Merb 1.0 RC2

As I’m writing this post, Merb 1.0 RC2 (v0.9.10) is being propagated through all the RubyForge mirrors.

$ sudo gem install merb will install/update Merb Stack. Merb stack is a meta-gem/package installing all the gems you need to get started (including merb-core, merb-more, datamapper and sqlite3 driver)

The main focus for this release was to fix bugs and make the stack Windows compatible. We didn’t get any major bugs in RC1 but fixed a lot of small annoyances and problems with generated resources. We also made sure Merb itself would work properly with Windows (not using incompatible signals etc..) and we spent some time getting the Data Object sqlite3 drivers compiled on Windows.

You don’t need to use DataMapper with Merb, ActiveRecord works fine. However since we are packaging DM with the Merb Stack, we wanted to make sure Windows people would be able to get started easily.

A quick note, for Windows users, like for Rails, you need to have sqlite3 installed. Simply dump the sqlite3 dll in your system32 folder or your ruby bin folder to get started.

Unfortunately DataMapper isn’t running on JRuby yet. We hope to be able to use the DM guys to get their drivers ported over before 1.0 final but can’t promise anything yet.

What’s next?

Merb 1.0 final by the end of the Month if everything goes as scheduled.


A big thank to all the contributors who added valuable information to Merb wiki. Jack Dempsey also wrote a nice blog post about creating your own stack, you might want to check it out if you are not into DataMapper or want something different.

Finally, Merb got a lot of press coverage lately:

and many much more.  Follow @merbivore to get daily news.

To finish this post, here is a video of Ezra Zygmuntowicz who recently presented Merb at Google.

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  1. #1 by R. Elliott Mason - October 21st, 2008 at 21:45

    You still love me. That’s sweet.

    But, I’ve fallen for cygwin.

  2. #2 by Markus Jais - October 21st, 2008 at 23:13

    Great news. Thanks for all your work on Merb. I really like what I’ve seen so far from Merb. Yesterday I also found that at least two books will be published on Merb. That’s great news.

  3. #3 by James H. - October 22nd, 2008 at 05:42

    I’d be interested in hearing about some of the challenges specifically with getting Merb to work well with Windows. At work I’m stuck with developing on a Windows machine and have had interesting problems getting some Ruby code to work with it (e.g. Thor was a pain some time ago). It’d be nice to learn from other people’s experiences.

  4. #4 by Matt Aimonetti - October 22nd, 2008 at 11:43

    @james The main problem with Windows is that you need to compile every native gem for Windows. The other issue is that the one click installer of Ruby for Windows requires you compile the gems using Visual C++ 6 :(

    Finally the other issue is that most Ruby developers are on a POSIX system and don’t always check that some of the low level commands used aren’t compatible with Windows. (some signals, calling env or other stuff like that)

  5. #5 by Brock Gunter-Smith - October 23rd, 2008 at 03:58

    Great presentation. Was really eye opening about what was going on with Merb, identifying the core differences between it and Rails, and what the philosophical goals of the team were. Our team is generally focused on Rails because of its swiss army knife like appeal, but are finally having the opportunity and and possible real desire to start looking for a “scalpel” to refine and laser focus the efficiency of many of the services we’re building. Merb may be that scalpel in some instances.

  6. #6 by Luis Lavena - October 24th, 2008 at 07:08

    Good news, not so good results.

    After cloning, tried to run own specs of merb-core and they use fork() …

    How I’m supposed to dig and catch the other issues around Merb and cross platform if cannot run the own specs?

    @matt: Work to phase out Visual C build is under works, but need more attention :(

    Been working on make Thor works on Windows, let’s see if that gets merged.

  7. #7 by TiM - October 28th, 2008 at 22:36

    WIndoze users, refer to this thread (specifically the do_sqlite3 gem) if you have trouble with the following msg:

    checking for sqlite3.h… no
    *** extconf.rb failed ***

  8. #8 by Ian - October 29th, 2008 at 17:01

    It appears that you are working on RC3 at the moment, as doing gem install merb tries to install 0.9.11. This is currently failing, as merb-more requires merb-auth-core 0.9.11, but merb-auth-core is stuck at 0.9.10. I hope this is going to be rectified shortly. I like merb and appreciate all of your work on it, and I look forward to being able to gem update merb and have it work again.

  9. #9 by Matt Aimonetti - October 29th, 2008 at 17:53

    @TiM we are going to re release the do_drivers with the help of a real windows/ruby expert

    @Ian yeah we are working on deploying all the merb gems, merb-auth should be available soon. Thanks for the heads up.

  10. #10 by Sunil Kelkar - November 19th, 2008 at 00:08

    To install the database driver that allows DataMapper to connect to sqlite3 (I have this installed), i typed the following on my Windows XP box that uses Ruby 1.8.6 and gem version 1.3.1 -
    c:\> gem install do_sqlite3

    However, this failed with the following message -
    Building native extensions. This could take a while…
    ERROR: Error installing do_sqlite3:
    ERROR: Failed to build gem native extension.

    e:/ruby/bin/ruby.exe extconf.rb install do_sqlite3
    checking for sqlite3.h… no
    *** extconf.rb failed ***
    Could not create Makefile due to some reason, probably lack of
    necessary libraries and/or headers. Check the mkmf.log file for more
    details. You may need configuration options.

    What am I doing wrong?

  11. #11 by Red - January 14th, 2009 at 14:14

    We need to dump sqlite3 dll into windows/system32?

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