHH is not supporting ROR for running on IIS .

    Rather than the strong “Just Ruby” community divided further between Jruby and IronRuby, it will be very nice if there is a solution for a plain ruby community that can on any platform with “Just ruby code” and not just Jruby or IronRuby code.

    Just my views and suggestion.

  13. @IronRuby – I agree. I think we are on our way to Rails truly running on Windows with IIS. The most recent drop of the One-Click Ruby Installer, 1.8.6-26 has FastCGI support for running against IIS7. IronRuby will run Rails, I am sure of it and then it will be a non-issue on IIS.

    I think DHH has some dislike for MS just because of their size and practices in the past. The non-MS community wants things to be open and users have choice. I can understand many points from that camp.

    Thanks for the input.

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  15. If you’re looking for a good sqlite GUI, checkout sqliteman:
    http://www.assembla.com/space/sqliteman

  16. Hi Rob,

    Pl. blog something on ironruby and how it will work on windows.

    It would be nice to blog something about the Ruby version for .net, since you seem to be interested in .net technology also.

    Thanks

    Pranks

  17. @Patcito, thanks I will check it out.

  18. @Prankster – I am planning some IronRuby posts, I am working on an interview with John Lam for my work on InfoQ and some IronRuby stuff will follow here.

    Yes, I do have interest in .NET too, it is my primary means of consulting work and Ruby on Rails is coming along as well. Both are tools so I blog about them as things come to mind.

  19. Hi Rob,

    Nice to know that you are planning a blog on your interview with John Lam. Do not miss to ask him the final deadline of version 1.0

    Do ask him few questions more like….
    (1) Will IronRuby on Rails will have the original MVC and Active Record as ROR or will they use MVC.NET and SubSonic as ( Active Record )

    (2) IronPython has good IDE like ” IronPython Studio ” what are there plans for IronRuby except steel sapphire.

    BTW Rob, there is recent article on MSDN latest issue about Fast CGI and its implementation on IIS7, by Mvolo

    Its very very informative and shall help you a lot with Instant Rails.

    Thanks

  20. Here is how I use InstantRails: I only use it for development. I even have it checked into svn with my rails projects added as externals. I also have RadRails 0.7.2 in svn. This works great because I can check out one folder in svn and it pulls in my complete development environment and with one run of the InstantRails manager, ruby and RadRails are configured to work on that machine.

    This keeps my entire development environment consistent and I can even play with the environment and after messing with things, either check them into svn or discard the changes and check out a fresh copy ( things like updating Rails or Mongrel, or adding Capistrano to the mix, etc).

    So anyway, I would just like you to keep this in mind, and I hope that InstantRails will continue to cater to this setup. Now RadRails is integrated into Aptana, which IMO sucks and they really ruined RadRails so for now I’m sticking with RadRails 0.7.2, but maybe you could put compatibility with the new Aptana RadRails in (as far as updating the .metadata folder to use the correct Ruby interpreter).

    In keeping with this, I would like to see it slimmed down, as someone previously mentioned… I only run Apache in order to open up phpmyadmin, so if you could switch to sqlite, then you could strip out MySQL which would allow stripping out Apache, PHP, and phpMyAdmin. Which would mean a slimmer footprint for me, and less work for you. There are other advantages that I think sqlite has for a development environment (if I understand sqlite correctly), and since I use migrations for all database configuration, it should be trivial switching to mysql when moving the project into the production environment.

  21. @IronRuby – thanks, great questions. I will follow-up with John when I chat with him next.

  22. @James – thanks for the input. I will keep in mind the idea of a slimmed-down version of Instant Rails. I just want to get this 2.0 release out ASAP.

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