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1 parent 0a8a18b commit 86b056ad218153dd3c39f1132e95361ac4f7f9b1 Ryan Dahl committed Mar 18, 2008
Showing with 26 additions and 61 deletions.
  1. +23 −58 README
  2. +3 −3 site/style.css
@@ -1,39 +1,20 @@
# A Web Server Called *Ebb*
Ebb aims to be a small and fast web server specifically for hosting
-web frameworks like Rails, Merb, and in the future Django.
+dynamic web applications. It is not meant to be a full featured web server
+like Lighttpd, Apache, or Nginx. Rather it should be used in multiplicity
+behind a load balancer and a front-end server. It is not meant to serve static files in production.
-It is not meant to be a full featured web server like Lighttpd, Apache, or
-Nginx. Rather it should be used in multiplicity behind a load balancer and a
-front-end server. It is not meant to serve static files in production.
+At one level Ebb is a minimalist C library that ties together the
+[Mongrel state machine](
+and [libev]( event loop. One can use
+this library to drive a web application written in C. (Perhaps for embedded
+devices?) However, most people will be interested in the binding of this
+library to the Ruby programming language. The binding provides a
+[Rack]( server interface that allows it to host
+Rails, Merb, or other frameworks.
-## Design
-The design is similar to the [Evented
-Mongrel]( web server; except
-instead of using [EventMachine]( to drive
-network interactions, the Ebb web server handles sockets directly in C and
-employs the use of the [libev](
-event loop.
-Connections are processed as follows:
-1. libev loops and waits for incoming connections.
-2. When Ebb receives a connection, it passes the request into the
- [mongrel state machine](
- which securely parses the headers.
-3. When the request is complete, Ebb passes the information to a user
- supplied callback.
-4. The Ruby binding supplying this callback transforms the
- request into a [Rack]( compatible `env` hash
- and passes it on a Rack adapter.
-Because Ebb is written mostly in C, other language bindings can be added to
-make it useful to Non-Ruby frameworks. For example, a Python WSGI interface is
+A Python-WSGI binding is under development.
## Install
@@ -70,40 +51,24 @@ When using `ebb_rails` from monit, the monitrc entry might look like this:
To use Ebb with a different framework you will have to do a small amount of
hacking at the moment! :)
-## Why?
-Because by building the server in C one is able to side-step the
-limitations on speed of many scripting languages. Inefficiencies are okay
-for quick and beautiful code, but for production web servers that might handle
-thousands of requests a second, an attempt should be made to be as efficient
-as possible in processing connections.
-Following are some benchmarks. Please take these measurements with a grain of
-salt. Benchmarks like these are notorious for presenting an inaccurate or
-highly slanted view of how software performs. These are tests using a very
-simple Rack applications, not with Ruby-on-Rails. The code for these can be
-found in the `benchmark` directory.
-![Response Size](
-This shows how the web servers perform with respect to throughput (using a
-simple Rack application). Concurrency is at 50 clients.
+## Speed
-A simple concurrent clients benchmark serving a *hello world* page.
+Because Ebb-Ruby handles most of the processing in C, it is able to do work
+often times more efficiently than other Ruby language web servers.
-Ebb processes uploads before handing it over to the web application. This
-allows Ebb to continue to process other clients while the upload is in
-progress. The cliff at 40k here is because Ebb's internal request
-buffer is set at 40 kilobytes before it writes to file.
+Ebb-Ruby can handle threaded processing better than the other 'evented'
+servers. This won't be of any benefit to Rails applications because Rails
+places a lock around each request that wouldn't allow concurrent processing
+anyway. In Merb, for example, Ebb's thread handling will allow Ebb instances
+to handle larger loads. [More](
## Contributions
Contributions (patches, criticism, advice) are very welcome!
-All should be posted to or emailed to me.
+Please send all to to
+[the mailing list](
The source code
is hosted [github]( It can be retrieved
6 site/style.css
@@ -9,7 +9,7 @@ body {
color: #444130;
font-family: bell mt,georgia,helvetica;
line-height: 15pt;
- font-size: 14pt;
+ font-size: 13pt;
margin: 0;
@@ -21,7 +21,7 @@ h1, h2, h3, h4 {
pre, code {
font-family: Courier;
- font-size: 12pt;
+ font-size: 11pt;
overflow: auto;
@@ -33,7 +33,7 @@ a { color: #E4AC3D; }
#content {
margin: 1em auto ;
- max-width: 30em;
+ max-width: 35em;
ol, ul { padding-left: 0; }

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