NHRuby July Meeting: Live Coding Session

Posted by Scott on Jul 17th, 2007

Tonight’s NHRuby.org meeting in Portsmouth should be a blast. Nick Plante and I will be coding up a web application from scratch, as decided upon by members of our email list. As we develop the app, we will explain how and why we’re doing what we’re doing. We want this to be a collaborative group discussion, not just a presentation. So head on down to RMC Research tonight at 7pm and take part in the development of this web app! For more details, see our wiki site.

Being Careful with Rails Session Data

Posted by Scott on Mar 21st, 2007

In the book Agile Web Development with Rails, it is recommended that you move your HTTP session data from temp files (the default) into your database for speed and scalability. One problem this can create if you’re stuffing lots of data into your sessions is that database fields are of a limited size. MySQL uses text as the default type for the data column.

I ran into some limitations regarding this earlier this week, and the surefire symptom of it is the error “marshal data too short” in your logs. Fortunately, a quick Google search resulted in a few clear answers. I even found a migration example to change the column type from text to mediumtext (you can also use longtext if you’re really paranoid).

NHRuby.org Meeting March 20: Security and Cryptography in Ruby and Rails

Posted by Scott on Mar 10th, 2007

Attention local Rubyists! The third meeting of the NHRuby.org user group is coming up soon. This month we’ll have Brian DeLacey speaking about using crypto algorithms in your Ruby code. He’ll be demonstrating the Crypt library, which is written entirely in Ruby.

The objective of this meeting is two-fold: to address some interesting Ruby techniques and also walk through the basic structure and operations of a Rails application. We’ll have some Ruby and Rails books to raffle off at the end of the meeting – special thanks to O’Reilly Media.

Brian is an excellent speaker and has been making the rounds giving talks at many user groups in the Boston area. Mark your calendars, you won’t want to miss this presentation!

WHEN: Tuesday, March 20, 2007. 7-9 PM.
WHERE: Portsmouth Public Library, Hilton Garden Inn Meeting Room (2nd floor), Portsmouth, NH.

For more details, including a map of the meeting location, see our upcoming meetings page on the wiki.

Ruby Meeting Summary and Jedit Tips

Posted by Scott on Feb 21st, 2007

Last night’s NHRuby.org meeting went very well, despite sub-optimal brightness from my LCD projector. You can view a meeting summary on our wiki.

When I first watched the PeepCode RJS screencast, I noticed that TextMate (an OS X programmer’s editor) has a really nifty file open dialog. It opens a pop-up window where you can simply start typing the name of a file in your project and you will be presented with a drop-down list of files that match. As you type more, the list narrows down, or you can select one of the filenames to open with your arrow keys.

I immediately started drooling over this and figured there had to be a way to do this in jedit, my preferred editor. The OpenIt plugin is the one you want to enable for this. As with everything in jedit, you can configure this plugin to your heart’s content, telling it to compile its list of available filenames from the current Project, or every file under a certain directory tree. You can also tell it to ignore certain filename patterns when it generates the list. I have OpenIt bound to the Ctrl-Alt-o keyboard shortcut.

Oh, and if you’re not using jedit with Java 1.6, I’d strongly recommend trying it out. There is a significant performance boost, and the font antialiasing is improved. There are a few guides and debian packages floating around for Java 1.6 that you can find for Ubuntu on the Ubuntu Forums.

NHruby.org Goes Live

Posted by Scott on Jan 24th, 2007

It’s been just over a week since the first meeting of the NH Ruby/Rails User Group. I finally found some time to set up a wiki and some e-mail lists for the group to get started with. Please spread the news and take part in our new Ruby community!

New Hamshire Rubyists Hatch Their Next Scheme…

Posted by Scott on Jan 17th, 2007

(That title is a pun on computer languages, btw… )

I was really pleased with the way the first meeting of the NH Seacoast Ruby/Rails User Group turned out. A total of eight of us were there, and we had a good mix of folks who had various levels of experience with Ruby. There seems to be plenty of interest from people who have gone through a tutorial or two but want to bring their Ruby/Rails knowledge to the next level. One gentleman came up all the way from Boston – a self-described “technical user group addict.” What a great hobby!

During the meeting I went over a list of my favorite Ruby and Rails development and community resources, including web sites, books, forums, and blogs. This sparked suggestions and additions from others in the room, creating an enjoyable, interactive discussion.

Next I’ll be working with the Greater NH Linux User Group, which has graciously offered to host a wiki and mailing lists for the group. When that is set up I’ll be sure to announce it on this blog and to everyone who has contacted me in the past with interest in this group. Nick is also helping us find a new meeting location in Portsmouth (much appreciated, Nick!).

New Meeting Location for the NH Seacoast Ruby/Rails User Group

Posted by Scott on Jan 9th, 2007

Apparently there are a lot of folks in the area who are interested in seeing what a Ruby/Rails user group meeting is like, as I received over a dozen RSVPs for the upcoming event. Unfortunately, that threw a wrench in my plans to host it in a study room at the UNH Library, which can only hold 4-6 people. Fortunately, Rob from the Seacoast Linux User Group agreed to help me out and let me use a conference room in Morse Hall for this month’s meeting. I’m very grateful for Rob’s assistance. So the updated meeting information is:

WHEN: Tuesday, January 16, 2007, from 7-9 PM.

WHERE: Morse Hall, Room 301, UNH Campus. Durham, NH (directions)

WHAT: I’ll be sharing some of my favorite resources for developing with Ruby/Rails and following the community. We’ll also engage in such exciting activities as creating a regular meeting location and schedule, setting up a mailing list, and coming up with an organization name that makes a cool acronym! Contact me for directions and parking information if you’d like attend. All are welcome, whether you’re a Ruby pro or just want to know what all the hype is about. 🙂

My Ruby on Rails Coding Environment

Posted by Scott on Dec 4th, 2006

I thought discussing my coding environment when working with Ruby on Rails might make for good blog fodder, so here it is:

I have a dual-head monitor set up at home and give jedit one desktop area and share the remainder between Firefox and several terminal windows. My basic terminal setup includes the following:

  • One terminal in the rails project working directory, to run rake or perform svn commits.
  • One terminal running script/server.
  • One terminal running tail -f log/development.log.
  • One terminal running the mysql interpreter so I can poke at the database manually.

I’ve found this setup to be productive as I’m coding, particularly as I keep an eye on the logfile for ruby errors. Also, I keep a bookmark toolbar folder of frequently accessed web and rails development sites, including:

Since ruby is such a concise language, I actually spend the bulk of my time dealing with HTML/CSS issues. Firebug makes it easy to pick elements from a page and analyze their CSS styles or DOM location. Jedit has some nice intellicode-like auto-completion features for ruby, but it slows the editor down quite a bit and so I’ve got most of that turned off. The API docs are easy to use, and I often learn something new by reading them directly.

« Prev

Blog Badges

[FSF Associate Member]