Noel Rappin Writes Here


June 30, 2010: The Triumphant Return of the Monster Link Post

The end of the repair story At the end, a very positive experience with Apple support. The repair was free, done when they said it would be done, and all told, I spent less than fifteen minutes in the store between both halves of the visit. Plus, they replaced the top part of my pre-unibody MacBook, which was worn down and discolored from my gunky hands, almost as though they didn’t want an ugly Mac in the field.

iPad or Bust

With my laptop still on the disabled list, I’ve been using the iPad as my primary machine all week. Some thoughts: Overall, it’s been largely non-disruptive, for two reasons. One is that I borrowed a bluetooth keyboard for the duration, and the second is that I’m not in a position at the moment where I need to code on my laptop, since my work site has developer stations. They keyboard changes the iPad experience quite a bit, really turning it into a nice writing station.

Apple Intern: 1995

It’s kind of hard for me to believe that it’s fifteen years ago this week that I reported for my three-month internship deep in the research department at Apple Computer, down in One Infinite Loop. It was 1995, and it’s beyond understatement to say that Apple was a totally different place then. (I just read an article by a tech pundit who really should have known better that Apple’s marketing has always been great.

A Program Note

No link post today. My laptop is on the 5-7 day disabled list with a busted logic board. So far, a solid experience with Apple support, hopefully the prognosis is accurate. Anyway, unless I can figure out a good, non irritating, way to put together a link post using an iPad, looks like we will be doing something different this week. It’s a little weird that the WordPress web page has a better editor than the iOS.

June 21, 2010: Double Double Splat Splat

Link post today. Turns out I built up more links than I thought. Book Status Somehow I wound up writing and editing the Rcov chapter, which, among other things, is the first time I’ve had to wrestle with RSpec 2 vs. RSpec 1 behavior, when writing about how RSpec and Rcov get along. Now I need to figure out how to write about that more coherently. Actually, I need to decide if I’m going to acknowledge RSpec 1 at all.

June 18, 2010: Links Ahoy

I think a link post today… Book Status Still working on the style section, for some reason it’s going grindingly slow. The plan for beta 4 is the new style chapter, probably the legacy coding chapter. Also on the slate is updating the sample app to use Devise, which had a large constituency when I floated the idea the other day. Oh, and I haven’t had the link up in a while.

PeepOpen In Use

Some of you know (and the rest of you don’t care) that I spend my actual day job working on a largish JRuby on JRails project. (As an aside, I never get tired of jthrowing that extra j onto janything jthat I jcan. When I wrote the “Jython Essentials” book, I desperately wanted to call it “JProgramming Jython”, but eventually sensible people prevailed.) Anyhow… our developer stations run Ubuntu, which meant no TextMate.

June 16, 2010: What Shoulda We Do?

Top Story Thoughtbot talks about their plans for Shoulda moving forward. The big takeaway is that, while the context library will be separated out for use in Test::Unit, both Shoulda style and Shoulda effort will be focused on RSpec integration. I have some complicated thoughts about this one. I’m thrilled that Shoulda is being maintained – it’s a tool I’ve used a lot, and I was starting to get worried. And they should move their open source tool in any direction they want.

Sitting on the dock of the bay

No links post this morning, maybe later today. Meantime, enjoy me blathering abouta a couple of substitutions in my iPad dock: Position: RSS Reader Incoming: Reeder Outgoing: NewsRack An easy call. NewsRack is nice, but Reeder is: Smoking fast. Without a limit on downloaded articles per feed Much more accurate on sync – NewsRack has problems if you go back and forth and old, unread articles pile up and never get marked unread.

June 14, 2010, Practice makes less imperfect

Still catching up on links. The PeepOpen review has morphed into a larger IDE/TextMate piece, hoping to finish that today. Book Status Still working on the renovated Style chapter, which will probably combine the chapters that are in the current Table of Contents as “Testing Style and Structure”, “Fix Slow Tests”, “Rcov”, and “Help! My Test Is Failing”. The chapter on Legacy testing will remain a separate chapter – I get asked about how to test legacy projects all the time.

