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Camping, a Microframework

Camping is a micro web framework which stays as small as possible. 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? Apparently it can do a lot. It's pretty swell.

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. And with time, you can move your Models, Views, and Controllers into other files as your app grows.

Camping supports multiple apps, capsuled code that runs together. Each app can have independent models, routes, and controllers.

Pack your gear when you go Camping! With a simple plugin system, Camping is easily extensible. Add all sorts of useful and silly things.

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, and Bundler, 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

Also make certain to have Bundler installed:

gem install bundler

~~Even better, install the Camping Omnibus, a full package of recommended libs:~~ Camping Omnibus will return for summer vacation.

Now make a new directory filled with your camp essentials using the camping new command:

camping new Donuts # You can replace Donuts with whatever but CamelCased.

Move to your new directory, then use bundler to install all of your camp's dependencies:

cd donuts; bundle install

You can now run camping using the camping command. We recommend running camping in development mode locally. Make certain to prefix the camping command with bundle exec to run your app with the gems you've installed just for your camp:

bundle exec camping -e development


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 @

Running Tests

Tests should be run using bundler and rake: bundle exec rake.

Minting Releases

We use Ruby Gems to distribute versions of 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 part in shaping Camping.