Ponzu is a information system for scientific conferences. Major features are the incorporation of a "like" system, similar to Facebook, and graphical representations of poster presentations.

Ponzu also incorporates the Kamishibai javascript libary. The Kamishibai library is intended to allow websites to perform even during periods of network instability.

You can find a more detailed (non-technical) description of features at

Ponzu is implemented as a Rails Engine. This allows you to quickly get the basic functionality of Ponzu and modify it to your specific needs.

Running tests


More information is available in the Wiki.

How to use

Below is a brief description of the steps required to create a new Ponzu-based Rails app.

An actual implmentation of a Ponzu-based Rails app is available from the PonzuDemo repository . The root commit of PonzuDemo is a freshly started Rails project (<code>rails new ponzu_demo</code>) so you can simply view the diff to see what is needed to create your own.

The PonzuDemo repository is for the most part the same app as the on running on

We suggest that you use the following steps only as a guideline and that you examine the PonzuDemo repository for more detail.

  1. Create a new Rails project. <code>rails new my_conference</code>
  2. In the Gemfile, add the following line; <code>gem 'ponzu'</code>
  3. Install gems via bundler <code>bundle install</code>
  4. Prepare migrations <code>bundle exec rake ponzu_engine:install:migrations</code>
  5. Run migrations <code>bundle exec rake db:migrate</code>
  6. Run seed tasks to create the administrator account
  7. Customize the CSS
  8. Remove public/index.html
  9. Remove app/views/layout/application.html.erb


  1. Put the appropriate database connection parameters into database.yml
  2. Add conference specific information into application.rb. We will stop doing this in the near future, and instead write a Conference object that will contain all the conference configuration information.

Adding models, controllers and views

  1. All views files defined in the main applicaiton will take precedence over the files in the ponzu gem. To customize a view, we recommend that you copy a view file and modify the code. Ponzu uses HAML but you are free to use your own template engine.
  2. All models, helpers, controllers can be modified by opening up and monkey patching them in the main application.
  3. You can add to Ponzu routes by adding your routes to config/routes.rb


  1. sunspot-solr gem will automatically generate the Solr configuration files. We tweak the filters to allow NGram processing for CJK languages.
  2. We currently use the sunspot-solr gem for production.

Deployment guidelines

  1. Git ignore auto generated pdfs and solr indexes