From the monthly archives:

April 2009

Most people are fairly familiar with the basic idea of a database driven website. More specifically, they understand that data is stored in the database and somehow makes it into the web page the browser loads.

Ruby on Rails provides a framework that makes the transition of information from a database to a webpage extremely simple. To begin, we’ll assume that you have Ruby and Rails installed on your machine. From there, we’ll work our way up from the database to the core of the application and back out into the webpage that presents the data.
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I recently set up a relevance search plugin for Ruby on Rails. If you want it, you can follow this link to check out the plugin. If you want to know about the plugin’s algorithm and limitations, read on.
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One of the greatest features in Rails 2.3 is the Rails Metal piece. It’s part of the goodness that came out of the Rails/Merb merge.

Metal provides a layer of functionality that is executed before or in the place of your rails application. The common term for this type of software is middleware. There is a terrific presentation that was given at Mountain West RubyConf 2009. You can actually view the video of it here.

Here’s a simple example of how to use metal to require authentication before accessing pages on the site.
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