Monitoring Mendix using JMX

The following is only relevant if you run Mendix on-premises. If you do, you probably have standard monitoring tooling that you use to monitor all your applications.

For java applications most monitoring tools provide a way to hook into JMX to get information about the application. The following describes how (more...)

Punching firewalls with Mandrill webhooks

(blogarhythm ~ Fire Cracker - Ellegarden)

Mandrill is the transactional email service by the same folks who do MailChimp. I've written about it before, in particular how to use the mandrill-rails gem to simplify inbound webhook processing.

Mandrill webhooks are a neat, easy way for your application to respond (more...)

Testing Mendix applications using Selenium

Selenium is a useful tool for automating functional tests. In this post i’ll show you some tips and tricks about using Selenium IDE with Mendix. Selenium IDE is a Firefox plugin that enables you to record whatever you are doing in Firefox, so that you can repeat these steps as (more...)

How To Start Unit Testing

I had the great privilege to present this weekend at PyCon Australia 2013. My talk was originally titled "Why I Use py.test and Maybe You Should Too" but as I wrote the paper and accompanying slides I realised that it should really have been called "How to Start Unit (more...)

Design thinking is not rocket science

OH on the ABC Radio National By Design podcast (00:56): In the field: Paul Bennet
For us the idea of small ideas that people can actually connect together and actually implement are very big ideas.

And I'm sure you've heard people describe design thinking as sort of a combination of (more...)

Writing simple ruby utilities for Google IMAP + OAuth 2.0


(blogarhythm ~ Unpretty/Fanmail: TLC)

There are some good ruby gems available for dealing with OAuth 2.0 and talking to Google APIs, for example:

Ruby Tuesday

(blogarhythm ~ Ruby - Kaiser Chiefs)
@a_matsuda convinced us to dive into Ruby 2.0 at RedDotRubyConf, so I guess this must be the perfect day of the week for it!

Ruby 2.0.0 is currently at p195, and we heard at the conference how stable (more...)

Optimising presence in Rails with PostgreSQL

(blogarhythm ~ Can't Happen Here - Rainbow)
It is a pretty common pattern to branch depending on whether a query returns any data - for example to render a quite different view. In Rails we might do something like this:
query = User.where(deleted_at: nil).and_maybe_some_other_scopes
if results =  (more...)

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...)