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Issue 77 - January 19, 2012
Oops, what was that about an improved newsletter layout this week? Due to the awesome reaction to StatusCode.org and my ongoing work getting it ready, I've run out of time, but next week, promise! Without further ado, on to this week's links.
The Ruby Heroes awards run each year and present 6 community nominated 'heroes' with an award at RailsConf. Nominations are now open so go and drop your nomination for the Rubyist whose code has brightened up your life the most in the past year.
Sorry it's just a press release but it's great to see a company that came up from the Ruby world continue to do well. Congrats to the Heroku team.
Jon Leighton demonstrates why accessing hash elements in a "obj.hashthings['foo']" style isn't the way to go and how to act in a way that respects encapsulation, a tenet of object orientation.
Aaron Lasseigne gives a simple introduction to the ideas behind the 'include' and 'extend' methods.
Myron Marston draws attention to Sinatra's 'halt' method which you can use to immediate stop a request within a filter or route, and explains why he likes it for handling exceptions in Sinatra apps.
Eric Hodel makes an interesting argument that instead of leaning on test helper files all of the time, perhaps there are common bits of functionality you can bake into your library or app's own APIs.
Ryan Davis demonstrates why his popular minitest testing library doesn't have an assert_nothing_raised assertion by picking on a relatively useless test in Rails.
Back in February 2011, Netbeans (a popular IDE) dropped its official support for Ruby but the JRuby team offered to pick up the slack. Thomas Enebo has been working on it and has some code to make Ruby support work on Netbeans 7.1 here.
Over at RubySource, Darren Jones rounds up the opinions and assessments of several well known Rubyists when it comes to choosing Sinatra or Rails for a project. An interesting high level collection of ideas.
The world's favorite Ruby podcast, Ruby Rogues, is back with an episode all about the versioning of code, Ruby libraries, gems, and more. This time out, James Edward Gray II takes the helm.
Private Pub is a gem for use with Rails to publish and subscribe to real-time messages through Faye. You get real-time updates through an open socket without tying up a Rails process. Ryan Bates shows you how to use it in a mere 7 minutes.
At RailsCamp X, Paul Annesley and Dennis Hotson built this nifty little side scrolling game which works straight from your terminal (256 color support needed though). Surprisingly good for a quick effort.
Guard::RSpectacle automatically tests your application with RSpec when files are modified. This sounds like guard-rspec on the surface, but RSpectacle acts as an 'embedded' runner within a running Rails app and reloads changed files on the fly.
Jekyll is a blog-focused static site generator, and Jekyll users often recommend cloning an existing Jekyll blog to use as a starting point. Jekyll-Bootstrap takes this idea to the next level by attempting to be the definitive Jekyll framework to clone.
oEmbed is a format for allowing an embedded representation of a URL on third party sites OEmbedr makes consuming oEmbed from any source simple.
Hobson distributes your test suite across N machines and aggregates the results live on a locally run webapp. I haven't tried it yet but on a trawl through the source code it seems to be for Cucumber and RSpec only.
Yes, it's 'yet another' webapp framework but Vesper is based on top of Sinatra, already has several plugins, and features a handy 6 minute screencast on its homepage.
The fantastic folks over at Zendesk, the help desk and support ticket app, are looking for a creative and seasoned Ruby engineer to focus on improving their code base. They want full stack engineers who can improve and refactor their frameworks and lead an open source effort by publishing some of the resulting gems.
Marc Andre Cournoyer (of Create Your Own Programming Language fame) is running another of his highly praised 2 day, online Rails masterclasses. Marc's given me a discount code you can use to get 80 dollars off - it's 'rubyweekly'. I disclose that I make a commission on this but I won't promote trash and the testimonials speak for themselves :-)
Along similar lines, Marc Andre Cournoyer also runs a more general class aimed at giving you an understanding of the inner workings of programming languages and programming language implementation. 'SAVEME50' gets you a discount and it's in mid February.
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