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Camping, a Microframework

Camping is a web framework which consistently stays at less than 4kB of code. You can probably view the complete source code on a single page. But, you know, it's so small that, if you think about it, what can it really do?

The idea here is to store a complete fledgling web application in a single file like many small CGIs. But to organize it as a Model-View-Controller application like Rails does. You can then easily move it to Rails once you've got it going.

A Camping Skeleton

A skeletal Camping blog could look like this:

require 'camping'

Camping.goes :Blog

module Blog::Models
  class Post < Base; belongs_to :user; end
  class Comment < Base; belongs_to :user; end
  class User < Base; end

module Blog::Controllers
  class Index
    def get
      @posts = Post.find :all
      render :index

module Blog::Views
  def layout
    html do
      head { title "My Blog" }
      body do
        h1 "My Blog"
        self << yield

  def index
    @posts.each do |post|
      h1 post.title


Interested yet? Luckily it's quite easy to install Camping. We'll be using a tool called RubyGems, so if you don't have that installed yet, go grab it! Once that's sorted out, open up a Terminal or Command Line and enter:

gem install camping

Even better, install the Camping Omnibus, a full package of recommended libs:

gem install camping-omnibus --source

If not, you should be aware of that Camping itself only depends on Rack, and if you're going to use the views you also need to install markaby, and if you're going to use the database you need activerecord as well.

gem install markaby
gem install activerecord


First of all, you should read the first chapters of The Camping Book. It should hopefully get you started pretty quick. While you're doing that, you should be aware of the reference which contains documentation for all the different parts of Camping.

The wiki is the place for all tiny, useful tricks that we've collected over the years. Don't be afraid to share your own discoveries; the more, the better!

And if there's anything you're wondering about, don't be shy, but rather subscribe to the mailing list and ask there. We also have an IRC channel over at Freenode, so if you feel like chatting with us, you should join #camping @


Camping was originally crafted by why the lucky stiff, but is now maintained by the community. This simply means that if we like your patch, it will be applied. Everything is managed through the mailing list, so just subscribe and you can instantly take a part in shaping Camping.