Archive for April, 2008

April 23 2008

Spree 0.0.9 Releasedby railsdog

Spree 0.0.9 is now officially released. The main new feature in this release is a more sophisticated data model for inventory. Behind the scenes we have removed the dependency on the Engines plugin and dramatically simplified how the code is organized. You can now run the Spree application directly from your cloned repo (no more starter-app directory.) We have also simplified the “quick start” instructions to a ridiculously simple five steps (including Step #5 which is to launch the application!)

<p>1.) Install spree Gem </p>
<pre><code>$ sudo gem install spree</code></pre>
<p><span class="caps">NOTE</span>: This may take a while.  The gem currently includes a frozen version of Rails 2.0.2</p>
<p>2.) Create Spree Application</p>
<pre><code>$ spree <app_name></code></pre>
<p>3.) Create your database and edit the config/database.yml to taste.  You can skip this 

step if using sqlite3 as your database.

<p>4.) Bootstrap</p>
<pre><code>$ cd <app-name>

$ rake db:bootstrap

<p>5.) Launch Application</p>
<p><code>http://localhost:xxxx</code> <br/>


<p>There are two minor (and temporary changes) to be aware of.  The first is that we have removed the free tagging feature.  I decided it wasn’t worth supporting free tagging when we’re planning on replacing it with a much more powerful taxonomy system.</p>
<p>Another short term change to be aware of is that it is not possible to override the views and controller code yet.  This is a byproduct of removing our dependency on Engines.  Rest assured this will all be added back in the next release.  The focus is on finishing our stable foundation in time for Railsconf.</p>
<p>This new code layout is going to be incredibly powerful.  Not only is it paving the way for pluggable extensions, but it also simplifies development and should make it easier for users to upgrade their Spree deployments in the future (since all of the necessary code will reside in the gem.)</p>
April 07 2008

Join Us on the New #Spree Channelby railsdog

We now have a #spree channel on IRC ( Feel free to join us there to discus all things Spree. Just remember that we all have “day jobs” so please be patient with response times.

April 03 2008

Is Spree Ready for Production?by railsdog

I have been asked by several people about the status of the Spree project. I thought I would take a moment to address the current state of the codebase and whether or not its “production ready.”

<p>In my opinion, you can use Spree in a real world commerce application right now.  This is especially true if you are already committed to using Ruby on Rails.  What are the drawbacks to doing this?  The major drawback is that Spree is still “rough around the edges” so you will be doing a lot of the polishing yourself.  For instance, if you want to have FedEx shipping calculations you will need to write/port your own.  On the other hand, the basic admin functionality is working and the ActiveMerchant plugin support means you don’t have to worry about credit cards.  In fact, I have already built two production sites with this software (under the old RailsCart name).</p>
<p>The only other Rails commerce application I am aware of is <a href="">Substruct</a>.  The last I looked at this project it was fairly basic as well.  So if you are going to start building your Rails project today, you have three choices.</p>
<li>Write your own</li>
    <li>Use Spree as your starting point and do lots of custom coding</li>
    <li>Use Substruct as your starting point and do lots of custom coding</li>
<p>If you are uncomfortable with these three options then you should consider another application framework.</p>
<p>The good news is that Spree is rapidly improving with each passing day.  The major effort right now is to rejigger the data model so that it is rock solid.  There is nothing “wrong” with the current data model which is why it is ok to build a production Spree app with the existing software.  We’re just trying to make the data model as “future proof” as possible.  The more we improve the data model now, the less disruptive it will be for users to upgrade to subsequent versions of the software.</p>
<p>When will this refactoring be done?  Our goal is to have our first beta release in time for RailsConf (May 29).  This means we will pushing hard for another 6-8 weeks on all things data model.  Once we go “beta” we be on the next level of stability.  There will be a lot less coding needed to use Spree for your production site and we also hope to have a standardized approach for the custom code you do need to write.</p>
April 01 2008

Online Demo Now Availableby railsdog

We just made a demo version of Spree available. Please see the demo instructions for more details. The demo is running on the very latest code so please report any bugs that you may encounter. Please also consider dropping us a line on the group discussion board ( and share your impressions with us.