Last Update: Thu Oct 18 17:22:41 +0200 2007


A tool for managing multiple networks of advertising boards, ready to work with SecondLife.

Copyright (C) 2007 Pragmatic Source


This work was orginally developped by Pragmatic Source for Community Chest.

  This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
  it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
  the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
  (at your option) any later version.

  This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
  but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
  GNU General Public License for more details.

  You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
  along with this program.  If not, see <>.


First install the "advertnet" with RubyGems:

 gem install -y advertnet

Otherwise, you can download the gem file from, and install it manually.


Deploy the Rails application using the "advertnet-install" binary. This binary is located in the "bin" directory of the standard gem location ("/var/lib/gems/1.8/bin" on Debian for example). You should add this directory to your PATH to facilitate the use of gems.

 advertnet-install --directory /opt/advertnet


This application needs a MySQL 5.0 database, and a Second Life environment.

After installing MySQL, create 3 databases:

  • advertnet_development
  • advertnet_test
  • advertnet_production

The default "config/database.yml" is configured to use the "root" account without a password. You must eventually edit it in order to change the login or add a password.

For example, you can create a user, for example advertnet and give it read/write access (select, insert, update, create table, drop table, alter table, etc.) on the 3 databases.

Basic MySQL configuration

Run the following commands as root (for example on a Debian system):

  for i in development test production ; do mysqladmin -u root create advertnet_$i ; done

Now create the SQL tables, run these commands from Advertnet‘s root directory:

  rake db:migrate RAILS_ENV=development
  rake db:migrate RAILS_ENV=production

Testing the configuration

To ensure that the application works correctly, first run the following commands:

  rake db:test:prepare
  rake test

Note: There is at least one unit test that is known to fails, other unit tests and all functional tests should pass correctly.

Rails documentation

You will find below the original, unmodified, Rails documentation.

To generate the application‘s technical documentation in HTML format, run:

  rake doc:app_utf8

The whole documentation will then be available as HTML files in the "doc/app" directory, starting at "index.html".

Welcome to Rails

Rails is a web-application and persistence framework that includes everything needed to create database-backed web-applications according to the Model-View-Control pattern of separation. This pattern splits the view (also called the presentation) into "dumb" templates that are primarily responsible for inserting pre-built data in between HTML tags. The model contains the "smart" domain objects (such as Account, Product, Person, Post) that holds all the business logic and knows how to persist themselves to a database. The controller handles the incoming requests (such as Save New Account, Update Product, Show Post) by manipulating the model and directing data to the view.

In Rails, the model is handled by what‘s called an object-relational mapping layer entitled Active Record. This layer allows you to present the data from database rows as objects and embellish these data objects with business logic methods. You can read more about Active Record in files/vendor/rails/activerecord/README.html.

The controller and view are handled by the Action Pack, which handles both layers by its two parts: Action View and Action Controller. These two layers are bundled in a single package due to their heavy interdependence. This is unlike the relationship between the Active Record and Action Pack that is much more separate. Each of these packages can be used independently outside of Rails. You can read more about Action Pack in files/vendor/rails/actionpack/README.html.

Getting started

  1. At the command prompt, start a new rails application using the rails command and your application name. Ex: rails myapp (If you‘ve downloaded rails in a complete tgz or zip, this step is already done)
  2. Change directory into myapp and start the web server: script/server (run with —help for options)
  3. Go to localhost:3000/ and get "Welcome aboard: You’re riding the Rails!"
  4. Follow the guidelines to start developing your application

Web Servers

By default, Rails will try to use Mongrel and lighttpd if they are installed, otherwise Rails will use the WEBrick, the webserver that ships with Ruby. When you run script/server, Rails will check if Mongrel exists, then lighttpd and finally fall back to WEBrick. This ensures that you can always get up and running quickly.

