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Rails Powering Online Shopping Evolution

Two online shopping systems written using Ruby on Rails have launched recently and are provoking much excitement and talk in the blogsphere.

Jaded Pixel's new ecommerce site Shopify is the newest version of an idea that has been around ever since Paul Graham used Lisp to write ViaWeb in 1995. Not only wowed by the slick graphics and Web 2.0 flavor, Shopify beta users have been vocally impressed by how easy it makes getting a cart up and selling products quickly and efficiently. called it "incredibly easy" to use.

Notably, Shopify has been developed by the Rails superstars and core-team members at EncyteMedia, including Tobias Lutke of Typo and Hieraki fame. Tobias described the site's sneak preview on his blog:

About 1.500 stores signed up for the sneak preview yesterday. At times we were pushing 1mb per second in traffic and went to just shy of 100 hits per second. Everything worked as intended. The Database shrugged it off and Liquid was happily compiling templates as it should.

With a slightly different take on the ecommerce idea, Rightcart is an Ajax shopping cart system that is integrated into the margin of your own site and goes a step further with the innovation. Everything is self contained in a little box that lives in the sidebar of your blog or website, from browsing items to checkout. The RighCart shopping cart keeps state across different websites and users can checkout at anytime.

The community has responded with enthusiasm and a Typo plugin that makes it even easier to add a RightCart to Typo-based blogs. Have a look at the RightCart screencast to see what it's all about.

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