I recently had the idea to design a barebones mud codebase design to work with heroku. For those who don't know what heroku is, it's a cloud computing solution for Ruby that makes deployment really easy by pushing via git to heroku. So the interesting part is it's industrial quality for free basically. Under a certain resource load. The real sticking point is you have to pay for more database-space. Basically it's free for under 5 megabytes of database space. Which surprisingly goes a lot way for development purposes. Beyond that you just have to pay a monthly fee for more space. But the idea is new developers would have a place to deploy and toy around with, and eventually scale up the resource requirements to any level they need. The rates are actually very reasonable. So in the next week or so I might upload a proof of concept if anyone is interested using a basic echo server for tcp connections.
Yeah, Heroku pretty much exclusively supports only web apps because the flow of deployment is so streamlined for web apps. It gives you very little administrative flexibility. You get no permissions to write files. Everything must be pushed then it's ran in an environment with few permissions on the file system. You make changes and push them with git, and it runs it automatically. It depends on the program being a "rack app" so it must be designed around that. Generally all Ruby web frameworks use Rack as the core component.
Cancelled. Because of the way heroku works it's impossible. :(
The precise reason this is impossible is because of the way the heroku router works. The inside port must be arbitrary which it maps to 80. So I thought maybe I could use port 80 for the mud port. Nope, it terminates any "hanging" connection over around 15 seconds. So about 15 seconds of mud is all I was able to get out of it. :)