(I know there's a rails mailing list. For some reason this feels more  
appropriate to ruby-talk. I'll go to the other ML if this one fails :)

Summary:
I'm writing a rails app where I want to save information about a  
user's session, so that they may return at a later date and pick up  
where they left off. The information being saved is an object with  
arbitrary instance variables. What's the best way (or any good way)  
to save this? So far, the only thing I can think of is Marshal dump/ 
load to a db row, but this seems off for some reason. Is this the  
best way?

Details:
I'm writing an app that's an odd mixture of interactive fiction,  
wiki, and MUD. (Well, single-user for now.) Think of a web version of  
a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book, where anyone can write the pages/ 
choices, and every page and choice can have arbitrary ruby code  
associated with it. Each page and choice is an ERB template (in the  
future, with wiki markup), allowing the contents of the story and  
text of the choices to vary.

Each page can run Ruby code against a 'ReaderSession' before the page  
is viewed, setting the consequences of getting to the page. Each  
choice can run Ruby code to decide if it may be shown (e.g. has the  
user already made this choice? does the user have enough gold to buy  
the rabbit? does the user have the sword needed to slay the dragon  
here?). When the user makes a choice, code specific to that choice  
can be run before the destination page is shown (e.g. subtract the  
right amount of gold and add the rabbit to the inventory).

When the user starts a story, a blank ReaderSession object is  
created. The code for each page/choice is run within the scope of  
this instance, so that any instance variables may be set without  
harming others (a sort of namespace) and I can easily start the story  
over by clearing out the instance variables.

Certain details haven't been ironed out yet: should each choice be  
hardcoded to a destination page, or can the 'result code' for a  
choice change which page you go to? How will I use AJAX to make this  
a multi-user/reader game, so that when someone else arrives at the  
same page, you know they're there? Can pages have time limits that  
force the user to make a choice before a default action is taken  
automatically?

Thanks for any advice/brainstorming. :) As with all my personal  
projects, this will be an (advertisement-free), free service for  
the .net to enjoy. (In other words, helping me isn't helping with  
some commercial project you'll never see. :)

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