Runo is the easiest web application framework ever. You can make various apps such like blog, forum, contact form by putting single (or several) HTML file with a bit of special markups. The view rules. There is no model definition, no server restart, and no coding at all.



  • Model / View / Controller defined dynamically by good old HTML.

  • Any block tags (<ul>, <table> etc.) can be an “app”, by adding a workflow class like “app-blog”.

  • The contents inside the app tag will be the “model”.

  • The model is defined by special tags, like “$(foo = text 1..32)” or “$(bar = select a,b,c)”.

  • You can make nested apps inside an app (e.g. blog comments inside a blog entry).

  • Authentication / Authorization / User admin are built in by default.

  • Storage can be plain YAML files (default), or any RDB via Sequel.

  • Runo itself is a Rack application.

Quick Start

This is a quick tutorial for making a simple web application using Runo.

Step 1 - Install Runo

Open a command line terminal. Type:

gem install runo

If you want to make thumbnails for submitted images, you have to install QuickMagick as well.

Step 2 - Initialize a Runo Directory

In a command line terminal, go to an empty directory where you want to build Runo projects. Then type:

runo init

This will create a “runo” directory, which includes:


Step 3 - Start a Test Server

In the terminal, change to the newly created “runo” directory. Type:

runo run

Step 4 - Try some examples

Now open this URL with your browser.


You will see the default homepage of Runo. There is some links to examples such like Blog, Contact Form, Forum, etc. Just see what can be done by plain HTML files.

Step 5 - Create Your Own App

Let's call our app “fab”. It is a web-based forum where logged in users can submit their own articles, and everybody can read them. We put links to signup / login at bottom of the app.

Create a new directory under runo/skin/:

mkdir skin/fab/

Then create a new HTML file with your favorite editor:

edit skin/fab/index.html

The content is: (You can just copy & paste, of course)

    <title>fab forum</title>
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="/css/base.css" type="text/css" media="screen" />

    <h1><a href=".">fab forum</a></h1>

    <ul id="main" class="app-forum">
      <!-- 1..5 desc may_preview -->
        <h2>$(title = text 32 1..32)</h2>
          $(content = textarea-pre 60*10 1..)
          <div>by $(_owner) @ $(_timestamp)</div>


Step 6 - That's it!

See the URL:


You have just created your first app. Open a bottle of your favorite drink and make yourself comfortable. When you need more complicated tricks, HTMLs under skin/examples/ will be your help. Also, you should check out the wiki:

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.

  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.

  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.

  • Commit, do not mess with rakefile, version, or history. (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull)

  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.

Copyright © 2010 Akira FUNAI <akira -at- funai -dot- com>. See LICENSE for details.