Rails::API strips the fat off Ruby on Rails
A group of Ruby on Rails developers has announced Rails::API, a derivative of the original Rails project that provides a slimmed-down set of functions which are useful for developers using Rails to write applications that use a backend API-only server or servers. This new subset of the Ruby on Rails feature set has had ActionView and other rendering features removed; this makes it easier and quicker to use for developers who are not concerned with writing frontends of web services and also makes the platform more lightweight. Work on Rails::API has been ongoing for several months, but the developers have now decided to go public with the framework, which is currently at version 0.0.2.
Rails::API is useful for writing backends that can be shared between web applications and native clients. It can allow a developer to create REST endpoints that accept data in JSON format and store it in the way a traditional Ruby on Rails application would. In the project's README file – which also explains what parts of the Rails stack are still helpful in such a scenario – the developers cite Twitter's API as an example of an application that processes JSON requests in such a way. "You may not have thought about which parts of Rails are still applicable even if you remove the view layer, but the answer turns out to be 'most of it'" says the README's own short version.
The source code for Rails::API is available from GitHub, licensed under the MIT License.