Web Site Blank
JavaScript Ruby
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The Blank Project

Project Description

This project was created to create a simple sinatra app that can serve as a simple web site framework. The blank server is a sinatra app that has one table called pages, and it has a key based restful api that allows rest clients to manage the content of the web application. Instead of having to build content management functionality into each web site you build, this architecture allows you to create a central cms system in Ruby on Rails or any Restful Capable language and deploy your changes simply using the restful api. This will keep your web site very lean, but it give you a powerful dynamic web framework, and quick access to your web content via database server.

Why “The Blank Project”?

Very much like you need a blank before you clone something, this project works via the same principal, if you wanted to quickly clone one site from one server to another or manage changes on multiple servers, but have the same speed and flexibility of having your content served locally for each server, this architecture allows you to push the content very easily to each server.


  • Lightweight API
  • Uses Haml and Markdown
  • Offsite Asset Storage
  • Use Ruby in Haml Views
  • Easy to deploy

Local Installation

It is simple to install a blank locally and start testing.

First make sure you have rake, thin, sinatra, rdiscount, crack, and active record installed.

sudo gem install rake thin sinatra rdiscount activerecord crack

git clone git://github.com/twilson63/blank.git

cd blank

Setup/create you config/database.yml with the database of your choice.

rake db:migrate

thin start -R config.ru

And you should be up and running, navigate to http://localhost:3000
And you should see a web page pop up called “The Blank Project”
If you run into a problem please post your issue in the issues list at http://github.com/twilson63/blank/issues

Once you have the blank server running go to the blank client project to start adding your content. http://github.com/twilson63/blank-client

Heroku Installation

It is just as easy to get you blank up and running on heroku as well. Once you have a heroku account(http://heroku.com)

git clone git://github.com/twilson63/blank.git [Your Project Name]

cd [Your Project Name]

heroku create

git push heroku master

heroku rake db:migrate

heroku config:add API_KEY=[Your Unique Api Key that you define]

heroku open

You should be up and running your blank ready to go the blank client and get going with content…

Now What?

Now that you have your blank server running it time to go the Blank Client Project and get started adding your content. http://github.com/twilson63/blank-client


All of the api commands can return in json.

Page Object Attributes

Basically, to manage your content you just need to be familar with the Page Object, it is the only object in the api and you use a standard REST Controller to manage your content.

  • id
  • name
  • page_type = [‘haml’, ‘markdown’]
  • body

Get All Pages

These examples are using the RestClient gem which you can install using:

sudo gem install rest-client

You can start the console of the rest client by running:


  • Get All Pages

RestClient.get http://localhost:3000/pages?api_key=[Your Api Key]

  • Get Single Page

RestClient.get http://localhost:3000/pages/[name or id]?api_key=[Your Api Key]

  • Add New Page

RestClient.post http://localhost:3000/pages, :page => { :name => "index", :page_type => "haml", :body => "%h1 Hello World"}, :api_key => [Your Api Key]

  • Update Existing Page

RestClient.put http://localhost:3000/pages/[:id], :page => { :name => "index", :page_type => "haml", :body => "%h1 Hello World"}, :api_key => [Your Api Key]

  • Delete Existing Page

RestClient.delete http://localhost:3000/pages/[:id], :api_key => [Your Api Key]