Charlie,

"I would be nice if it were as simple in ruby as it is in rails"

First, Rails is Ruby. Second, Rails is a smart grouping of stand-alone
components, one of which already has the extensions to do EXACTLY what
you mentioned in your first post.

I'm curious to know why you and the rest of the group seem so focused
on other solutions, given that something so slick already exists. I may
have glanced over the replies too quickly, but it didn't seem like
their are requirements that rule out the ActionPack solution.