Read my latest article: Six days to complete the Rails hosting survey (posted Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:36:00 GMT)

82,520 minutes on Phusion Passenger

Posted by Fri, 10 Apr 2009 10:10:00 GMT

It’s been over 83,520 minutes since I made the switch from using mongrel as my development environment web server to Phusion Passenger. I’ve been extremely impressed with it. Our team has all switched over and haven’t really hit any obstacles in the transition.

Since some people asked me to let them know how this trial period worked out, I felt it was my duty to encourage you all to try it. You can check out my previous post, Switch to Passenger (mod_rails) in development on OSX in less than 7 minutes or your money back! to get rolling.

Additionally, if you’re looking for a streamlined Ruby on Rails deployment environment that includes Passenger, check out Rails Boxcar.

20 articles on Cucumber and a free beverage recipe!

Posted by Fri, 10 Apr 2009 03:22:00 GMT

Cucumber has been getting quite a bit of attention in the community and with the new RSpec Book on nearing publication, I predict that by this time next year, it’ll become a household word like boanthropy.

What is Cucumber?

The Cucumber project describes itself as a suite that, “lets software development teams describe how software should behave in plain text. The text is written in a business-readable domain-specific language and serves as documentation, automated tests and development-aid – all rolled into one format.

One of the great things about Cucumber is that it can be used to test applications in any language. I haven’t been able to track down a lot of articles of how people are using it with other languages, so please comment if you’re aware of some.

In any event, I’ve been collecting and reading resources from a variety of Cucumber aficionados and thought I’d share some links with you. To round it out, I asked on twitter for some others so that I could hit twenty. :-)

  1. What’s in a Story?, Dan North
  2. Telling a good story – Rspec stories from the trenches, Joseph Wilk
  3. Beginning with Cucumber, Ryan Bates (Railscasts)
  4. Using RSpec, Cucumber and User stories to build our internal systems, Rahoul Baruah
  5. Cucumber: The Latest in Ruby Testing, Ruby Inside
  6. Using Cucumber for Acceptance Testing, Noel Rappin
  7. Behavior Driven Development with Cucumber, Brandon Keepers (presentation/slides)
  8. Testing capistrano recipes with cucumber, Jeff Dean
  9. Using Cucumber to Integrate Distributed Systems and Test Messaging, Ben Mabey
  10. Tutorial: How to install/setup Cucumber, Alan Mitchell
  11. Testing outbound emails with Cucumber, Dr. Nic Willians
  12. Proper Cucumber Sintatra Driving, Chris Strom
  13. On getting started using Cucumber for .NET
  14. DRY up your Cucumber Steps, Matt Wynne
  15. Cucumber, Celerity, & FireWatir, Aidy Lewis (presentation/video)
  16. Cucumber step definition tip: Stubbing time, Bryan Helmkamp
  17. Story Driven Development Recipes with Cucumber, Sebastien Auvray
  18. Testing Facebook with Cucumber, Brandon Keepers
  19. Testing with the help of machinist, forgery, cucumber, webrat and rspec, Etienne van Tonder
  20. Integration testing SSL with Cucumber
  21. Continuous Integration Blueprints: How to Build an Army of Killer Robots With Hudson and Cucumber

So.. there you have it. Please post comments with links to any useful articles not mentioned and I’ll try to keep the list updated.

Also, be sure to check out the list of tutorials and related blog posts on the cucumber wiki (github).

FREE RECIPE: Cucumber Water

And now…for the reason you are all here! If you like cucumbers (eating them)... I would highly recommend heading to your local farmers market and purchasing some cucumbers. Aside from being healthy to eat… they can help make a tasty beverage.

Then do the following…

  • Chop several slices of a cucumber
  • Fill a pitcher with cold water and ice
  • Toss in slices of cucumber
  • Stir and leave in fridge for a while
  • Take out of fridge, pour into cup…
  • Drink… hack… and enjoy

Be sure to check out, How to Make Cucumber Water on wikihow for details.

Happy Hacking!

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Building a prototype? Bring some rope.

Posted by Thu, 09 Apr 2009 20:57:00 GMT

While scanning through Allison’s copy of Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products and Services, I came across this nugget.

The problem with software prototypes

It seems to be widely understood that industrial design and mechanical engineering prototypes—from paperclips and tape to polished appearance models—are disposable learning tools. Prototyping is clearly distinct from manufacturing, so it would be ludicrous to think that even a late-stage prototype could be reused as part of the final product. In software, however, the tools used for anything other than paper prototyping are generally the same tools used for “manufacturing” (i.e., writing production code). For this reason, many stakeholders can’t see why a detailed prototype that appears functional is still many months away from completion.

It immediately reminded me of a few posts that I had written about three years ago on the topic of developing prototypes and NOT keeping them.

The author continues with…

It’s important to educate stakeholders that prototype code is kind of like the illusion of automatic doors on Star Trek—it looks like it’s working, but it’s really a guy standing behind the wall pulling a rope.

I completely agree that education is the most important aspect to managing client expectations. With regard to the amount of work that you put into a prototype, we need to be careful on how much time and energy is put into them. If we can get away with a guy (or some quick Javascript hacks) to demonstrate possible functionality, make sure we aren’t using much more than rope. Rope is cheap. Prototypes should be too.

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