Mongrel 0.3.1 -- New Site/Runs Right


#1

Hello All,

Yet another release of Mongrel proudly pushed out for everyone to review
and
comment on. This time though, I’ve done up a little website that’s
way
better than the plan Rdoc that used to stand in for the site like a
one-legged leper.

As you should already know, Mongrel is a fast HTTP server and library
for
Ruby partially written in C. It supports running Ruby on Rails,
Camping,
and Og+Nitro applications as well as featuring a simple API for others
to
use in their own frameworks. Performance is usually much higher than
WEBrick while the features are kept much lower.

== 0.3.1 Changes

  • This release fixes a huge bug in the Rails support where the
    Content-length was very very wrong. People who had weird problems
    downloading images should try this release and let me know the results.

  • It features a new command and plugin system (thanks to pluginfactory)
    with
    an initial start and stop command for Ruby on Rails.

  • New site that was basically stolen from all sorts of Creative Commons
    licensed sources. Please read the attributions page (
    http://mongrel.rubyforge.org/attributions.html) so they get credit.

  • Dependency problems with daemons gem solved.

== The New Rails Runner

This release features a mongrel_rails script that has start and stop
commands as well as full options for dictating it’s configuration.
Simply
do the following:

$ sudo gem install mongrel
$ cd myrailsapp
$ mongrel_rails start -d

Which runs Mongrel in the background. You can stop it with:

$ mongrel_rails stop

And you¹re all set. You can pass the start and stop commands the -h
option
to find out all the possible options.

=== Win32 Folks

The only thing you people need to do right now is avoid the -d option
for
start. Win32 doesn¹t support POSIX fork so it won¹t go into the
background.
I¹ll be adding support for making Mongrel a service in a few releases.

There might be other Process specific calls the blow up on win32. Let
me
know since…ehem…I didn’t really test this on win32. Sorry.

== The Next Release

I’ll be grabbing all the various Rails applications I can and begin
testing
Mongrel against them. If anyone is building an application and is
interested in testing Mongrel with their gear then shoot me an e-mail.
There is one outstanding bug with the Rails support which I have to fix,
but
otherwise it’s working reasonably well.

Any suggestions for documentation people want are more than welcome.

Finally, I’m looking at a caching mechanism that would involve
dynamically
storing gzip and regular versions of all returned content into a
memcached.
I have a small prototype kind of working that does this, but I’m
interested
in people’s ideas for what they’d like in a caching system that’s
between
Rails page caching and fully dynamic content.

= Love Your Dog?

I’m looking for people who want their buddy featured on the Mongrel
site.
Just post a photo via some photo posting site and let me know where it
is.
I’ll make a page for all the “mongrels” out there. 'Cause dogs rule.

Zed A. Shaw


#2

DÅ?a Nedeľa 12 Február 2006 21:39 Zed S. napísal:

= Love Your Dog?

I’m looking for people who want their buddy featured on the Mongrel site.
Just post a photo via some photo posting site and let me know where it is.
I’ll make a page for all the “mongrels” out there. 'Cause dogs rule.

I’ve got half a mind to go out and code something useful (cue gasps of
astonishment) only to have something Ruby-related to call Pussy.

As in a cat, you sick, sad people who thought otherwise.

David V.
Wondering if this message passes spam filters


#3

On 2/12/06 4:30 PM, “David V.” removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

As in a cat, you sick, sad people who thought otherwise.

David V.
Wondering if this message passes spam filters

If you do it’s got to be named Dentata. :slight_smile:

Zed A. Shaw


#4

Dòa Nedeµa 12 Február 2006 22:45 Zed S. napísal:

astonishment) only to have something Ruby-related to call Pussy.

As in a cat, you sick, sad people who thought otherwise.

David V.
Wondering if this message passes spam filters

If you do it’s got to be named Dentata. :slight_smile:

Good idea there. Especially useful as a psychiatric diagnosis method.
Everyone
who gets that one without googling is a definite nutcase :stuck_out_tongue:

David V.


