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By Hew Wolff
July 23, 2014

“Red-Green-Refactor” is a familiar slogan from test-driven development (TDD), describing a popular approach to writing software. It’s been both popular and controversial since the 2000′s (see the recent heated discussions between David Hansson, Bob Martin, and others). I find that …


By Hew Wolff
July 23, 2014

“Red-Green-Refactor” is a familiar slogan from test-driven development (TDD), describing a popular approach to writing software. It’s been both popular and controversial since the 2000′s (see the recent heated discussions between David Hansson, Bob Martin, and others). I find that …


By Hew Wolff
July 23, 2014

“Red-Green-Refactor” is a familiar slogan from test-driven development (TDD), describing a popular approach to writing software. It’s been both popular and controversial since the 2000′s (see the recent heated discussions between David Hansson, Bob Martin, and others). I find that …

More Than Enough Arel

By Samuel Mullen
May 15, 2014

In Just Enough Arel, we explored a bit into how the Arel library transforms our Ruby code into SQL to be executed by the database. To do so, we discovered that Arel abstracts database tables and the fields therein as objects, …

Make magic with Ruby DSLs

By Aaron Sumner
April 23, 2014

For better or worse, I believe you can develop basic, yet useful, applications in Ruby on Rails with just a minimum amount of Ruby knowledge. Rails tucks away details behind object-to-table mapping, routing, database preparation, and other necessities for web …

Just Enough Arel

By Samuel Mullen
March 27, 2014

If you were a web developer prior to ActiveRecord, you probably remember rolling your own SQL and being specific about which fields you retrieved, writing multiple queries to handle “upserts” (update or insert), and getting frustrated with how difficult it was to generate …

The Self-made Developer: Bootstrap or Bootcamp?

By Aaron Sumner
January 29, 2014

Aspiring software developers have more avenues than ever to learn to code without going back to school. From free, self-paced online learning environments to not-so-free, structured, immersive experiences, a number of services have cropped up within the past few years …

How Setting Aside Rails and Picking Up Padrino Might Make You a Better Ruby Developer

By Aaron Sumner
December 4, 2013

I love frameworks. I love that frameworks like Rails and Bootstrap, in particular, make me more productive: People smarter than I have taken care of several decisions that distract from the typical goals of my web applications. I spend most …

Four short links: 1 February 2013

By Nat Torkington
February 1, 2013

Icon Fonts are Awesome — yes, yes they are. (via Fog Creek) What the Rails Security Issue Means for Your Startup — excellent, clear, emphatic advice on how and why security matters and what it looks like when you take …

Four short links: 30 April 2012

By Nat Torkington
April 30, 2012

Chanko (Github) -- trivial A/B testing from within Rails. OpenMeetings -- Apache project for audio/video conferencing, screen sharing, whiteboard, calendar, and other groupware features. Low Innovation Internet (Wired) -- I disagree, I think this is a Louis CK Nobody's Happy moment. We renormalize after change and become blind to the amazing things we're surrounded by. Hundreds of thousands (millions?)...

Four short links: 21 October 2011

By Nat Torkington
October 21, 2011

What Mozilla is Up To (Luke Wroblewski) -- notes from a talk that Brendan Eich gave at Web 2.0 Summit. The new browser war is between the Web and new walled gardens of native networked apps. Interesting to see the effort Mozilla's putting into native-alike Web apps. YouTube Insult Generator (Adrian Holovaty) -- mines YouTube for insults of a...

Ruby is for Java

By Timothy M. O'Brien
July 19, 2011

Bob McWhirter, JBoss Fellow, Codehaus Despot, and creator of TorqueBox, discusses the boundary between Java and Ruby and his efforts to make Torquebox "a real first-class Ruby platform that works the way Rubyists expect".

Four short links: 16 December 2010

By Nat Torkington
December 16, 2010

On Compressing Social Networks (PDF) -- paper looking at the theory and practice of compressing social network graphs. Our main innovation here is to come up with a quick and useful method for generating an ordering on the social network nodes so that nodes with lots of common neighbors are near each other in the ordering, a property which...

