Anyone shipping an installed rails application?

I am planning to build a browser based web application for business
users. I need the application to be downloadable and installable on
their own local server. I love rails and the productivity it
provided, however; I'm not wild about leaving the source code wide
open with doing so. Are there any solutions that are proven currently
in the rails camp for this usage scenario?

Thanks for any advice and insights!

Why would you want a downloaded browser based application? The primary benefit of web apps is that you can update them at any time without a rollout of the app to users. Desktop based apps will always have interface/speed benefits over web based apps. If anything, a hybrid, like iTunes would make more sense if you need the download, while still having some data pulled in from a remote source.

That being said, there are some options with jRuby to "compile" your ruby code into Java which may improve performance while also hiding your source from those you distribute the source to. As with anything that is a hack, this may not work well in all cases, so I'd suggest really evaluating if you need a web app local to begin with.

Niels

Don't know about proven, but you could try RubyScript2exe. Or any of the
methods that physically compile your source.

on JRuby you do get to distribute your ruby code in a Jar.

You might also want to look at Slingshot by Joylent - which is a way
to desktop-ize your Rails apps. Perhaps they have considered the
angle to obfuscate or hide source form end users.