Noel Rappin Writes Here


May 28, 2010: Friday Friday Friday

Short today, but preparing some longer, more rant-y bits for the future… Book status Not much forward motion for the next few days, as I have a lot of other stuff to do, including preparing for Chicago Ruby on June 1 and doing a bit of touch-up on Obtiva’s 4-Day Ruby on Rails/TDD boot camp. All fun, but time consuming. Some Links A quick tutorial by Peter Cooper on setting up JQuery in Rails 3.

May 27, 2010: Random stuff today

I think we’re going to be even more random then usual today. Here goes: If you downloaded the epub version of Rails Test Prescriptins beta 3, then you may have noticed that the promised Cucumber chapter isn’t there. The PDF is fine, and I have no idea about the mobi version one way or another. If you were affected by this, please go back to the Prags site and grab the file again, it appears to have been fixed.

May 26, 2010: Answer The Question Please

Top Story Got interviewed yesterday by Miles Forrest and Curtis McHale of the coderpath podcast. Presumably it’ll be out and public in the next couple of weeks. You’ll be the first person I tell. Couple things It’s been a while since I did anything like this, and I always forget how much it’s a genuine skill to be able to give a clear answer without doing a lot of ums and ahs.

May 25, 2010: Betas

Top Story Beta 3 should be out today. The main change in this Beta is the inclusion of the Cucumber chapter, which has been updated both in terms of new tech, and also in terms of conclusions about how to use Cucumber. And In Rails news… When last we met, Rails 2.3.6 had just been released. Well, in the intervening 24 hours, we’ve bumped all the way to 2.3.8, with two bug fix releases, explained by Jeremy Kemper here and here.

May 24, 2010: Martin Gardner

Top Story Rails 2.3.6 released, with more changes than I expected, taking it just a little bit beyond a bug-fix release. Follow the link for the full release notes. Things that caught my eye: Looks like they made an official plugin to give Rails 2.3.6 the default HTML safe behavior of Rails 3. Although the note is vague and I could be misunderstanding. Alert and notice are now separate methods rather than just being keys on the flash.

May 21, 2010: Meetings

Book Status Committed what I hope will be the Beta 3 version of the Cucumber chapter. Most of the changes were in the various conclusions. When I originally wrote the chapter, Cucumber was still quite new, and I had kind of a ragged set of thoughts about how it should be used. Since then, I’ve used it more, and more importantly, there’s been a lot more community discussion about how Cucumber is best used, so I needed and was able to tighten up that part a bit.

May 20, 2010: Fontastic

Book Status Starting to sound repetitive. Still working on the Cuke chapter, this time focusing on cleaning up the parts where I recommend ways to use Cucumber. Still hoping for a beta early next week. Other things This week in Yehuda, there’s a very long article about text encodings and what problems they have, and in particular how Ruby’s implementation is shaped by the complicated relationship between Unicode and Japanese.

May 19, 2010: Testing Done Good

Book Status I got some editorial feedback on the Cucumber chapter, the plan is to get that turned in by Friday for a Monday switch to Beta 3. Not sure what Beta 4 will be – it’ll either be Selenium or some of the test quality chapters. Live! I’ll be presenting at Chicago Ruby on June 1, along with Matt Polito. The working title of my talk “Testing Done Good”, and it’s going to be about writing good and robust tests.

May 17: The Happy Streets of Wilmette

Book Status The Cucumber chapter is nearing final edit for beta. I cleared up a handful of errata, of which probably the most serious was a mistake on how to get the fixture data to pass the first test in the book. I’m hoping to get Beta 3 out later this week, and then I have to decide which direction for beta 4. Oh, and the book: still on sale.

May 14: Moving To Beta 3

Top Story Just a quick update here. Cucumber chapter newest draft is complete, and I’m hoping it will be beta 3 early next week. Not sure what to do next, I need to look around and see what’s relatively stable with respect to Rails 3. The book is still on sale. Tell all your friends. And then Rails Dispatch this week is about the new routing in Rails 3. Yehuda Katz has a really nice article on workflow with git.

May 13, 2010: The Rules of Agile Estimation

Top Story JRuby 1.5 is out. Highlights include improved Rails 3 support, better support for Windows, better FFI support, better startup time (yay!) and a lot of other tweaks and fixes. Book Update Still Cucumbering, hope to finish today. The book is still on sale, of course. And I’d still love to see more comments in the forum. I’ll be talking at Chicago Ruby on June 1, exact topic TBD (let me know if you have a preference), but I’m leaning toward talking about how to avoid test problems and write good, robust tests.

May 12, 2010: The Raffle is Done

Top Story I ran the Lulu raffle last night, and all five winners have responded. For what it’s worth, I took a list of users from my database, generated a random series of numbers from, and the users corresponding to the first five numbers in the sequence were picked. Congratulations to Peter Bosse, Tim Harvey, Cameron Pope, Joshua Ball, and Christian Knappskog. You’ll be contacted shortly with information about receiving your prize.

May 11, 2010: Beta 2 Is Out

Top Story / Book Update Beta 2 of Rails Test Prescriptions is out. The biggest addition is the chapters on integration testing and Webrat/Capybara. Beta 3 will be coming next week and will include all or most of the Cucumber chapter. Please do post to the forum, there’s not any discussion there, and I’m interested to hear any questions or comments you might have. Other People’s Books A lot of book links today.

May 10, 2010: The need for eyeballs

Top Story Let’s start with this: there’s a small but embarrassing typo in the Pragazine article code. Especially since it was a) called out by the author of Mocha and b) was a direct copy from the book, and from the Lulu version before that, so it’s been public for about a year, and I’ve proofread that chapter at least five times. Which just goes to show… you never catch everything.

May 6, 2010: The day of promoting stuff

Top Story I’ll mention somebody else’s book, but don’t worry, I plan on doing it in a totally self-absorbed kind of way. Pragmatic released Using JRuby into beta yesterday, by the core JRuby team. Looks good, interested to see where they go with it. Because I’m me, I can’t help but compare the structure of the book with the Jython book I did. Biggest structural difference so far is that we were unable to assume a Python-savvy audience, so we felt we had to awkwardly teach Python for 100 pages at the start of the book, where as the JRuby book is able to teach Ruby in an Appendix.

May 5, 2010: Aaiieeee

Book Status Working toward beta 2, which will probably come out early next week. It’ll include chapters on integration testing, and webrat/capybara, and maybe the Cucumber chapter, depending on if I finish the redo. Also, the setup appendix with at least partial Rails 3 info – still sticking on how best to integrate the user plugin. Thanks to Dan Benjamin and Jason Seifer for mentioning Rails Test Prescriptions (still on sale) on The Ruby Show episode 115.

May 4, 2010: MacRuby and more

Top Story MacRuby 0.6 is out. Big new features include a debugger, a new interface to Cocoa’s Grand Central Dispatch, and a rewrite of the internals of basic Ruby classes. In a related story, the early text of Matt Aimonetti’s MacRuby book from O’Reilly is available for free online. Nice job all around. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here, but I use MacRuby and its ability to manipulate AppleScriptable programs to power my crazy-obsessive iTunes random playlist generator, so speed improvements are hoped for.

May 3, 2010: Hi, I'm Back

Hey, where were you? Sorry about that, I spent most of last week running the Obtiva Ruby/Rails/TDD 4-day boot camp training, and I didn’t have time to do this daily catchup. Hey, if you think you need me or somebody like me to come to your company and blather about Ruby and Rails for a few days, contact us at It’s fun. Book Status Rails test prescriptions: still on sale.

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