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A lightweight Ruby web framework, heavily influenced by Aphront
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Is this usable?

I'm not aware of anyone (including myself) using it in production yet. Here be dragons.

What is this?

A lightweight web framework for Ruby, heavily influenced by Aphront.

There are 3 main components to a Sidewalk application:

  • Several Controllers
  • The Application
  • A URI-map; this is a hash where the keys are Strings containing regexp patterns, and the values are Controller classes, or their names (Strings or Symbols).

URI's are mapped from String regexp patterns to make things more compatible between Ruby 1.8 and Ruby 1.9; under 1.9, this is mapped on to the standard Regexp class, but in 1.8, Sidewalk depends on Oniguruma and uses that instead.

Hello, World

In the form of a '':

require 'sidewalk'

class HelloController < Sidewalk::Controller
  def response
    "Hello, world."

urimap = {
  '$' => :HelloController,


Sidewalk::ControllerMixins::ViewTemplates provides a #render method that acts like you expect, and you're probably also interested in Sidewalk::Request and Sidewalk::Controller.

What about variables in the URLs?

Use standard named captures - for example, this provides an 'id' parameter

urimap = {
  '$' => :IndexController,
  'posts/' => {
    '$' => :PostsController,
    '(?<id>\d+)$' => :PostController,

What's different compared to Rails?

Some major differences compared to Rails:

  • There's much less of it. This has its' good sides, but it also means less features.
  • There is no standard layout for URLs - it's entirely up to you.
  • Each controller deals with one kind of page. This is by comparison to the same controller class being responsible for both /foo/ and /foo/123
  • Parameters in the url are standard named regular expression captures - no custom syntax.
  • By default, there's no explicit view support - include Sidewalk::ControllerMixins::ViewTemplates to get support for ERB, HAML, and RXhp - and it's easy to add support for other languages.

There is little magic, and you don't need to use it:

  • Sidewalk will automatically load config/environment.rb and config/production|testing|development.rb as appropriate
  • It will also load any similarly-named .yaml files into the Sidewalk::Config hash
  • If you put 'FooController' in your URI-map, but don't require, Sidewalk will look for it in controllers/
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