Launching Excel in a production web server on a Mac

Anth Anth lists at
Tue Jan 28 23:18:37 UTC 2014

Fair enough, but I was looking for more of a high level guidance rather 
than solving my problem specifically.  I guess my question is in general 
is it possible for Rails code running in nginx (running as root) to 
spawn an application like Excel?  I'm not familiar enough with OS X's 
userspace model to even know where to start with that...

The specifics of my problem:

0) nginx 1.2.2 running as root on OS X 10.8.5. Rails is at 3.2.15
1) A standard user request comes in
2) Handled by Rails controller
3) Controller launches Excel through rb-appscript (ruby-to-applescript 

Normally at this point Excel actually launches in my dev environment, 
and specific changes to an Excel document are made through rb-appscript 
code.  On the production side the Excel process never starts, and the 
request eventually just times out... nothing in the logs.

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