#5

Zed S. wrote:

As you should already know, Mongrel is a fast HTTP server and library
for
Ruby partially written in C. It supports running Ruby on Rails

Does it handle multiple concurrent Rails requests (threads)?


#6

DÅ?a Nedeľa 12 Február 2006 23:06 Andreas S. napísal:

Zed S. wrote:

As you should already know, Mongrel is a fast HTTP server and library
for
Ruby partially written in C. It supports running Ruby on Rails

Does it handle multiple concurrent Rails requests (threads)?

The documentation seems to indicate that Mongrel is a threading server
with 20
worker thread. So I’d bet on “yes”.

David V.


#7

Damn! Thanks for the catch, hopefully others will figure it out.


#8

On 12/02/06, Zed S. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

s/net/org/

Looks great!


#9

DÅ?a Pondelok 13 Február 2006 01:38 Zed S. napísal:

Yes, it handles concurrent requests except for right when it runs the
actual Rails dispatcher. Rails isn’t thread safe and so there needs to be
a big sync lock around the whole thing to keep Rails from peeing in it’s
pants like a schoolgirl.

I might be easy to amuse, but I’m getting hilarious mildly (well, not
really
mildly) pornographical mental images of ruby-talk members involving
schoolgirl costumes and urination.

Which probably noone wanted to know. Weep.

Otherwise there are a fixed number of worker threads that simply wait on a
queue of requests to process and they work with those in parallel. Right
after Dispatcher is done the lock is released and the required IO is sent
back via these worker threads.

Hmm. Is fastCGI / SCGI support on the roadmap for these cases?

David V.


#10

Zed S. wrote:

Yes, it handles concurrent requests except for right when it runs the
actual Rails dispatcher. Rails isn’t thread safe and so there needs to be a
big sync lock around the whole thing to keep Rails from peeing in it’s pants
like a schoolgirl.

Ah, that incontinence problem again.

So does that imply that one might actually want to run several instances
of Mongrel behind a load-balancing lighttpd proxy? Since most of the
time (for my app at least) is going to be spent within Rails,
effectively Mongrel’s single-threaded.


#11

DÅ?a Pondelok 13 Február 2006 03:31 Michael Schoen napísal:

time (for my app at least) is going to be spent within Rails,
effectively Mongrel’s single-threaded.

You could possibly directly wire lighttpd to Rails then, what with the
New!
Shiny! SCGI runner around IIRC.

David V.


#12

Yes, it handles concurrent requests except for right when it runs the
actual Rails dispatcher. Rails isn’t thread safe and so there needs to
be a
big sync lock around the whole thing to keep Rails from peeing in it’s
pants
like a schoolgirl.

Otherwise there are a fixed number of worker threads that simply wait on
a
queue of requests to process and they work with those in parallel.
Right
after Dispatcher is done the lock is released and the required IO is
sent
back via these worker threads.

It can handle a reasonably good load with this, but probably still needs
some tuning.

Zed A. Shaw


#13

You could possibly directly wire lighttpd to Rails then, what with the New!
Shiny! SCGI runner around IIRC.

That’s how we’ve been running for the past few months (thanks Zed!), and
it works well. Mongrel’s a step forward though, cause it makes it easier
to verify that a specific process is working properly since you can hit
it directly with a browser, something you can’t do with an scgi process.


#14

Yeah, well, too bad I’m given absolutely no reason to click past the
front
page. Don’t you just love mystery meat? Not really.

I don’t understand why, if users are wanted, the hook isn’t in the least
baited. Am I supposed to go read the source, to see IF this is something
I
might be interested in?

Worse yes, this is hardly the first time I’ve seen this sort of
presentation. I don’t get it.

t.


#15

On 13/02/06, Tom C. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

Yeah, well, too bad I’m given absolutely no reason to click past the front
page. Don’t you just love mystery meat? Not really.

Did you miss the ‘Mongrel is a fast HTTP library and server for Ruby’
bit?


#16

Zed S. wrote:

Yet another release of Mongrel proudly pushed out for everyone to review and
comment on. This time though, I’ve done up a little website that’s way
better than the plan Rdoc that used to stand in for the site like a
one-legged leper.

