Juggernaut : Realtime Rails

13:40–14:25 Wednesday, 3-09-2008
Location: Saal Maritim C Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 12 ratings)

Juggernaut for Rails is a plug-in which provides server push. Juggernaut offers a lightweight and flexible solution using a Flash client to provide real-time HTML and JavaScript updates.

This opens up many use cases, including chat, collaborative wikis, CMSs, and multi-player games that would be difficult to build without a heavy server load and complex back end systems. Juggernaut has been used to great success in many production environments, such as myquire.com, clockingit.com and 64squar.es; and proved that Juggernaut is a very useful method of providing a near-realtime web experience.

This talk will detail the simplest ways to begin using Juggernaut to provide some simple real-time updates for a chat application. Sample code will be provided during this tutorial. The talk will then go into details about how to use its more advanced features for production worthy sites with more complex architectures. A Q&A session and open discussion will conclude the session.

Juggernaut is available as a drop-in plug-in comprising of a push server based on EventMachine, a client-side SWF and a simple Ruby/JavaScript API. The SWF file is hidden and opens a flash socket to the EventMachine server. This separate client and server solution provides a clean, more stable, and scalable solution than Comet and reduces the server load of polling based solutions. In cases where clients cannot make long-lived TCP connections, Juggernaut provides a seamless fallback to a unified polling solution.

Photo of Alex MacCaw

Alex MacCaw


Alex MacCaw is a software developer for Made by Many, a London based social media consultancy. He’s mainly involved with Rails prototyping, but delves into lots of areas concerning application design and implementation.

Stuart Eccles

Made By Many Limited

Stuart is a digital industry veteran and the Technical Director of the London based social media agency Made By Many. He has been living the dream on Rails for nearly 3 years and is the author of LiveRail as well as a number of tutorials and the RailsDAV plugin.

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