My Virtual Swag from #rdrc

(blogarhythm ~ Everybody's Everything - Santana)

So the best swag you can get from a technology conference is code, right? Well RedDotRubyConf 2013 did not disappoint! Thanks to some fantastic speakers, my weekends for months to come are spoken for. Here's just some of the goodness:

Will I still be a Rubyist in 5 years? #rdrc

(blogarhythm ~ Ruby (Kaiser Chiefs))
The third RedDotRubyConf is over, and I think it just keeps getting better! Met lots of great people, and saw so many of my Ruby heroes speak on stage. Only thing that could make it even better next year would be to get the (more...)

Debugging with webstorm and karma

I think this is not mentioned in Vojta’s testacular video, or maybe I missed it, but i had to install JetBrain’s chrome debugger plugin to be able to debug tests run with Karma in Webstorm.

The steps i used to get it to work:

Amplifying Human Emotion

(blogarhythm ~ Sweet Emotion 相川七瀬)

It all comes back to connectivity. Om Malik (TWiST #327 @00:37:30) has a brilliant characterization of the true impact of the internet:
human emotion amplified at network scale

7 things that can go wrong with Ruby 1.9 string encodings

Good news, I am back in blogging :) In recent years I have spent my time primarily on eazyBI business intelligence application development where I use JRuby, Ruby on Rails, mondrian-olap and many other technologies and libraries and have gathered new experience that I wanted to share with others.

Recently I did eazyBI migration from JRuby 1.6.8 to latest JRuby 1.7.3 version as well as finally migrated from Ruby 1.8 mode to Ruby 1.9 mode. Initial migration was not so difficult and was done in one day (thanks to unit tests which (more...)

Rolling the Mega API with Ruby

(blogarhythm ~ Can you keep a secret? - 宇多田ヒカル)

Megar (“megaargh!” in pirate-speak) is a Ruby wrapper and command-line client for the Mega API.

In the current release (gem version 0.0.3), it has coverage of the basic file/folder operations: connect, get file/folder listings and details, upload and download files. You can use it directly in Ruby with what I hope you'll find is a very sane API, but it also sports a basic command-line mode for simple listing, upload and download tasks.

If you are interested in hacking around with Mega, and prefer to do it (more...)

Easy Mandrill inbound email and webhook handling with Rails

(blogarhythm ~ Psycho Monkey - Joe Satriani)

Mandrill is the transactional email service by the same folks who do MailChimp, and I've been pretty impressed with it. For SMTP mail delivery it just works great, but where it really shines is inbound mail handling and the range of event triggers you can feed into to your application as webhooks (for example, to notify on email link clicks or bounces).

The API is very nice to use, but in a Rails application it's best to keep all the crufty details encapsulated and hidden away, right? That's what the mandrill-rails gem (more...)

Five examples why every tablet needs a camera

There are a lot of people who think camera’s in tablets are a bad idea. “Nobody should be allowed to take pictures with a large tablet in front of their face.”

But if you can think outside of the traditional camera box for a moment, and start to think what’s possible if you combine a really portable computer with a decent camera, you’ll soon see interesting new possibilities.

Just a couple examples:

  • Camscanner - turns your tablet or smartphone into a scanner. You take a picture of your notes using camscanner, it enhances the contrast and readability, and truns (more...)

Designing for Interesting Moments

(blogarhythm ~ Moments Not Words - F.I.B)

Some deep thinking and analysis of how to design for interesting and effective interactions..

2013: Time for web development to have its VB3 moment

(blogarhythm ~ Come Around Again - JET)

And that's a compliment!

Wow. This year we mark the 20th anniversary of the Visual Basic 3.0 launch way back in 1993.

It's easy to forget the pivotal role it played in revolutionizing how we built software. No matter what you think of Microsoft, one can't deny the impact it had at the time. Along with other products such as PowerBuilder and Borland Delphi, we started to see long-promised advances in software development (as pioneered by Smalltalk) become mainstream reality:

Time to toss out the laptop?

While converting my old wordpress blogposts to markdown i read some of my old posts. For example, here is what i wrote when Apple launched the iPhone in 2007:

In a couple of years mobile phones will be powerful enough to replace laptops for most common computing usages. You won’t need a separate laptop. You walk around with your mobile phone, in the office or at home you put it in a docking station, attach a keyboard and a bigger display, and you have all the computing power you need.