Such nice design, Zed. You’re so Web 2.0 I can barely stand it.

Anyway, it’s http://mongrel.rubyforge.org/ , though I’m sure everybody
can figure that out.

f.


#17

I submitted a couple of feature requests to RubyForge - I hope you
check them out!


#18

OK, now I see the actual application web site. The link in the original
email I saw was http://rubyforge.org/ - where, after scrolling half way
down the page one finds a minimal paragraph with the header “Mongrel 0.3
– Runs Ruby On Rails”. THAT now links to a very NICE descriptive web
site - excellent - in fact. When last I tried it, it did NOT. What I got
was a web site with essentially only outbound links. No descriptive
info.
at all. Hence my distress. It appears that the link got modified after
I
passed by. Apparently, most people didn’t see what I saw, so my email
makes no sense to them. Oh well…

t.

On Sun, 12 Feb 2006 22:12:14 -0800, Tom C.
removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

t.

one-legged leper.

================================================
Tom C., MS MA, LMHC
Private practice Psychotherapist
Bellingham, Washington, U.S.A: (360) 920-1226
<< TC.BestMindHealth.com / BestMindHealth.com >>
<< removed_email_address@domain.invalid >>


#19

DÅ?a Pondelok 13 Február 2006 07:12 Tom C. napísal:

t.

I don’t get your point about “mystery meat”. If you get over the dog
photo and
headlines (d’oh, the content is in the content area of the page), the
very
first paragraph explains in a single sentence what the site and Mongrel
is
about. The next paragraph tells you how to use it on six lines of text,
which
is far more concise than most technical sites I’ve ever seen. And the
rest is
the usual, a mild sales pitch and (gasp) a direct link to the RDoc from
the
first site without having you wade through three pages of documentation
indexes on a wiki.

So, after going through the laughably little text on the front page, you
indeed do know Mongrel is a web server, that it’s written in Ruby, that
is’ a
simple and fast one, and how to install, start and stop it with a Rails
Application, and that you can’t run it as a daemon on Windows and why.
That’s
what I see without touching the scroll wheel and maximizing the browser
window. Let’s say I’ve seen worse. Especially considering you’ll
probably
visit this site from a programming blog or this mailing list, where you
already know at least some context and what you’re looking for.

If anything, I’d complain about the left sidebar with the very tiny font
under
the photos, since those are tasks one might actually revisit the site
for, as
opposed to reading documentation, which is technically available locally
after installing the gem. Then again, directly linking to subpages of
the
rubyforge project page is handier than just one link to it and leaving
users
stumbled.

Contrast to perl.org, where all you get is a cornucopia of links, with
the
first ones as amazingly relevant as “history” and “success stories”.
Python.org, the first text in the content pane of the page, where
everyone
looks first, the first thing is what software the website is hosted on,
then
some marketese “success story” quote (seriously, people, no one gives a
damn
about success stories), then announcements, then another pointless
“welcome”
sentence. and in the same browser window described above, that’s pretty
much
it. Etc.

Seriously, If you have to quibble about website usability, get some REAL arguments, instead of topical rants.

David V.


#20

On 2/13/06 4:11 PM, “Tom C.” removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

OK, now I see the actual application web site. The link in the original
email I saw was http://rubyforge.org/ - where, after scrolling half way
down the page one finds a minimal paragraph with the header “Mongrel 0.3
– Runs Ruby On Rails”. THAT now links to a very NICE descriptive web
site - excellent - in fact. When last I tried it, it did NOT. What I got
was a web site with essentially only outbound links. No descriptive info.
at all. Hence my distress. It appears that the link got modified after I
passed by. Apparently, most people didn’t see what I saw, so my email
makes no sense to them. Oh well…

Yeah, I screwed up the link with a .net ending rather than .org, so you
bounce to the rubyforge.org main page. Some people caught this.

Interestingly though, the site still got like 13k hits yesterday. Hope
Tom
Copland isn’t pissed :slight_smile:

Zed A. Shaw