Browser, meet Ruby on Rails

What is it?

Silverline is a Ruby on Rails plugin which gives the ability to run Ruby in the browser to manipulate HTML or vector graphics. Having Ruby code run in the browser elevates client programming in Rails to be first-class, and integrated with the rest of the framework.


Check out the live demos of a Ruby on Rails application using Silverline


This repository holds the Rails plugin itself. For a demo application that uses silverline, check out, which is also this website.

You'll also need Silverlight 2 (Beta 2):
Windows and Mac

Note: You can also find developer version of the Silverlight runtime in

You can find more information on Lighthouse.

What can it do?

Silverline can run Ruby on the client because of Silverlight, the 4 megabyte download of the .NET Framework, and IronRuby, the implementation of Ruby on .NET and the Dynamic Language Runtime. Silverline lets you do anything you can do in Silverlight with IronRuby you can do from Rails, but a whole lot easier.

Silverlight applications can use HTML and vector graphics with WPF (either through code or XAML markup for rendering their UI; silverline integrates this capability into Rails by enabling Ruby and XAML partials.

Easier from Rails

Ruby partials can even use RJS, so simply renaming foo.rjs to foo.rb will avoid the server-side JavaScript generation and actually runfoo.rb on the client. XAML partials give you the ability to render XAML without having to bootstrap Silverlight yourself. XAML partials can also be passed through ERb for server-side or client-side processing.


Note: the following is still a work-in-progress; your feedback is appreciated:

Silverline also lets you run pieces of your Rails application on the client, removing the need to write a separate JavaScript or Flash application simply to move functionality to the client. This is accomplished by flagging certain actions as "client", and running the necessary pieces of your Rails appliation and Rails itself on IronRuby in the browser.

You can also decorate ActiveRecord models with "acts_as_client" so any calls to ActiveRecord on the client get translated into ActiveResource calls to a restful API on the ActiveRecord model that was decorated.

Let's get to work!

Feel like Silverline is missing something? Feel free to clone the repository and add anything you want. And if you want to let us know about your awesome change, just send us a pull-request on!