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GitHub User: noahhendrix
You can look into Sinatra or Padrino
That's new in OSX Lion.
You might want to look into Ernie Miller's Ransack gem https://github.com/ernie/ransack
The method you describe is more susceptible to SQL injection, in my opinion. It's better to compare in the code instead of letting the DB do the authenticating. This also benefits from separation of concerns, the DB is responsible for storing and retrieving data not authenticating a user.