Mongrel is a Ruby-based webserver with a C-component (which requires compilation) that is suitable for development and deployment of Rails applications. If you have Ruby Gems installed, getting up and running with mongrel is as easy as: gem install mongrel. More info at:

If Mongrel is not installed, Rails will look for lighttpd. It‘s considerably faster than Mongrel and WEBrick and also suited for production use, but requires additional installation and currently only works well on OS X/Unix (Windows users are encouraged to start with Mongrel). We recommend version 1.4.11 and higher. You can download it from

And finally, if neither Mongrel or lighttpd are installed, Rails will use the built-in Ruby web server, WEBrick. WEBrick is a small Ruby web server suitable for development, but not for production.

But of course its also possible to run Rails on any platform that supports FCGI. Apache, LiteSpeed, IIS are just a few. For more information on FCGI, please visit:

Debugging Rails

Have "tail -f" commands running on the server.log and development.log. Rails will automatically display debugging and runtime information to these files. Debugging info will also be shown in the browser on requests from


Breakpoint support is available through the script/breakpointer client. This means that you can break out of execution at any point in the code, investigate and change the model, AND then resume execution! Example:

  class WeblogController < ActionController::Base
    def index
      @posts = Post.find(:all)
      breakpoint "Breaking out from the list"

So the controller will accept the action, run the first line, then present you with a IRB prompt in the breakpointer window. Here you can do things like:

Executing breakpoint "Breaking out from the list" at …/webrick_server.rb:16 in ‘breakpoint‘

  >> @posts.inspect
  => "[#<Post:0x14a6be8 @attributes={\"title\"=>nil, \"body\"=>nil, \"id\"=>\"1\"}>,
       #<Post:0x14a6620 @attributes={\"title\"=>\"Rails you know!\", \"body\"=>\"Only ten..\", \"id\"=>\"2\"}>]"
  >> @posts.first.title = "hello from a breakpoint"
  => "hello from a breakpoint"

…and even better is that you can examine how your runtime objects actually work:

  >> f = @posts.first
  => #<Post:0x13630c4 @attributes={"title"=>nil, "body"=>nil, "id"=>"1"}>
  >> f.
  Display all 152 possibilities? (y or n)

Finally, when you‘re ready to resume execution, you press CTRL-D


You can interact with the domain model by starting the console through script/console. Here you‘ll have all parts of the application configured, just like it is when the application is running. You can inspect domain models, change values, and save to the database. Starting the script without arguments will launch it in the development environment. Passing an argument will specify a different environment, like script/console production.

To reload your controllers and models after launching the console run reload!

To reload your controllers and models after launching the console run reload!

Description of contents


  Holds all the code that's specific to this particular application.


  Holds controllers that should be named like weblogs_controller.rb for
  automated URL mapping. All controllers should descend from ApplicationController
  which itself descends from ActionController::Base.


  Holds models that should be named like post.rb.
  Most models will descend from ActiveRecord::Base.


  Holds the template files for the view that should be named like
  weblogs/index.rhtml for the WeblogsController#index action. All views use eRuby


  Holds the template files for layouts to be used with views. This models the common
  header/footer method of wrapping views. In your views, define a layout using the
  <tt>layout :default</tt> and create a file named default.rhtml. Inside default.rhtml,
  call <% yield %> to render the view using this layout.


  Holds view helpers that should be named like weblogs_helper.rb. These are generated
  for you automatically when using script/generate for controllers. Helpers can be used to
  wrap functionality for your views into methods.


  Configuration files for the Rails environment, the routing map, the database, and other dependencies.


  Self-contained mini-applications that can bundle together controllers, models, and views.


  Contains the database schema in schema.rb.  db/migrate contains all
  the sequence of Migrations for your schema.


  This directory is where your application documentation will be stored when generated
  using <tt>rake doc:app</tt>


  Application specific libraries. Basically, any kind of custom code that doesn't
  belong under controllers, models, or helpers. This directory is in the load path.


  The directory available for the web server. Contains subdirectories for images, stylesheets,
  and javascripts. Also contains the dispatchers and the default HTML files. This should be
  set as the DOCUMENT_ROOT of your web server.


  Helper scripts for automation and generation.


  Unit and functional tests along with fixtures. When using the script/generate scripts, template
  test files will be generated for you and placed in this directory.


  External libraries that the application depends on. Also includes the plugins subdirectory.
  This directory is in the load path.