Checking for Functional Site

I have my rails sites hosted by Bluehost. While they are in many ways an
ideal host for developers, they have one very major problem.

Their sysadmins periodically change the Rails installation without any
warning to users. The result of this is that the sites periodically
break - and we get no warning that this is going to happen. I don’t
fault them for updating the installation - rails is pretty new
technology after all. By not letting us know what’s happening, however,
our sites can go down without warning. The only way to determine whether
or not they’ve done something is to actually connect to the site and see
whether or not it is still working. I’ve complained to them about this
repeatedly … their normal response is simply to ignore the complaint.

Is there some way to do an autocheck of the system to see if anything in
the rails installation / configuration has changed? If there is, I could
set this up as a cron job and do a manual check when I determined that
something had changed. This would also minimize the distortion of the
logs from the hits from my check.

Thanks in advance

Hi, why not take an easier approach by freezing a version of rails as
well as your gems before you deploy your application.

Good luck,


Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 3, 2009, at 11:11 AM, Michael S.
<[email protected]

If you can run a cron script, don’t worry about actually doing
something in Ruby or Rails itself. Just write a bash script to check
the output of the ‘gem rails’ command for the appropriate version
number you use.

On Jan 3, 1:11 pm, Michael S. <rails-mailing-l…@andreas-

Hi Michael,

Freezing your Rails gems is probably the best way to maintain control
over the version of the framework being used and is highly recommended
in a shared environment. You might also consider using some free
externally hosted service (i.e. Pingdom,, etc.) for
checking the status of the website from the end-user perspective in
order to keep tabs on your site from the end-user perspective.
Ultimately though, I don’t know if I’d be so forgiving about a hosting
company that doesn’t want to communicate with their customers. :frowning:

cron wget to run every minute pulling HEAD requests and email you if
there’s a 404 or 500 or whatever you get when it’s busted.


Sounds like you need a new hosting location!! Your statement about
Rails is a new and that makes it ok to F with your customers? I would
demand my money back if thats how they do business…

Eric wrote:

cron wget to run every minute pulling HEAD requests and email you if
there’s a 404 or 500 or whatever you get when it’s busted.


You will quickly get your inbox overflooded in such case. Using a remote
service like HopToad or GetExceptional is better. If anyone knows about
an ever better option, please let use know.

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