Forum: Ruby on Rails RE: Re: I Would Really Like to Try RoR but...

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60e38de043848f82392062088f191213?d=identicon&s=25 Hogan, Brian P. (Guest)
on 2005-12-20 17:43
(Received via mailing list)

I agree with you in theory, but here's my reality:

We're a regional university who has a large support contract with MS. We
do have some Linux boxes, but we host hundreds of web sites on our IIS
servers. Different departments, like Biology, Chemistry, etc. house
their web pages on our server, which happens to run IIS.

We've been successful in integrating applications into these spaces
using both ASP and PHP.
Biology, for example can have a web application that allows students to
record their lab results located at

We desperately want to use Rails to replace ASP and PHP because it's
faster, less prone to errors (good testing) and we have budget

However, we *need* to be able to retain this integration with our sites.
My feeling is that I don't care what platform it runs on as long as this
integration can be maintained... However, I can't get this running on
IIS, and I can find no good reverse-proxy solutions. I'd be interested
to see how to get IIS to redirect requests to an SCGI runner for Rails.

So, I hope you can see that this is more than just an "arbitrary
decision".  We can't switch our web sites over to Apache just because
we'd like to try out a couple of Rails applications... Our budget just
doesn't allow that.

As for "some things can't be done", I just have to disagree. That's what
the Java people say about Rails... I believe that anything can be done
if the right people are motivated. PHP runs under IIS with FastCGI, so
what's the problem with Rails? You could say it's an IIS thing... But
ColfFusion, Perl, PHP, and JSP (Tomcat proxy) work.

I would greatly appreciate any solutions anyone has for this problem and
would be interested in sharing ideas with others who are in similar

Thanks for listening.

Brian Hogan
Web Development
Learning & Technology Services
Schofield 3-B
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
715 836 3585
E6520b0addebfd58b83d7f2dc8d91b01?d=identicon&s=25 Steven Ross (Guest)
on 2005-12-20 17:49
(Received via mailing list)
Why don't you just setup some redirects on your IIS managed sites to
the rails apps will be? That way you can run whatever setup you want.

On 12/20/05, Hogan, Brian P. <> wrote:
> We've been successful in integrating applications into these spaces
> However, we *need* to be able to retain this integration with our sites.
> As for "some things can't be done", I just have to disagree. That's what
> -----Original Message-----
> Go to it."  You're just gonna build a sinking ship.
> expert sysadmin type then I'm betting it's a unilateral
> should include provisions for an exceptional case policy so
> > * No Linux-in-a-Window allowed
> > _______________________________________________

Steven Ross
web application & interface developer
[phone] 404-488-4364
8c43ed7f065406bf171c0f3eb32cf615?d=identicon&s=25 Zed A. Shaw (Guest)
on 2005-12-20 21:03
(Received via mailing list)

I'd love to write you an IIS plugin for SCGI.

BTW, I have to eat.  Do you happen to have some donations so I can work
on it?

This is the main problem.  The classic open source approach is that I
do this in my spare time since I need it.  I spent quite a bit of my
time on SCGI and others spent their time on Rails.  Curt Hibbs put a
great deal of effort in Instant Rails just to support Win32.  Even now
there's times when I hear of startups popping up using SCGI to host
and wonder if I'm being taken advantage of by them. It kind of bothers
me, but the effort to give it to others was only slightly more than the
time it took to implement it myself so I released it.

SCGI, FastCGI, and WEBrick work for me and 99% of people out there so
there's little motivation for someone to spend their own time and money
trying to support another platform to please the 1% who refuse to try
to use the established mechanisms.  I know that sounds harsh, but
that's the way it goes.

Now, before you think I'm a "lousy MS hater" keep in mind that a prime
motivation for me to do SCGI was to bring in Win32 support for people.
I'll tell you I'm one of the few core developers who made this kind of
effort (correct me if I'm wrong guys).  Ironically, I'm not even really
core, just a guy who hangs out in the core IRC channel.

So, yes you're right anyone can do just about anything.  I can't really
find the time to do this and the effort required for me to learn to
write an IIS plugin to support Win32 after already spending my valuable
time supporting Win32 is just not worth the return.

But, since "anything can be done if the right people are motivated" why
don't you do it?  You're motivated, you're the right person, you're one
of the few people who are in this situation, and the tools are there
for you to use.  Why rely on unpaid volunteers like myself to create
something that could save your organization so much money.  Hell, you
could probably charge for it if you did it right.

Which brings up my final point:  You should understand that
people generally don't mind supporting Apache, lighttpd, SCGI, FastCGI
etc. since these are volunteer systems and everyone has the source.
There's little chance that a company will swoop in and steal them from
us.  An IIS plugin for Rails has a *very* high chance (IMHO) of suddenly
ending up in the IIS distirbution from MS without any return to the
developer who writes it. When I look at writing an SCGI plugin to IIS
the next thing I see is some company making shitloads of cash off my
work. Not a very good motivator if you ask me.

Anyway, good luck.

Zed A. Shaw

On Tue, 20 Dec 2005 10:41:28 -0600
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