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Personally I'm not sure, overall, Mongrel was a good thing. The Ruby web community should have focused on working well with existing web servers (mainly Apache) instead of building their own. Phusion Passenger is, in my opinion, the best thing that ever happened to Ruby in the web space, since Merb & Rails.

I don't know if the Merb/Rails merger would have happened if the ego-inflating hype around Rails was still on. In that sense, maybe Mongrel's main benefit (IMHO) was that it gave Zed credibility which made his "Rail Ghetto" rant significant.

I agree everyone is replaceable, and yet - surprisingly small number of people out of those who have the skills to build such projects actually bother to do it. It's easy to know how to build something, hard to actually do it, from start to finish.

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