I’ve been toying around with the idea for a small website lately, but never actually got around to do it. In an attempt to clear out my personal to do list I finally motivated myself to start yesterday, and I have to say the following combination of tools is not only insanely efficient, but also really fun to work with:
- Sinatra, “a DSL for quickly creating web applications in Ruby with minimal effort”. I recommend using it in combination with Mongrel, Shotgun and Haml.
- Heroku, a Ruby cloud hosting platform. Small sites are for free and Heroku’s git-based workflow just feels so natural. You can also manage your gem dependencies and set up environment variables, which made my life a whole lot easier.
- MongoDB, “a scalable, high-performance, open source, schema-free, document-oriented database”. In this specific case I used MongoHQ for the database hosting, since they were nice enough to provide me with a beta account. I stored all the connection information for MongoHQ in environment variables as described above:
With this combination I was able to go from zero to mostly finished (I still need to write some of the content and make/steal a stylesheet) in very little time, while actually having fun! Thanks everybody for providing the Ruby community which such awesome tools! :-)