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Rack, a modular Ruby webserver interface

Rack provides a minimal, modular and adaptable interface for developing web applications in Ruby. By wrapping HTTP requests and responses in the simplest way possible, it unifies and distills the API for web servers, web frameworks, and software in between (the so-called middleware) into a single method call.

The exact details of this are described in the Rack specification, which all Rack applications should conform to.

Specification changes in this release

With Rack 1.1, the Rack specification (found in SPEC) changed in the following backward-incompatible ways.

Supported web servers

The included handlers connect all kinds of web servers to Rack:

These web servers include Rack handlers in their distributions:

Any valid Rack app will run the same on all these handlers, without changing anything.

Supported web frameworks

The included adapters connect Rack with existing Ruby web frameworks:

These frameworks include Rack adapters in their distributions:

Current links to these projects can be found at wiki.ramaze.net/Home#other-frameworks

Available middleware

Between the server and the framework, Rack can be customized to your applications needs using middleware, for example:

All these components use the same interface, which is described in detail in the Rack specification. These optional components can be used in any way you wish.

Convenience

If you want to develop outside of existing frameworks, implement your own ones, or develop middleware, Rack provides many helpers to create Rack applications quickly and without doing the same web stuff all over:

rack-contrib

The plethora of useful middleware created the need for a project that collects fresh Rack middleware. rack-contrib includes a variety of add-on components for Rack and it is easy to contribute new modules.

rackup

rackup is a useful tool for running Rack applications, which uses the Rack::Builder DSL to configure middleware and build up applications easily.

rackup automatically figures out the environment it is run in, and runs your application as FastCGI, CGI, or standalone with Mongrel or WEBrick—all from the same configuration.

Quick start

Try the lobster!

Either with the embedded WEBrick starter:

    ruby -Ilib lib/rack/lobster.rb

Or with rackup:

    bin/rackup -Ilib example/lobster.ru

By default, the lobster is found at localhost:9292.

Installing with RubyGems

A Gem of Rack is available at gemcutter.org. You can install it with:

    gem install rack

I also provide a local mirror of the gems (and development snapshots) at my site:

    gem install rack --source http://chneukirchen.org/releases/gems/

Running the tests

Testing Rack requires the test/spec testing framework:

    gem install test-spec

There are two rake-based test tasks:

    rake test       tests all the fast tests (no Handlers or Adapters)
    rake fulltest   runs all the tests

The fast testsuite has no dependencies outside of the core Ruby installation and test-spec.

To run the test suite completely, you need:

  * camping
  * fcgi
  * memcache-client
  * mongrel
  * thin

The full set of tests test FCGI access with lighttpd (on port 9203) so you will need lighttpd installed as well as the FCGI libraries and the fcgi gem:

Download and install lighttpd:

    http://www.lighttpd.net/download

Installing the FCGI libraries:

    curl -O http://www.fastcgi.com/dist/fcgi-2.4.0.tar.gz
    tar xzvf fcgi-2.4.0.tar.gz
    cd fcgi-2.4.0
    ./configure --prefix=/usr/local
    make
    sudo make install
    cd ..

Installing the Ruby fcgi gem:

    gem install fcgi

Furthermore, to test Memcache sessions, you need memcached (will be run on port 11211) and memcache-client installed.

History

Contact

Please post bugs, suggestions and patches to the bug tracker at <rack.lighthouseapp.com/>.

Mailing list archives are available at <groups.google.com/group/rack-devel>.

Git repository (send Git patches to the mailing list):

You are also welcome to join the rack channel on irc.freenode.net.

Thanks

The Rack Core Team, consisting of

would like to thank:

Copyright

Copyright (C) 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Christian Neukirchen <purl.org/net/chneukirchen>

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

Links

Rack:<rack.rubyforge.org/>
Rack’s Rubyforge project:<rubyforge.org/projects/rack>
Official Rack repositories:<github.com/rack>
Rack Lighthouse Bug Tracking:<rack.lighthouseapp.com/>
rack-devel mailing list:<groups.google.com/group/rack-devel>
Christian Neukirchen:<chneukirchen.org/>

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