The Future of Deployment: A Killer Panel

Location: Ballroom A Level:
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The way we deploy ruby apps is changing. It’s getting better, faster, and smoother. This is happening because all the different pieces of the stack, including the underlying hosting platform, have started to fit together well.

This panel is a chance to get forward thinkers from all the different parts of the ruby web stack in one room. This is truly a killer line-up.

A solid ruby web stack:

Application server: Thin
    Webserver Interface: Rack
        Middleware: Rack::Cache
            Framework: Sinatra
                Your Ruby App
Hosting Environment: Heroku

Panel Speakers:

ThinMarc-André Cournoyer, creator
As one of the main successors of Mongrel and a widely used application server that is lighter, faster, and more stable, thin was built with Rack and EventMachine from the ground up.

RackChristian Neukirchen, creator
The centerpiece of the ruby stack, Rack is the interface that allows web servers, app servers, frameworks, and ruby code to connect, and provides an elegant extensibility to the request path. Rack is an essential part of every ruby web app, and is built into all the things you use every day (Rails, Merb, Sinatra, Mongrel, Thin, Passenger, etc.).

Rack::CacheRyan Tomayko, creator
Not only a great example of Rack Middleware, Rack::Cache also represents a critical part of ruby’s future on the web: HTTP caching. Many projects are in the works to make ruby apps fast (some at the VM level), but nothing will ever yield the kind of performance boost you can get from proper caching. Rack::Cache can make it effortless.

SinatraBlake Mizerany, creator
The hugely popular ruby microframework allows simple apps to be built at blazing speed, can be easily deployed almost anywhere, is lightweight and super fast, and has amazing power when combined with Rack and Rails.

HerokuAdam Wiggins, cofounder
With over 25,000 ruby applications hosted on the platform, no one has done more behind-the-scenes work to standardize the stack and deployment process, and to understand how these pieces fit smoothly together.

Panel Moderator: James Lindenbaum — cofounder, Heroku

We’ll spend the first half of the session talking about:

  • how this group has made these pieces fit together so well
  • individual and collective visions of the future for the stack, including:
    • the effects of ruby 1.9 and new ruby VMs and app servers (Marc-André Cournoyer)
    • deployment styles, tools, and processes (Adam Wiggins)
    • how rack middleware and Rails Metal should be used (Christian Neukirchen)
    • how small apps and microframeworks fit with Rails (Blake Mizerany)
    • HTTP caching, seriously (Ryan Tomayko)

The second half of the session will provide time for Q&A and feedback. This is a rare opportunity to discuss issues and ideas in real time, directly with the key people from each part of the stack, all in one place.

Photo of Marc-André Cournoyer

Marc-André Cournoyer

Sauté Inc.

Marc is a father, snowboarder and coder from Montreal, Quebec.

He coded tinyrb, Thin, and other stuff, mostly in Ruby. He’s also one of the founding employees at Standout Jobs.

Photo of Christian Neukirchen

Christian Neukirchen

Rack Core Team

Christian Neukirchen (aka chris2) has been programming Ruby since 2001. As lead developer of the abstract webserver interface Rack, he is committed to unifying the Ruby web development landscape. He also authored several other Ruby libraries, among them the popular BDD frameworks test/spec and bacon. To the Internet community, he is known for creating the first tumblelog, Anarchaia, and its successor Trivium. Currently he is studying Mathematics and Computer Science. On the net, he can be found at

Photo of Blake Mizerany

Blake Mizerany


Blake has been into ruby since way back in 2001, and is the creator of Sinatra, the popular ruby microframework. Blake spends his days at Heroku, where he makes mind-blowing features out of ruby and erlang, and often says “you’re doing it all wrong”. He speaks regularly at ruby events and in conjunction maintains a completely indiscernible beard-shaving schedule.

Photo of Ryan Tomayko

Ryan Tomayko


Ryan Tomayko has been writing about web architecture since 2003 and contributed to Rails core as early as 2005. He created Rack::Cache, is one of the core Sinatra hackers, and is a member of the Rack core team. Ryan works at Heroku in San Francisco helping to build the greatest web platform ever

Photo of Adam Wiggins

Adam Wiggins


Adam Wiggins is the author of RestClient, a contributor to Sinatra, a cofounder of Heroku, and generally a total bad-ass. In 2008 he spoke at events such as Railsconf and Rubyconf. He blogs about agile methodologies, Ruby, Erlang, cloud computing, and entrepreneurship at

Photo of James Lindenbaum

James Lindenbaum


James Lindenbaum is a hacker and entrepreneur with a background in agile development and enterprise software consulting. He was a principal at Bitscribe, is one of the founders of Heroku, and is technical advisor to several startups. His OCD perfectionism got him hooked on the beauty of Ruby back in 2005, and he’s been an addict ever since.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Michael Gaffney
05/06/2009 6:56am PDT

Needed organization.

Picture of Emmanuel Sambo
Emmanuel Sambo
05/05/2009 7:49am PDT

It would be great if some sessions could be more explicit of who the target audience is (because it wasn’t be)

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