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Few completed Rails apps are architecturally simple. As soon as you grow, you find yourself using multiple subsystems and machines to scale, creating new headaches in configuration management. Help is at hand! This tutorial introduces Chef, a modern Ruby-based open source approach to systems integration. Chef lets you manage your servers by writing code, not running commands.
Future web apps will be built on the client-server model: faster, more fluid, desktop-like apps that cannot be fully realized with traditional Rails techniques for building browser views. But Rails is the perfect server framework to integrate with SproutCore, an exciting new framework for building web browser clients. Students will build a full-fledged client-server app using both frameworks.