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"Objects can message objects transparently that live on other machines over the network, and you don't have to worry about the networking gunk, and you don't have to worry about finding them, and you don't have to worry about anything. It's just as if you messaged an object that's right next door." --Steve Jobs describing the NeXT Portable Distributed Object system

DCell is a simple and easy way to build distributed applications in Ruby. Somewhat similar to DRb, DCell lets you easily expose Ruby objects as network services, and call them remotely just like you would any other Ruby object. However, unlike DRb all objects in the system are concurrent. You can create and register several available services on a given node, obtain handles to them, and easily pass these handles around the network just like any other objects.

DCell is a distributed extension to Celluloid, which provides concurrent objects for Ruby with many of the features of Erlang, such as the ability to supervise objects and restart them when they crash, and also link to other objects and receive event notifications of when they crash. This makes it easier to build robust, fault-tolerant distributed systems.

DCell uses the 0MQ messaging protocol which provides a robust, fault-tolerant brokerless transport for asynchronous messages sent between nodes. DCell is built on top of the Celluloid::ZMQ library, which provides a Celluloid-oriented wrapper around the underlying ffi-rzmq library.

Please see the DCell Wiki for more detailed documentation and usage notes.

Like DCell? Join the Celluloid Google Group

Is It Good?


Is It "Production Ready™"?

Not entirely, but eager early adopters are welcome!

Supported Platforms

DCell works on Ruby 1.9.3, JRuby 1.6, and Rubinius 2.0.

DCell requires Ruby 1.9 mode on all interpreters. This works out of the box on MRI/YARV, and requires the following flags elsewhere:

  • JRuby: --1.9 command line option, or JRUBY_OPTS=--1.9 environment variable
  • rbx: -X19 command line option


Copyright (c) 2012 Tony Arcieri. See LICENSE.txt for further details.

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