Delayed::Job and Resque are excellent ruby gems, but they require substantial funds and/or time to setup on Heroku or Slicehost. High cost/effort prevents bootstrapped startups from building apps that need background processing, like aggregators. So I’ve hacked together a template Sinatra app that uses GAE to give you free Cron and Task-Queue functionality on Heroku.
Ruby and Rails were both Disruptive Innovations, in part by adhering to Convention over Configuration. Rubygems were like that too. But we’re starting to follow Java’s footsteps. Rubygems are becoming too configurable. This dramatically increases the barrier to entry and slows down innovation. Here are some ways to kill that barrier.