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Article: Changing the Present Case Study

by Obie Fernandez on Mar 26, 2007 |
In an exclusive InfoQ case study, popular author Bruce Tate reveals the technical details behind the extraordinary web 2.0 charity site, changingthepresent.org. The article covers the idea for the site, the decision to use Ruby on Rails, details about their architecture and hosting, and information about their process and team.

Read the ChangingThePresent case study today.

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Similar Ruby on Rails project is going on in Canada by Tadatoshi Takahashi

Christmas Future Donor Trust (donortrust.rubyforge.org/, www.christmasfuture.org/) is a Ruby on Rails application for relieving extreme poverty in the developing world by allowing users to use donation as a Christmas gift. It's on RubyForge (rubyforge.org/projects/donortrust/).
It is gaining momentum these days. I myself have contributed to its development. Currently they are refining its RESTful architecture.

A great business partner by Bruce Tate

I did not mention, but should have, the involvement of EdgeCase. Chad Humphries is a great Rails developer, and has been absolutely instrumental in getting us pointed in the right direction and keeping us there. Chad helped us outline the caching strategy, our testing setup (including all of our experimental stuff), and much more.

Re: Similar Ruby on Rails project is going on in Canada by Bruce Tate

It sounds like a good idea. Good luck with it. Our primary strength from a business perspective is our strength of relationships, including our nonprofits and advisors. We're attacking poverty too, through donation giving. We hope that the gift model, combined with our customized greeting cards, set us apart from most other projects out there. In the end, every project like this will help to change the world in a structural way.

More detail? by Bruce Tate

Are there any areas where readers would like to see more details?

Re: More detail? by Sammy Larbi

Bruce,

I thought it was a useful case study, and hit on all the points at the right level of detail. It gives a good starting point for people to search on some of the items if and when they need that level of detail to implement their own high-volume Rails site.

With that said, if you wanted to catalog any links you found useful, or detail your setup yourself, I'm sure that would be much appreciated as well. I'm thinking of things like details on how you implemented the caching, the MySQL random sorting of query results, and your use of the plugins you mentioned.

Of course, I realize those things are out of the scope of the article, but you asked =)...

Re: More detail? by Matt Dragon

I think at least another level down into the details would be beneficial to anyone evaluating RoR as a solution for such a project, as well as those looking to get started on RoR projects and making sure they're laying the right ground work. I'd be most interested in your experiences working with plugins vs. native Rails functionality, and the build vs. borrow decisions you were faced with

Ruby vs JRuby by Rintcius Blok

Good article. Just curious, are you considering or have you considered JRuby? It would be interesting to know how these compare to each other when used on this scale. Eg regarding performance, problems with libraries, platform etc.

Re: More detail? by Bartek Urbanski

Hi Bruce,

I'd like to know more about decision-making process when it came to technology. I know you're a huge RoR enthusiast, but what were the major ChangingThePresent founders concerns and what where the case studies that you have based while convincing decision makers to Rails.

Re: More detail? by Oleksandr Bondar

Thanks for good article,
I would like to know more about caching dynamic images that are stored in database.
Working on current project we store images in postgresql database and it take time to load them. Also all images are reloading all time I open the page, it looks like browser do not cache them.
Thank you.

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