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NOTE: I am not able to maintain this project any longer. Please feel free to fork and if there's community support for another repo then I'll link to it here


Twit-arr is a micro-blogging site that is set up for JoCo Cruise Crazy


Twit-arr was the name for the instance brought onto the cruise ship for JCCC2 and JCCC3. being less than optimal for this environment, I took it upon myself to build a new version, completely customized for the cruise. It does help that I wanted to have a chance to use Ember.js and Mongodb in production.

Docker setup

If you're not running on linux, or just want an isolated environment, you can run twitarr in docker.


You'll need the Docker toolbox. I (Joey) used version 1.16.1. The default install on a Mac is Just Fine; not sure about other platforms.


  • Create an application.yml and secrets.yml file based on the respective examples files. The tokens are just random hex strings (I think).
  • If you want to run with local changes (so that you can change the Ruby code and not have to rebuild the world each time), modify docker-compose accordingly:
  volumes:   # Remove this for production use
   - /Users/Joey/twitarr:/srv/app

Building the docker images


   $ docker-compose build
   $ docker-compose up

This will create a docker image based on JRuby 9, as well as download a MongoDB image.

This can take 10 minute to set up, as it generates indexes and seed data in mongo. Once it completes you should be able to reach twitarr via http://localhost:3000.

Quicker startup

After running the server once, it is no longer necessary to reseed the database. You can comment out the following lines in

#rake db:mongoid:create_indexes
#rake db:seed



You will need to make the config/application.yml and config/mongoid.yml files. There's already an example with some good defaults in config/*_example.yml, you just values for your instance. You can generate a rails secret token using the command "rake secret".

This was originally compatible in both MRI and JRuby - in theory it still is although it might require a little effort to get the image gems working in both. Anyone who wants to put in the effort is welcome to.

Quick Developer Setup


You require java version 1.6+ in order to use this.

Then you will need jruby installed. The easiest way to do this is to install it via RVM.

To install RVM run:

  $ \curl -sSL | bash -s stable

Then install jruby via RVM:

  $ rvm install jruby

Then in the future terminal sessions, you can use rvm use to set the terminal session enviorment to jruby:

  $ rvm use jruby

You will also need to download and run Mongodb

Since I like to keep my database just for this project, when I execute the mongod process I run:

 $ mkdir -p temp/data/db && mongod --dbpath temp/data/db

This will create the mongo database within this project's temp directory. The temp directory is also explictly ignored in the .gitignore file, so you don't have to worry about checking it in.

Project setup

First you will need to run:

  $ bundle install

Remember to set up your secrets file: (

Then you will need to setup mongo:

   $ cp config/mongoid-example.yml config/mongoid.yml

Now you have to tell mongoid to create the required indexes. If you forget to do this you will get strange errors that claims you must have indexes created in order to perform text searches.

  $ rake db:mongoid:create_indexes

Now you can seed the database with some initial data:

  $ rake db:seed

This will create 3 users. Each of the users' password is the same as their username.

  1. kvort (an admin user)
  2. james (a non-admin user)
  3. admin (another admin user)

Now we can finally run the rails server. By default this server can be hit from http://localhost:3000

  $ rails server


Twit-arr is a micro-blogging site that is set up for the JoCo Cruise



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