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What is this?

This is a simple Hacker News reader. It's not quite done yet™.

It is designed to be viewed with Serve.

What is Serve?

What is Serve? Serve is a rapid prototyping framework for Rails applications. It is designed to compliment Rails development and enforce a strict separation of concerns between designer and developer. Using Serve with Rails allows the designer to happily work in his own space creating an HTML prototype of the application, while the developer works on the Rails application and copies over HTML from the prototype as needed. This allows the designer to focus on presentation and flow while the developer can focus on the implementation.

How do I install and run Serve?

Serve is distributed as a gem to make it easy to get up and running. To install, type the following at the command prompt:

gem install serve

(OSX and Unix users may need to prefix the command with sudo.)

After Serve is installed, you can start it up in a given directory like this:


This will start Serve on port 4000. You can now view the prototype in your Web browser at this URL:


Click around. You will find that Serve enables you to prototype most functionality without writing a single line of backend code.

Rack and Passenger

Astute users may notice that this project is also a simple Rack application. This means that it is easy to deploy it on Passenger or rack it up with the rackup command. For more information about using Serve and Passenger see: