Want to help us design the complete ruby on rails hosting package?

Ok the title sounds a bit funny, but it’s the best I could come up with. Calling all developers, ROR users and people who need and want flexible ruby on rails hosting.
What is your ideal server setup? There are many choices, here are the ones we’d consider.
1) Apache + FastCGI?
2) Apache + Mod_Proxy with Mongrel or another application server?
3) Apache + mod_rails (passenger)
Shell access won’t be a possibility here unfortunately in our new shared hosting system, it’s just not going to be a feature. So what would people like instead? A ruby console of some kind that has limited command line options? What would you like these to be? access to ruby, rake etc?
What about Gems, have the ability to install your own gems? (I can’t see this happening) How about if we had a Gem request system where by you can click a button and stick in a gem name and our support team would get notified?
Many people often ask how do I restart my application? Our current Apache/FastCGI setup results in this question a lot. This requires an apache restart which in cases of busy loads can take the server offline for anything from 2-30 seconds, admittedly this isn’t ideal at all. In an ideal world we’d use passenger (mod_rails). All you have to do to restart your application is put a file called “restart.txt” into the tmp folder of your application and passenger restarts your app, cool huh?
What else would you like? What options would be ideal?

3 Responses to Want to help us design the complete ruby on rails hosting package?

  1. John Drysdale June 17, 2008 at 19:12 #

    FastCGI is not the best and not liked by the majority of established ROR developers, as I’m not one what do I know! And to make it worse I’ve only used the blacknight server up to now so I can’t comment on wht would be good, sorry.
    Without shell it would be difficult but with at least a console allowing the standard commands to facilitate the creation of your tables etc and a drop down menu for gems it could be done. But most of all a good guide on how to use it and get your apps up and running is essential and if this was all wiki like,, better again.

  2. Francisco de Juan June 18, 2008 at 15:30 #

    Thanks for bringing us the opportunity to discuss about Ruby on Rails. How do I send you a big chocolate box?
    If I have to be concise: I miss a shell with the rake command. Have you ever try to develop or debug a rails app without rake?
    Next, I think it would be a great idea to have some access to ruby gems. I don’t know how, but any method you propose would be better than none.
    About the server configuration, I would recommend you Apache + Mod_proxy with Mongrel, it’s the configuration I use in two production environments and it’s flexible and robust.
    Thanks again for trying to improve your Ruby on Rails support.
    Francisco de Juan
    PS. Do you know Capistrano? => http://www.capify.org/

  3. Paul Kelly June 18, 2008 at 16:13 #

    Hi Francisco,
    Yes, we’ve heard of capistrano alright and what ever solution we put in, we’d most probably include it as a function.
    On mongrel and mod_proxy, allowing the user to restart their app requires more complexity, they then need control over a mongrel instance on an app server and control over apache vhosts, mod_proxy configs (limited) from 1 web control panel. This is highly complex.
    Thanks for you feed back all so far.