Hello Folks, This is the big release of Mongrel that's been in the works for a while now (well, like a week). It is chock full of changes and features, but mostly it syncs up the Win32 side of things, and validates that Edge Rails works without problems. It also features a more extensive and useful example of the GemPlugins called mongrel_config. First the usual stuff for people without a clue. WHAT IS MONGREL? Mongrel is a small fast little web server project trying to bring the speed of FastCGI and the simplicity of WEBrick for deploying any Ruby web application. It already supports Ruby on Rails, Camping, and Nitro and could soon support IOWA. Since it is a regular old HTTP based server it can be clustered, manipulated, and deployed like any other web server you use. Check out the nifty website at: http://mongrel.rubyforge.org/ TOP 10 REASONS TO USE MONGREL 10) It's damn fast without being a pain to install. 9) It works on tons of platforms with active testing on Win32, FreeBSD, Linux, OSX, and NetBSD. 8) It is probably the very best deployment solution for people doing Win32 Rails development, especially since it actively supports windows services and has a reasonably nice management tool. 7) It's fast enough that you could probably run your small to medium size Ruby web applications using just Mongrel and be perfectly happy. 6) It actively supports Rails style page caching which could give your application a major performance boost without any extra deployment effort. 5) It uses an insanely correct HTTP parser which I've found blocks quite a few exploits. This parser is also what makes Mongrel so Fast. 4) It has a great plugin system that lets you package your extensions as gems and your users just "gem install and go". 3) It is LGPL so you thieves can make money (but I get Mongrel mods back!) 2) It supports and uses Camping. Camping is cool. And the best reason to use Mongrel is... 1) Isn't a cool name like Mongrel enough? INSTALLING You might need sudo, you *will* need Ruby 1.8.4, and you'll need a compiler (unless you're on win32). Simple enough. If you have mongrel already try "gem upgrade". If that causes problems then you might have to clear out gem_plugin, mongrel, mongrel_config, and mongrel_status. This is rare and typically only if people have been tracking my development. For newbies just do this: $ gem install mongrel $ gem install mongrel_config $ gem install mongrel_status (if you want this) That's it. NEW STUFF TO TRY IN 0.3.11 The 0.3.11 release features edge Rails support, some great functionality, big stability improvements, some good docs for folks to start using, and finally the beginning of a config tool implemented as a GemPlugin. Most importantly it completely supports Win32 again and the mongrel_config tool actually works *better* in Win32. = Documentation If you haven't seen it yet, check out http://mongrel.rubyforge.org/docs/lighttpd.html For a good set of docs for getting Mongrel up in a very fast production deployment running on one machine. Check out http://mongrel.rubyforge.org/docs/gem_plugin.html for docs on writing your very own mongrel_rails commands as gem plugins. The ability to write your own handlers, filters, and potentially whole applications as plugins coming soon. Adventurous people could try doing a rails plugin by adding "rails" as a dependency on their plugin gem. Especially check out the gpgen tool for getting a mongrel plugin up with minimal effort. == Edge Rails This release was tested with Edge Rails and several applications, but I'd be interested in more people living on the edge. == Config Tool If you're on Unix (OSX too) or Windows you now have a new thing to play with: mongrel_config. Once you install the mongrel_config gem you get a new command for mongrel_rails. You can try it two ways depending on your platform: UNIX: 1) cd myrailsapp 2) $ mongrel_rails configtool 3) Hit the web page it says and try starting and stopping your rails app. WIN32: 1) $ mongrel_rails configtool 2) Hit the web page and install new services, delete them, start them, stop them, check out the start/stop logs, and view all of the service's parameters. Yeah, win32 wins on this one. And yes, win32 configtool doesn't need to be in any rails directory, which means smart people will make a simple link that runs this in order to manage their rails apps services. == Camping Mongrel now supports Camping a lot better and uses it extensively in the mongrel_config plugin. Camping is _why's little micro-framework for doing web applications. It's perfect for little tools like the mongrel_config plugin. If you're interested in writing a little application and don't want a full Rails app then try looking at the code to mongrel_config to get an idea. It works great, the only thing is that there's tons of PFM in Camping that seems to break Rails like crazy. Camping == oil. Rails == water. Don't mix. == The Dreaded TCP Hack Sean Treadway gave me a bit of hack code which jacks the OS listen queue from the default (usually 5) to a whopping 1024. This makes Mongrel handle concurrency much better. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you. THE FUTURE I'll be writing the filters feature and finally the configuration file that will let you configure any handlers and filters from a .yaml file. This is needed so that people can write plugins to give you special filters, handlers, or whole applications (similar to configtool). After this I'll be talking with Luis to see if we can consolidate the mongrel_rails_service and mongrel_rails by using the plugin system to implement the commands. We'll also look at making the mongrel_config more advanced. Finally I'm talking with the IOWA folks to roll their web app into the Mongrel kennel. Fun stuff! Enjoy the release and feel free to shoot me your problems, praise, and any features requests. Zed A. Shaw http://www.zedshaw.com/
on 2006-03-15 10:44
on 2006-03-16 04:42
Great job Zed, thank you very much for your hard work. I'm waiting for the next installment of [ http://mongrel.rubyforge.org/docs/lighttpd.html ] with memcached instructions to complete my setup. btw to deal with lighttpd load balancer issues i'm using balance: [ http://www.inlab.de/balance.html ] - lighttpd sending all request to ONE IP (can be 127.0.0.1), where balance is listenning and doing all requests spreading (load balancing and fail over).