Apples Leopard Hails Ruby on Rails

Apple Computer's Leopard Server will include the Ruby on Rails application development environment.

Owing to its increasing popularity, the Ruby on Rails application development environment will be included in the release of Apple Computers upcoming server offering, code-named Leopard Server.

Indeed, Leopard Server has support for Ruby on Rails, PHP and JSP (JavaServer Pages) accessible from a simple administrative interface, Apple officials said.

/zimages/4/28571.gifCan Mac OS X Leopard compete with Windows Vista on features? Click here to read more.

An Apple document describing Leopard details the use of several open-source technologies, of which Ruby on Rails is one. Leopard Server also features administration for Apache 2.2 or 1.3, MySQL 5 with Apache/MySQL/PHP integration, JBoss 4, and Tomcat 5 for hosting EJB (Enterprise JavaBeans) 3.0 and J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) 1.4-compliant enterprise applications, as well as Ruby on Rails with Mongrel for simplified development and deployment of Web-based applications, Apple said. Mongrel is an HTTP library and server for Ruby that is intended for hosting Ruby Web applications.

"By including Ruby on Rails in Leopard, Apple is issuing a strong vote of confidence in what weve accomplished so far," David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails and a partner at 37 Signals, in Chicago, told eWEEK. "Itll mean that everyone working on and coming to the Mac will have an even easier time getting started with Rails and launching production applications on Xserves."

Hansson said the Ruby on Rails team has been working with Apple "for quite a while" to help deliver the Ruby on Rails environment on Leopard.

"The love for Ruby has definitely spread inside Apple, and weve been thrilled to see the level of interest theyve taken to get OS X to be a premiere development and deployment platform for Rails," he said.

Apple showed off Leopard at its Worldwide Developers Conference on Aug. 7. However, the version of the code that Apple distributed at WWDC contains Ruby 1.8.4 and Rails 1.1.2, Hansson said. "But we fully expect to have Rails 1.2.x along with Mongrel, SQLite bindings and lots of other Ruby goodies on the final gold master when it goes out in spring," he said.

Hansson has long been a supporter of the Apple platform. Moreover, Apple is held in very high regard by the Rails community, he said. All the Ruby on Rails core contributors use Apple, and the majority of Rails developers do too, he said.

"To see Apple acknowledge this and return the favor is very rewarding," Hansson said. "Its a great day for Apple, its a great day for Rails, and its a great day for developers."

"The Mac is already the preferred development platform of Ruby on Rails developers, with applications such as TextMate leading the way," said Niall Kennedy, who identifies himself as a feed syndication geek in San Francisco. "Integrating the technology at the server-level means organizations will now be able to easily install, configure and maintain a Web site in PHP, Java or Ruby. I believe the integration will accelerate adoption of both Ruby on Rails and Apples Xserve hardware and Leopard server combination."

Kennedy, who has been a member of Microsofts Windows Live development team, said he is leaving the software giant as of Aug. 18 to start his own company. Kennedy only recently joined Microsoft in April.

Editors Note: This story was updated to include comments from Niall Kennedy.

/zimages/4/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on Apple in the enterprise.