render :layout => false still renders

try this:

  render :text => @reversed_text, :layout => false

or with rjs

  render :update do |page|
    page.replace_html "reversed", @reversed_text
  end

the layout is more a thing "around" a template you render; views/
layouts/application.rhtml for example is the best place to put in your
html <head/> tag

for the topic checkout the api-manual
  http://api.rubyonrails.org/classes/ActionController/Base.html#M000267

or the best book about it :slight_smile:
  http://www.pragmaticprogrammer.com/titles/rails/index.html