From the monthly archives:

October 2009

Have you ever wanted to run a script or command from the command line and insert data into your rails application?, watch this this screencast and you will see the basics of how to interact with your rails application, starting from the irb ruby shell to the usage of the rails console and entering data into a rails application form a Linux shell prompt using the runner.

To ilustrate this screencasts some basic ruby scripts are used to generate our base of characters for a very simple dictionary generation using nested blocks.
Download 123.9 MB
Download (iphone & ipod) 46.1 MB


At work, we recently got all of our spec passing and determined that we needed to stay on top of keeping the test suite updated so that we knew that the quality of our product wasn’t compromised. To solve this, we implemented continuous integration with CruiseControl.rb.

Continuous Integration

The idea is to provide regular checks on the quality of your code. In our case, this means running the RSpec tests we’ve written for our Ruby on Rails application. Each time we commit to our git repository, CruiseControl connects to the repository and pulls down the latest code. It then runs all of our tests to let us know if anything has been broken in the latest commits. It provides a visible check to the entire team letting us know if someone committed broken code.

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In this screencast, we continue our challenge of creating a Twitter clone called ‘Flitter’ using Ruby on Rails. We learn how to use jQuery to create a countdown for the text area box. We also set up adding and removing friends via the interface. Oh… you hear my baby cry and my sister-in-law call. Fun stuff 😀
Download 399 MB
Download (iphone & ipod) 119 MB


Lately, I’ve been working on creating a podcast to help developers become better at their craft. The format will primarily be an interview with members of the Ruby and Rails communities on what they think make exceptional developers and about their contributions to the Ruby on Rails community.

My first interview will be with Gregg Pollack from Rails Envy and Ruby 5. I’d like to get some good questions both for Gregg and future interviewees, so I’ll give a license for Camtasia to the best two questions given by a Mac user and a Windows user. Please send the questions to letting me know if you’d like the Mac, Windows, or either version and your questions by Tuesday October 20, 2009. I’ll announce the winners on the first episode of the podcast.


Now that we have a backbone to our ‘Flitter’ application, we learn how to create the front end and tie it all together. In this screencast, I cover a lot of CSS and getting your site to look good. I apologize for it lasting 1 hour, but I decided it’s better than chopping it up.
Download 412 MB
Download (iphone & ipod) 133 MB


I just read the article by Pratik Naik from the Rails Core Team regarding Rails Templates.

Have you ever wished you could start out your Rails application with all of your gems installed and all of your standard setup items completed? Well, wait no longer. You can now do it with Rails Templates. Pratik covered it pretty well, so I’m not going to repeat what he’s done. Rather, I’m going to share a template of my own and explain why I included what I did.

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One problem that seems to face people when they’re attempting to move their applications into production is the best way to manage deployment of their application. This is where tools like capistrano comes in.

Capistrano was written by Jamis Buck of 37signals. In a lot of ways it has become the defacto way to deploy Ruby on Rails applications. It has also had tools like webistrano build on top of it to provide a graphical interface to the command line tool.

To get started, you need to install the capistrano gem:

gem install capistrano

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In this screencast you will see how to make a rails application capable of parse and execute shell commands using the ruby function %x

The screencast start with basic shell commands, creation of a ruby script demonstrating the concept and finally follow the recipe of 10 easy steps to build your rails shell application.
Download 45.7 MB
Download (iphone & ipod) 16.7 MB


I just switched my hosting from RapidVPS to SilverRack. You may have noticed the outage today as I moved the blog over. It did present a few issues, but I think I have them all figured out. Please let me know if you notice anything by emailing me at

I’m also trying to get this blog claimed on Technorati, which is why I’m putting this random link in here.