Where Will Ruby Go Now? Talking with Tenderlove at RailsConf

DSCF4286 Last week at RailsConf in Kansas City, Terence Lee and Richard Schneeman of Heroku’s Ruby Task Force sat down with the legendary Aaron Patterson (AKA tenderlove).

Aaron has been working hard to make Ruby three times faster — a goal that Matz called Ruby 3x3. Along the way, Aaron has discovered that Ruby may face a hard decision. On one side, Ruby can continue to be the productive, general-purpose scripting language that it looks like today. But the other side of Ruby is that it’s used to run long-running processes in Rails applications, pushing it to be more performant, strongly-typed, and memory-heavy. Ruby can't prioritize both.

To find out where Aaron thinks Ruby’s going, you can read the abridged transcript below the fold — but to hear all about his new job at Github, Ruby performance, mechanical keyboards, grumpy cats, and more, you should listen to the whole recording right here.

Read more →

Real-Time Rails: Implementing WebSockets in Rails 5 with Action Cable

It's been one year since Action Cable debuted at RailsConf 2015, and Sophie DeBenedetto is here to answer the question in the minds of many developers: what is it really like to implement "the highlight of Rails 5"? Sophie is a web developer and an instructor at the Flatiron School. Her first love is Ruby on Rails, although she has developed projects with and written about Rails, Ember and Phoenix.


Recent years have seen the rise of "the real-time web." Web apps we use every day rely on real-time features—the sort of features that let you see new posts magically appearing at the top of your feeds without having to lift a finger.

While we may take those features for granted, they represent a significant departure from the HTTP protocol's strict request-response pattern. Real-time web, by contrast, loosely describes a system in which users receive new information from the server as soon as it is available—no request required.

Read more →

Container-Ready Rails 5

Rails 5 will be the easiest release ever to get running on Heroku. You can get it going in just five lines:

$ rails new myapp -d postgresql
$ cd myapp
$ git init . ; git add . ; git commit -m first
$ heroku create
$ git push heroku master

These five lines (and a view or two) are all you need to get a Rails 5 app working on Heroku — there are no special gems you need to install, or flags you must toggle. Let's take a peek under the hood, and explore the interfaces baked right into Rails 5 that make it easy to deploy your app on any modern container-based platform.

Read more →

Upgrading to Rails 5 Beta - The Hard Way

Rails 5 has been brewing for more than a year. To take advantage of new features, and stay on the supported path, you'll need to upgrade. In this post, we'll look at the upgrade process for a production Rails app, codetriage.com. The codebase is open source so you can follow along. Special thanks to Prathamesh for his help with this blog post.

How Stable is the Beta?

In Rails a beta means the API is not yet stable, and features will come and go. A Release Candidate (RC) means no new features; the API is considered stable, and RCs will continue to be released until all reported regressions are resolved.

Should you run your production app on the beta? There is value in getting a beta working on a branch and being ready when the RC or upcoming release is available. Lots of companies run Beta and RC releases of Rails in production, but it's not for the faint of heart. You'll need to be pretty confident in your app, make sure your test suite is up to par, and that manual quality control (QC) checks are thorough. It's always a relief to find and fix bugs before they arrive in production. Please report regressions and bugs you encounter -- the faster we uncover and report them, the faster these bugs get fixed, and the more stable Rails becomes. Remember, no one else is going to find and report the regressions in your codebase unless you do it.

Read more →

Helios - open source framework for mobile

Heroku has a strong tradition with open source projects. Engineers have dedicated countless hours to the projects that developers count on every day. Open Source Software is in our DNA.

Speaking personally, I’m passionate about building tools like AFNetworking and cupertino, in order to help developers build insanely great experiences for mobile devices. It’s with great pleasure that I introduce something new I’ve been working on:

Helios is an open-source framework that provides essential back-end services for iOS apps. This includes data synchronization, push notifications, in-app purchases, and passbook integration. It allows developers to get a client-server app up-and-running while seamlessly incorporating functionality as necessary.

Helios is designed for "mobile first" development. Build out great features on the device, and implement the server-side components as necessary. Pour all of your energy into crafting a great user experience, rather than getting mired down with the back-end.

Built on the Rack webserver interface, Helios can be easily added into any existing Rails or Sinatra application. Or, if you're starting with a Helios application, you can build a new Rails or Sinatra application on top of it. This means that you can develop your application using the tools and frameworks you love, and maintain flexibility with your architecture as your needs evolve.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Browse the blog archives, subscribe to the full-text feed, or visit the engineering blog.