JRuby on Rails: Hackday Report
By arungupta on Aug 09, 2007
As reported earlier, Sun Microsystems and Joyent co-sponsored a free JRuby on Rails: Power plus simplicity Hackday. This event happened yesterday at Axis Cafe, San Francisco and the room was completely sold out. I reached the venue around 2:30pm and was pleasantly surprised to see an almost full room.
Stephen (from Sun) kick started the event by introducing the speakers. The event started with a general panel discussion where Jason (from Joyent) gave an overview of JRuby and GlassFish. He mentioned that Ruby language is adopted more widely because of the associated framework. A show of hands in the completely full room room indicated that. The Ruby language is indeed dominated by one framework - Rails.
Nick (from Sun) started his session by saying that JRuby is a tale of two cities - Java and Ruby. The JRuby out-of-the-box experience is pretty close to CRuby. JRuby not only opens the gate to the vast amount of Java libraries available, it also allows to use a database that permits only JDBC connectivity.
Mark (from Joyent) explained Joyent cluster environment and how Rails applications can be deployed there.
The rest of the day was following the demo script to setup environment on your laptop, deploying and running a flavor of applications.
Nick also maintains the
activerecord-jdbc gem. Currently a JRuby app talking to the database
database.yml file to be modified as
explained here. Nick mentioned that the next version of this gem will not
require to change the database.yml, very cool!
After the dinner, the last working session was deploying a JRuby app in GlassFish. Nick showed how a Hello World WAR can be deployed on GlassFish using goldspike plugin. The second part of the application showed how this application can utilize the database connection pool and connect to the database. A detailed screencast of how such an application can be developed using NetBeans Ruby IDE is available here.
Towards the end of this session, there was an interesting discussion around the pros and cons of using GlassFish as opposed to the traditional Rails deployment model. I plan to capture that discussion with some additional details separately.
The event started at around 2:45pm and there were lot of dedicated "hackers" sitting until late in the day. And the following photographs are taken after the free dinner was served :)