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Author Archives: Matthew Lang

By Matthew Lang / May 23, 2009

Did you miss the Scotland on Rails conference this year? No need to fret though, as Engine Yard are hosting videos of all the presentations made at this popular conference. With 27 presentations covering topics from deployment to testing, there is something here for everyone.

This is an awesome way to “catch up” with the spirit of what’s been going on at some of the recent conferences, especially as a few of the talks have been given elsewhere too (such as RailsConf). Enjoy!

Day 1 – Friday Presentations

By Matthew Lang / May 22, 2009

The great thing about the Ruby language is that there’s always multiple ways of doing things. The same goes for reading the documentation of your installed gems. Here’s a few ways of viewing the RDoc documentation of your gems other than running the gem server command.

Gembox

Gembox (source) is a Sinatra based web application by Aaron Quint for browsing your RDocs. Once installed, Gembox lets you quickly browse through your gems as well as their included files and gem specs.

Running Gembox at your command-line starts a Sinatra application that gives you some basic information about your gems, including the RDocs for each gem. Read More

By Matthew Lang / May 5, 2009

It’s been a few weeks since Shoulda’s 2.10 release so it’s a good time to round up some of the new features and the best articles covering Shoulda.

For those unfamiliar with it, Shoulda is a library that allows you to write better and more understandable tests for your Ruby application. It’s like overdrive for Test::Unit and RSpec.  Shoulda allows you to provide context to your tests so that you can group tests according to a specific feature or scenario your testing.

In the latest release of Shoulda a couple of key features should be mentioned.  Firstly, you now have matchers to use in controller specs, much like RSpec. Read More

By Matthew Lang / March 1, 2009

Dash, a new metrics service from FiveRuns, has been moved to private beta (for which you can apply) allowing interested developers to take part in assessing a new way to monitor your applications. The new service from FiveRuns is an extensible monitoring service for gathering metrics from your critical daemons and applications.

Dash collects metrics from your applications using language or framework specific plugins. These plugins collect the metrics and send them to FiveRuns to be presented on your application’s dashboard. Information from your metrics is presented in a series of reports comprising of sparklines and line charts.  Reports can present your metrics over different preset time periods. Read More

By Matthew Lang / February 20, 2009

Managing and organizing multiple JavaScript files in your Rails applications can be a real pain, especially when it comes to deploying your application and you need to minimize those JavaScript files down for better application performance.

Enter Sprockets, the new dependency management and concatenation library from 37signals (or, more specifically, Sam Stephenson). Once installed, Sprockets allows you to organize your application’s JavaScript files into smaller more manageable chunks that can be distributed over a number of directories and files.

Using directives at the start of each JavaScript file, Sprockets can determines which files your current JavaScript file depends on. When it comes to deploying your application, Sprockets then uses these directives to turn your multiple JavaScript files into a single file for better performance. Read More

By Matthew Lang / January 21, 2009

The development team behind the time tracking site freckle, have just released a PDF guide detailing the terminology and processes behind processing credit card details in Ruby.

Much like Amy Hoy’s previous guides relating to Rails, the Jump Start Credit Card Processing guide is a very colorful guide and is split into three small parts that make it easy to digest. It gives an overview of the process and actions involved in processing credit card payments as well as explaining different methods that can be used to validate a credit card.  A 6 step example in Ruby using the Active Merchant gem shows you the basic steps required to process payments. Read More