Some news this last week indicates we’re getting close (more...)

How to make an eBook

(blogarhythm ~ Land of a Thousand Words - Scissor Sisters)

So eBook sales have surpassed hardcover for the first time, and it is no surprise that the rise of the tablets is the main driver.

There's something quite comfortable about having a nice digital bundle of information at your fingertips, like warm buttered toast.

With relatively open standards and the ubiquity of ereaders, the ebook has become ideal packaging for all manner of information, from training manuals to open source project documentation. Or even that book that apparently 81% of us believe we have inside.

So how do you (more...)

Moving from WordPress to Jekyll

Work in progress

I’m a slow mover here, far behind the hype-curve, but this blog is currently being moved to jekyll. The following are some notes and links from this process.

Reasons to migrate:

  • Cheaper hosting - this blog is currently hosted on DreamHost. By migrating to a static site using Jekyll, cheaper options become available, for example Amazon S3 or Github.
  • Learn something new -10 years ago this blog started on Moveable Type, which also generated static html pages. In 10 years we’ve gone from full dynamic back to static, mostely thanks to javascript. The dynamic parts in many (more...)

Vale Conversations Network

(blogarhythm ~ end roll 浜崎あゆみ)

So I just listened to the last IT Conversations podcast of all time All's Well That Ends Well.

I'll miss the curation they provided. Did you know that 8 out of 10 interesting facts I quote at dinner parties I learned on the network? ;-)

And still learning: IT Conversations was the 2nd podcast ever? Apparently Doug Kaye uploaded a feed the day after Dave Winer posted his first example of using the RSS enclosure tag.

I'm not sure the Conversations Network couldn't have remained relevant and valuable for years to come, but it (more...)

Remote debuggen van mobiele applicaties

Ik kwam vanochtend op Google+ een interessante presentatie van Magaret Leibovic tegen waarin ze onder andere de tools in firefox bespreekt die je kunt gebruiken voor het debuggen van web applicaties op een smartphone.

Safari biedt vergelijkbare tooling om webapplicaties op een iPad of iPhone te debuggen. Deze heb ik (more...)

Living in the Future

On my morning commute today I realised that I am actually living in the future. I remember when I got involved in the PythonCard project 10 years ago one of the major questions on the mailing list was why we were building a GUI toolkit when the future was the web. It wasn’t true then but I think that it is now.

Why do I think we have moved now? It is in large part thanks to a book I have started reading called Python for Data Analysis. I have a copy of the book in ePub format and wanted (more...)

Building C# on MacOSX with Sublime Text

It's been a while since I last cranked up mono to compile some C#, and this time I'm on a Mac.

Fortunately, no dramas. The mono team have made it a very smooth process. I simply downloaded and installed the Mono SDK (it is packaged as a standard disk image [.dmg]). That's enough to compile and run simple projects.
$ mcs hello_world.cs
$ mono hello_world.exe

There's a whole cross-platform IDE available now called MonoDevelop and it looks great if you are doing serious C#. Right now though, I was happy enough to build from the command (more...)

The Full Monty – from Ruby to Python n00bie

Ruby developers are a pretty spoilt bunch these days. The community has overall done a great job of rolling many of the advances in modern development practice into the tools and conventions we unconsciously put to work every day.
Now I wonder what life is like in the Python community? Like many Rubyists, I've played around with Python and Jython on and off. But nothing serious. And although you could get into a pedantic syntax war, I suspect for the most part the Python and Ruby communities don't overlap simply because once you dive into one camp, the only real (more...)

Interrupted Service

This site may not be available for various periods over the next couple of days as I move it lock, stock and barrel to a new web host. It has been a good few years at Cornerhost but it’s time to move. After an exhaustive search I’ve signed up at WebFaction and will be up and running on their servers in no time at all.

This does mean that email reception may be spotty as I migrate. In the rare event that you send me an email and I don’t reply please accept my apologies. Then resend your email. See (more...)

Quotable Quotes

It started with a tweet from Tim O’Reilly. He mentioned a quote that I’m very familiar with – “Data matures like wine, applications like fish”. When I read it I wondered if it was anything to do with. His tweet linked to a blog post called the 11 best data quotes from the DataMarket blog. On that list (which I highly recommend reading) the quote was tentatively attributed to me based on a write up of my 2009 OSDC presentation entitled “Change Bad!”.

I’d like to take the credit for this, I really would. But I can’t. I did (more...)