Mirah: Taking Performance to the Next Level with Java's Ruby

By Timothy M. O'Brien
July 12, 2010

Charles Oliver Nutter discusses his latest attempt to bring the usability and clarity of Ruby to the JVM. In this interview Nutter discusses Mirah, a new, Ruby-like language which can be compiled to bytecode. He discusses some of the advantages of being able to compile to bytecode and how Mirah relates to JRuby.

A Live Edition for Learning Rails

By Simon St. Laurent
February 17, 2010

One of the best things about Rails is that it's under constant development. With the Live Edition of Learning Rails, the book will be able to track that progress and give beginners better access to the latest and greatest Rails has to offer.

Four short links: 12 November 2009

By Nat Torkington
November 12, 2009

Fat Free CRM -- open source (Affero GPL) Ruby on Rails CRM system. Bixo -- open source data mining toolkit that runs as a series of pipes on top of Hadoop. Built on Cascading workflow system for Hadoop that hides MapReduce. (via kdnuggets) Andy Kessler's Keynote at Defrag Stank (Pete Warden) -- I'm sorry to hear it, because I...

Announcing O'Reilly Answers - Clever Hacks. Creative Ideas. Innovative Solutions.

Announcing O'Reilly Answers - Clever Hacks. Creative Ideas. Innovative Solutions.
By Allen Noren
November 4, 2009

We're launching the beta of O'Reilly Answers, and I'm inviting you to be part of it. In brief, O'Reilly Answers is a community site for sharing knowledge, asking questions, and providing answers that brings together our customers, authors, editors, conference speakers, and Foo (Friends of O'Reilly). O'Reilly is at the center of an amazing exchange of knowledge sharing and idea generation, and we want you to join us in changing the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators.

Rails in a Nutshell Manuscript Open For Collaboration

By Keith Fahlgren
October 19, 2009

Following hot on the launch of the Building iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript manuscript three weeks ago, I'm pleased that Rails in a Nutshell, from Cody Fauser, James MacAulay, Edward Ocampo-Gooding and John Guenin is now live and...

Personalizing the Learning Conversation

By Simon St. Laurent
May 5, 2009

Twenty years of change are shifting technology from top-down broadcast-model documentation and training to a more conversational approach that shrinks the social distance between teacher and learner, personalizing our experience.

Dreaming of Rails as the Next Microsoft Access

By Simon St. Laurent
May 5, 2009

Rails? Microsoft Access? Aren't those from different planets? Well, they may have different origins, but their similarities give me hope.

Using Helpers and Blocks to easily add design to your site

By Eric Berry
April 8, 2009

I bought the program Coda by Panic software. It is a pretty cool app, even though it is not my preferred editor. One thing that I love about Panic software is they make beautiful interfaces. In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to create a 'sheet' similar to those found in Coda.

You ain't gonna need what?

By Mike Loukides
April 8, 2009

One of the defining characteristics of the Rails movement has been its willingness to throw out the rules by which software developers and consultants have typically worked. Those rules typically produce big, overblown projects laden with features that no one ever uses--but which sounded good during the project specification phase. Build the simplest thing that could possibly work, and...

Choosing your application's version of Rails

By Simon St. Laurent
March 28, 2009

Rails updates versions frequently. There are a few different ways to make sure your application is running the version of Rails you think it should be, and to make sure you can run it under the version it expects.

What Is Enterprise? Dan Chak Explains

What Is Enterprise? Dan Chak Explains
By Sara Peyton
February 18, 2009

With Enterprise Rails, author Dan Chak's gives you the tools to develop applications for the enterprise world for websites with global scale. In the book, Chak, who has worked for, shows you how to make good architectural choices from the beginning of a project. Read on for an excerpt, "What is Enterprise."

Github: Making Code More Social

By Brady Forrest
January 29, 2009

Github launched less than a year ago, but it's already making an impact on how open-source software is being created. Rails was there from day one, kick-starting the social software repository's traffic. It has taken off though it still doesn't compare to Sourceforge's traffic. Github combines "standard" features of social networking sites with distributed source-control Git. You can follow...

