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December 2008

iPhone SDK: Cache Policy & Cookie Handling in NSURLRequest

I recently ran into an issue building an app which hit an existing (protected) website. Passing credentials along with each request, responses at first appeared to be cached, even after the user credentials changed from within the iPhone app. In sorting through this issue, it gave me a chance to get a bit more familiar with NSURLRequest, and NSURLRequestCachePolicy. As I later found, however, my problem turned out to
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acts_without_database: Leverage ActiveRecord with Non-Database Backed Objects

ActiveRecord comes with a lot of nice things that aren’t really dependent on having a database backed model. The most obvious example of this is the validation framework baked into ActiveRecord. Also, there are several plugins which add some useful behavior to ActiveRecord objects but don’t rely on having a database. In the future, I believe the rails team aims to make certain things more modular and easi
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Category and UI changes on Pathfinder blogs

If you read one or more of the Pathfinder blogs in our web interface, you may have noticed some tweaks to our navigation and top-level categories. Our goal in making these changes was to help different audiences drill down to the specific content that interests them. Instead of just a few top-level categories, we now boast around 20, though many posts appear in multiple categories. To subscribe via RSS to any specifi
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Receive 10% off Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks by Luke Wroblewski

Rosenfeld Media contacted me after I published my review of Luke Wroblewski’s “Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks.” They offered Agile Ajax readers 10% off “Web Form Design” or any other purchase at rosenfeldmedia.com. To redeem, simply enter the code PATHFINDER at checkout.
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2008: A Year That Was

Yes I know it says 2008 — this is a retrospective… It looks like the Rails news for 2008 will be dominated by the impending cats-and-dogs merger of Merb and Rails. More on that next week. Right now, here’s some links back to Rails content that our team has put out during 2008 that’s still useful, or that I just plain still like. I think a lot of people reading this came to our blog during 2008
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Using Flex Code Generator (FCG) with Flex & PureMVC

Recently I’ve been working on a Flex prototype using the PureMVC framework. I will talk at length another time about just how much PureMVC successfully solves a lot of problems that we encounter in interface development and especially about how much this framework is important for all those complex interactions that we expect out of our RIA interfaces. Starting out with PureMVC is not a particularly easy task.
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Agile Software Development and the Lazy Client Trap

Agile Software development is all about the feedback loop. Do a little bit of something, get a little bit of feedback, change what you are doing if the feedback tells you so. There’s all sorts of feedback loops in a typical agile development process, from the automated, like TDD and continuous integration, to the biological, like user testing. If one of these loops breaks down, you are in for trouble. Which is
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Learning PureMVC the Hard Way (is there any other way?)

This ends week one of my investigations into PureMVC. So far I’m impressed with the framework itself in it’s many versions and incarnations, but the documentation and tutorials for platforms other than Flex leave something to be desired. To all those folks that claim that Cairngorm is easier to learn than PureMVC, I can agree, but only because of this lack of good documentation. So what should we Java/GWT
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Book recommendation: Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks by Wroblewski

Usability and design guru Luke Wroblewski knows that web forms suck. More importantly, he knows why – and how to make them suck less. For the past few years, the Yahoo! product design exec has been presenting his ongoing research into the humble HTML form at conferences and on his blog, Functioning Form. I attended Wroblewski’s presentation at An Event Apart Chicago 2007 and came away super-impressed. His
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Read The Source, Luke: A Reader's Guide To Browsing Rails Source

Live from my laptop, it’s Rails Source! After you’ve gotten the hang of Rails basics, one of the fastest ways to make the leap to black-belt Rails Warrior is to become familiar with the Rails source itself. (This remains a huge side-benefit of writing about Rails — there’s nothing like the prospect of making mistakes in public that drives somebody to extra research.) The Rails source is arguab
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