June 11, 2010: Get Ready for Whyday

Looks like I did get a few links gathered yesterday. I’m also working on a post about PeepOpen, TextMate, and RubyMine, I had an interesting day with all of them yesterday. I also remember working on a book-like thing once upon a time, and the whole point of doing this daily blog was to give me an incentive to work on the book every day. Links August 19th is the anniversary of Why The Lucky Stiff’s sudden withdrawal from the online Ruby community, and Glenn Vanderburg is organizing Whyday for this Aug 19th, as a day to “put your best practices away” and celebrate Why’s unique spirit and contributions by making something great and off the normal path.

June 10, 2010: RailsConf-a-palooza

Sorry for the involuntary day off yesterday. Lot of links, I’ll try and be brief. RailsConf and Related DHH’s Tuesday keynote is up. Presumably this is different from last year’s keynote about Rails 3. The other keynotes will probably become available in the next few days. David announced Rails 3 beta 4 at his keynote. It looks like we’ll be getting a release candidate in another couple of days. The Ruby Hero awards were given.

June 8, 2010: iPhone, iPhone, it's off to work iPhone

Okay, There’s a New iPhone Don’t really have a whole lot to say beyond what’s already been said. It looks very slick, and if anybody can actually pull off getting people to use video chat, it’s Apple. The form factor of video chat from a phone seems at first glance to be significantly better than from either a laptop or the iPad, in that it seems easier to hold the phone in a position to get a good angle.

June 7, 2010: Lot of Conferences Week Begins

Today is the RailsConf tutorial day, with the conference proper starting tomorrow. I was less disappointed than I thought I would be when my talks were not accepted, but I’m more disappointed than I thought I would be not to be going. Have fun, everybody. On the other side of the country, today is the Apple WWDC keynote, which I’m sure I’ll join the rest of the internet in obsessing over.

June 4 2010: Okay, here's a link post

Quick links post: Gregory Brown is looking for comments and donations for a proposal for a Ruby Mendicant University, basically a rolling online Ruby course. Charles Nutter is interviewed by InfoQ on the state of JRuby. Yehuda Katz has a long post on various kinds of extensions in Rails 3 – gems, plugins, generators. This one I need to look at in some detail. The new RubyMine 2.5 beta integrates with Pivotal Tracker.

Strained Sports Metaphor About Process

Warning: Strained Metaphor Approaching If there’s one thing about software development that has been hammered into my skull the last few months, it’s the idea that the details of your development process are less important than the mere idea that you have a process. The goal is to get all your stakeholders to accept the idea that, unless the server is actually on fire, the process is more important to future success than any one individual feature, bug, or change.

June 3, 2010: Get your Kicks on Route resources :user

Routes Geoffrey Grossenbach at Peepcode posted a typically beautiful post/rant about Rails routing. DHH responded in the comments of the article on YCombinator. Grossenbach argues that Routes are unnecessary configuration and offers a couple of options for moving the routing into the controllers, as Sinatra does. DHH responds that GG’s schemes would be challenging for large projects, and that the seven default action names are an important constraint. Everybody’s making good points here, so lets have the debate.

June 2, 2010: How To Test Good

Yesterday… Gave my talk at Chicago Ruby. The video is already online – yay Chicago Ruby team. I was pleased with it, actually, I did pretty much what I hoped to do, except that I thought the repetition joke would get a bigger laugh. In other news Yehuda Katz posted slides on another Rails 3 talk: dashing to the finish. Speaking of people on stage, Steve Jobs was interviewed on stage at the D conference yesterday.

June 1, 2010: June, she'll change her tune

iPad Note I keep wanting to write about the iPad, but so, so many other people are writing about it that I’m not sure I have anything to add. More or less at random, I really liked the brief rant Joe Posnanski added in the middle of an otherwise-unrelated blog post, and Charles Stross’ typically complete take. Right now, I just would add that I still use it more than I thought, that the form factor makes more of a difference than I expected (being able to easily walk to show the screen).

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