Under the hood

We thought everyone might like to know how we roll the Gimlet. Here’s our current technology stack of choice:

Ruby on Rails

Gimlet is a Rails app. We’ve been writing RoR applications since the framework first appeared on the scene. In fact, we attended the very first RailsConf way back in 2006. We love Rails because convention over configuration just works.


We use MySQL for the backend database. You haven’t lived until you’ve used the SELECT … INTO OUTFILE syntax. When you’re exporting Q&As out of Gimlet, you’re taking advantage of that little gem.


Sphinx is our full-text indexing engine and a very intimate friend of MySQL. We’ve been impressed with the speed of this new indexer. As I write this post, we’re extending the ThinkingSphinx and Riddle gems to better support the type of faceting our next generation of reports will leverage.

Nginx + Unicorn

We’re using Nginx+Unicorn to serve our Gimlet pages. Just like the article linked describes, God keeps a trustful eye on our Unicorn workers.


Underneath the rest of the stack, we ride Ubuntu Server Edition. Performance and simplicity makes Ubuntu great.

If you’re keeping track, all of the tools are open-source. Have any questions about the technology we use? Just ask. We’d love to tell you how we’re building the best library desk stats tool around.