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October 2008

Rails 2.2 For Me And For You

Photo: Blue Sky On Rails by ecstaticist The Rails 2.2 release contains a number of big features that are going to be commented on endlessly, especially thread safety, internationalization, and ETag support. Going through the various release notes and what’s new documents, I found a lot of smaller features that I’m looking forward to using in future projects, or would have made past projects easier, or are
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Everything's Coming Up Windows

I’ve been beating the drum of cloud computing and the advantage that it gives to companies building solutions on Linux. Microsoft needed to respond. Well, now we have two solutions for Windows on demand: Amazon EC2 is offering Windows on EC2, with the pricing at $0.125 per hour for a small instance running Windows Server (as compared to $0.10 for a Linux instance). You can run SQL Server Express at no extra cha
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Review of EnvyCast: Ruby on Rails 2.2 Screencast

Promotional image from envycasts.com This week, Rails 2.2 Release Candidate one was loosed on an unsuspecting public. Friday, I’ll post about the Rails 2.2 features that I’m most excited about working with. Today, I’m going to review Gregg Pollack and Jason Seifer’s screencast on new Rails features (and the associated PDF document by Carlos Brando and Carl Youngblood.) In the interests of full
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A Java Programmer's transition to Ruby on Rails

There is much out there on the topic of migrating to Ruby on Rails for an experienced Java programmer. I figured I’d add my two cents, as I have finally drunk the Kool-Aid. I switched to Ruby on Rails late last year, and developed a subscription and content management system in Ruby on Rails, went back to a Java project, and then back to Ruby on Rails. The switch back to Java gave me an interesting insight into
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GWT, Gadgets and OpenSocial

I’ve been developing with GWT, OpenSocial and Orkut, using the gwt-google-apis project on Google Code (specifically the gadgets subproject). It’s a nice enough api that makes it relatively painless to build gadgets in GWT. This is a bit different from Didier’s gOpenSocial library, which was an early success at building OpenSocial gadgets with GWT. But the google gadget library isn’t really qui
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Ruby Stylista

The thing is, like a lot of programming language fans, I’m fascinated by programming as communication, and therefore also by thing like style guides that bridge the gap between the formal requirements of the compiler and the cognitive needs of the programmer writing and reading the code. At best, consistent style makes code easier to produce and read in much the same way that Rails itself makes code easier to p
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JSONWrapper now on Google Code

The JSON utility library for GWT that I blogged about last week is now up on google code. To recap, the idea is that you can write code like this JSONValue root = JSONParser.parse(json); JSONWrapper obj = new JSONWrapper(root); String result = obj.get("map").get(1).stringValue(); when dealing with JSONValue objects. As it’s only one class, you could just include it in your source tree as code instead of using t
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8 Tips & Tricks When Starting Objective-C iPhone Apps: [self.paradigm shiftFrom:@"ruby" to:@"objective-c"];

All languages have something interesting to teach us about the art of programming — and as a Ruby developer almost exclusively, I’ve always been afraid of strongly typed languages like Java and C++, or the great-grand-daddy of them all, C. So when I decided to tackle Cocoa to work on iPhone apps I went in somewhat leery of how I’d have to change, but hopeful that I’d become a better, more vers
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Will Q4 iPhone Sales Surpass Expectations?

I went to the AT&T store on Friday to buy another testing phone for our developers, who are busily churning out more iPhone applications, and to switch one of my cell lines over from T-Mobile to my iPhone.  It was an interesting experience, with T-Mobile’s very friendly and courteous customer service reps pitching me strongly on the G phone, and my service getting switched over in the middle of a business c
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Web 2.0 context menus vs. Web 1.0 link lists: Style over usability?

As Ajax spreads new UI conventions to the masses, it’s important to apply a critical eye to the usability of those conventions. Several big-name sites have launched extensive redesigns in the last few months, from Twitter and FriendFeed to Flickr and Facebook. Certain trends are solidifying, especially the use of context menus that are hidden until a user mouses over an item, then displayed as a series of icons
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