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Ruby hits the Rails 3.1

Open source web application framework for the Ruby programming language, Ruby on Rails has been updated to version 3.1, in a release aimed at smoothing web development using the platform.

Creator David Heinemeier Hansson announced the release on his Twitter feed. "Rails 3.1.0 is out w/ asset pipeline, HTTP streaming, jQuery default, and a trillion other cool new things", he twittered.

According to the release notes, the major change in Rails 3.1 is the Assets Pipeline, which apparently makes CSS and JavaScript 'first-class code citizens' and enables proper organization, including use in plugins and engines.

HTTP Streaming is another change that is new in Rails 3.1. This lets the browser download your stylesheets and JavaScript files while the server is still generating the response. This requires Ruby 1.9.2, is opt-in and requires support from the web server as well, but the popular combo of nginx and unicorn is ready to take advantage of it.

Rails 3.1 requires Ruby 1.8.7 or higher. Support for all of the previous Ruby versions has been dropped officially, the site notes. Rails 3.1 is also compatible with Ruby 1.9.2.