Plasticx Blog

Capable of being shaped or formed

MMS2R 2.3.0, now with exif, used in Rails apps and Y Combinator startups

Posted by Mike 08/31/2009 at 11:10PM

I just published a minor point release of the MMS2R Gem version 2.3.0 ( If you were not aware, MMS2R is really just a generic multi-part mail processor. If you have a Ruby application ( Rails, Sinatra, Camping, etc.) and it is processing attachments out of email and/or MMS data, then MMS2R is the gem you should be using. MMS2R has many convenience methods to fetch the most likely image attachment, text attachment, etc. It now gives access to any JPEG or TIFF's exif data using the exifr ( reader gem. For instance, MMS2R uses the exif data to detect if the source of the message is from a smartphone like an iPhone or BlackBerry, it could be used for other logic as well.

Back in the summer of 2007 I almost wrote a app using MMS2R, but I couldn't make time for myself to do so. MMS2R would have processed the email extracting images that I had taken with my phone, I would then have posted those to S3 referenced with tiny url links (using Camping Hurl into my Twitter feed. I had written MMS2R even earlier than that time, but the emphasis has always been to make it easy to get at MMS data so that it can be used easily in all kinds of applications, social applications in particular.

There are two places to start looking for ideas on how to use MMS2R in a Rails application as I've just described. The first is the PeepCode book Luke Francl ( and I wrote about it: "Receiving Email With Ruby"

Another is a recent Rails Magazine article by By Jason Seifer ( is titled "Receiving E-Mail With Rails"

There are a number of startups and web sites listed on the MMS2R RubyForge page ( that are using the Gem in their application stack. One of those is Luke's FanChatter ( At the beginning of the summer Fan Chatter received startup funding from Y Combinator ( So if you use MMS2R in your social Rails application, it might improve your chances of being funded by Y Combinator. Congratulations Luke.

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Posted by Mike 08/30/2009 at 11:23AM

I've decommissioned my old blog "Mike Mondragon, from Pullman, WA" at

The content has been moved to my new blog "Plasticx Blog: Capable of being shaped or formed" here as

All requests to the old domain will be 301 permanently redirected to plasticx. Most requests come through my FeedBurner mirror. I've not switched my blog's reference there, therefore many readers will not be affected by my blog's redeployment.

I've queued up a number of articles to kick start my blog. I will try to post something every week. I have notes prepared for the following posts, not necessarily in this order

  • migrating a legacy 4.0.3 Typo blog to Typo 5.3.x with Rails 2.3.3
  • book reviews of nerd books I've read recently
  • a non-REST presenter pattern in Rails
  • some useful shoulda macros
  • some useful git and shell hacks
  • anti-caching patterns to watch out for in Rails

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