Grand Rapids WiFi on Rails

Grand Rapids WiFi relaunched today with a change under the hood to Ruby Rails. The site has been through several iterations since I took it over in September 2004. It often functions as my testbed for new features I’d like to trial, and since most of my custom development is now rails-based, it made sense to make the switch.

Feature-wise, not much has changed. A few URLs have changed slightly (with appropriate redirects provided by rails and lighttpd), there’s some caching in place, and there are a few new “ajax” effects, but otherwise it’s so far a straight port. And on the UI side the changes are also minimal. The use of microformats has increased somewhat, but the long promised redesign will have to wait a little longer.

What the port should allow is for more rapid iterations. The old system was pretty maintainable for a PHP app, but the new codebase is much cleaner. Over the coming months I’ll be doing some refactoring to clean it up further, perhaps taking some steps to combat the spambots that have found the site recently, and if certain parties are still interested, deploying the code for other communities to make use of. Hopefully that redesign will come along too…

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