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First production Rails app

I released my first production Rails application, hugagoth.com, last night.

I first started playing with Rails over 2 years ago and it has taken me until now to take an app through from conception to initial deployment. And an interesting journey it has been.

When I first started investigating Rails I had never used a web framework before and the Ruby language really confused me, but there were a few things I liked. I liked the idea of convention over configuration, opinionated software and the amazing community that has built up around this set of technologies.

Not long after this, I started work on another project and considered using it as the motivation to fully get to grips with Rails, but getting the job done was more important so I headed down the PHP route, having had a bit of experience with it over the years. I’m amazed that I now have 2 years of CakePHP development experience. It gets a bad rep concerning it’s performance speed but if I’m doing any bespoke PHP work, Cake is never far away.

Deploying Rails apps a couple of years ago seemed like quite an involved process, what with application servers, web servers, proxies and clusters but now with Passenger, getting a production environment up and running is a breeze. I’ve also developed a great love for Capistrano, using it with non-Rails apps.

Calling hugagoth.com my first Rails app in the wild is a bit of a lie. When I discovered Passenger I wanted to see just how easy deployment now was so I converted my static, single-page professional site into a Rails app. A bit overkill I know as it doesn’t even do anything, but a worthwhile experiment none-the-less.

It’s unlikely I’ll ever use Rails in my current day job so I’m unsure what I’ll be doing with this framework in the future. I’ll probably convert stevenwilkin.com to run on Sinatra just for kicks and if any interesting ideas come to mind, you never know!

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