Speaking at RubyConf 2010

A quick bit of self-promotional guff: I’m thrilled to announce I’ll be presenting at RubyConf 2010 in New Orleans this November. I’ll be speaking about the Ruby incarnation of Faye, and more broadly about doing asynchronous programming and testing using Ruby and EventMachine.

I gave a similar talk based on the JavaScript/Node version at the London Ajax User Group a couple months back, if you want a preview.

You can grab a ticket from the conference site, assuming they’ve not sold out by the time you read this. It’s a pretty daunting prospect sharing a bill with Matz and DHH, so fingers-crossed my first proper conference spot goes well.

Using Rack::Builder with stateful applications

I was building a little app to help us monitor data changes on Songkick the other day, and was bitten by a feature of Rack that made it look like Faye wasn’t working. I was building a web stack like this, instead of using a config.ru file:

app = Rack::Builder.new do
  use Faye::RackAdapter, :mount => '/bayeux', :timeout => 25
  run Sinatra::Application

Rack::Handler.get('thin').run(app, :Port => 3000)

What the documentation doesn’t tell you is that Rack builds a brand new application object from the Builder config for every request. If one of your middlewares stores state in memory (as Faye does with for channel subscriptions), this state will be lost between requests and the app won’t work. To get around this, you need to do this to get a single instance of the built application to run:

Rack::Handler.get('thin').run(app.to_app, :Port => 3000)

That is, call to_app on your Rack::Builder instance to get a single application object to serve requests. This way, any in-memory state will persist between requests and your Faye app will be just fine.