Four short links: 21 Jan 2009

By Nat Torkington
January 21, 2009

In today's edition: the spread of fake news, keeping track of your real power use, a Javascript library and a less-than-impressed take on mobile location apps. Echo Chamber - the British tabloid The Sun posted a story that turned out to be fabricated. This site tracked that story's spread and uncritical acceptance by other news outlets and web sites. Real...

Heroku moves forward and sideways

By Simon St. Laurent
January 17, 2009

I've had a lot of positive feedback from readers for including Heroku in Learning Rails. Its web-based interface is the easiest way I know to get started with Rails programming without getting trapped in installation challenges. They're changing gears a...


By Simon St. Laurent
January 1, 2009

My New Year's Resolution for this year is simple: practice. You don't have to achieve (or even aim for) total mastery for the practice to be worthwhile.

Installing Instant Rails on Windows

By Simon St. Laurent
December 22, 2008

Instant Rails is getting old, but it's still a quick way to install Rails and start coding. This screencast shows how to download and install Instant Rails, and shows off how it works with a simple example from Chapter 2 of Learning Rails.

Creating Custom SOAP Requests with Ruby and Net::HTTP

By Eric Berry
December 19, 2008

Learn to create a custom SOAP request using Ruby and Net::HTTP

Templates Offer Rails New Path to Ubiquity

By Simon St. Laurent
December 16, 2008

Rails application templates, just added in Edge Rails, offer Rails developers the chance to spread their wings and bring Rails to new audiences and new capabilities - and might even help Rails lead the next generation of frameworks.

First Steps in Rails (on Heroku)

By Simon St. Laurent
December 2, 2008

If you want to explore Rails, offers an easy way to get started, using a web-based interface that neatly hides the complexity of installation and database management.

First Steps into Rails (on the Mac)

By Simon St. Laurent
November 24, 2008

Once you have Rails installed, it's time to explore the foundations of how Rails applications are put together. It's not quite programming yet - it's more looking around to figure out how the pieces fit together.

Installing Rails on Ubuntu Hardy Heron (Server)

By Simon St. Laurent
November 20, 2008

Want to install a Rails development environment on a bare-bones Ubuntu server setup? It's not that hard.

Installing Rails on Hardy Heron (Desktop)

By Simon St. Laurent
November 19, 2008

One of the most difficult parts of the tech review for Learning Rails was Chapter 1, installing Rails. There are way too many operating systems and choices within those operating systems to provide a straightforward explanation. To help deal with...

Between Earth and Sky

By Harold Davis
September 23, 2008

On our way home from a sunset-to-night hike on the Tomales Point fork of Point Reyes, Mark and I stopped at the wreck of the Point Reyes fishing trawler. Many people like to photograph this trawler, which is easily accessible outside of Inverness, California. Between Earth and Sky, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger. The week before, at...

The Present and Future of Ruby and Rails

By chromatic
September 19, 2008

Chad Fowler and Rich Kilmer discuss where Ruby and Rails have gone in the past year, whether RESTful composition obviates the need for ORM, what's interesting in the upcoming world of Ruby and Rails, and how Maglev, Rubinius, and other new Ruby implementations contribute to the world of dynamic languages.

RailsConf Europe Early Registration

By Allison Randal
July 10, 2008

The schedule for RailsConf Europe just went up last week. It's shaping up to be another great conference. A few sessions and tutorials that particularly catch my eye are David Heinemeier Hansson's keynote on Wednesday morning, "Meta-programming Ruby for Fun & Profit" by Neal Ford, "Offline Rails Applications with Google Gears and Adobe AIR" by Till Vollmer, "From Rails Security...

Microsoft integrates Silverlight, Rails and .NET

By RJ Owen
June 3, 2008

Microsoft recently announced demos of two excited Ruby on Rails developments. The first is a Silverlight application integrated with Ruby on Rails and the second is a demo of Microsoft's .NET Rails implementation, somewhat weirdly named "IronRuby." In this entry we'll discuss the announcement, Microsoft's implementation of Rails, and provide some resources for getting started in your own Rails education.

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