Read my latest article: 8 things I look for in a Ruby on Rails app (posted Thu, 06 Jul 2017 16:59:00 GMT)

Want to move to Portland?

Posted by Thu, 05 Oct 2006 21:56:00 GMT

While at AjaxWorld, several people asked me about our team, processes, and if we had any job openings. The answer to that is… “yes!”

We’re always looking for more developers. There is one catch though… we want you to be located in Portland, Oregon. Many people have responded to our ads as remote contractors, but what we’re really after is great people to join our team here in Portland.

If you’re interested in joining our team, send a thoughtful cover letter and your resume (plain text… no word docs) to

Update Since a few people emailed to ask more about Portland... here are some interesting facts and links. :-)

Announcing the Dialogue-Driven Development Project

Posted by Tue, 03 Oct 2006 12:30:00 GMT

I woke up this morning and came across an article written by Brasten Sager, titled, Of Dialogue and Development in which he discusses his initial (and healthy) criticism of Dialogue-Driven Development.

But d3 is an evolving thing. Its earliest forms offered very little definition, leading me to believe there was little to it. As it has evolved the goals and mindset of d3 and its proponents have become a little more clear, and after further consideration I’m now convinced that my original critiques may have been wrong.

I encourage you to read his article, which offers ideas (and diagrams) on how d3 might be injected into your existing process.

A small number of interested developers have been sending us questions about d3 and were wondering what the next step was for the community. We’re working hard on outlining patterns of dialogue, which is where we plan to put of our focus into. A small group of people have joined our mailing list and IRC channel over the past few weeks, where some conversations have occurred. After reading through Brasten’s post, I believe that our IRC conversation last week was a good example of how people with different ideas about something… can come together and have a shared understanding, which is exactly what Dialogue-Driven Development is about.

Through shared understanding, we can accomplish so much more.

“In true dialogue, both sides are willing to change.” —Thich Nhat Hanh

Thanks to the hard work of Brian Ford, we now have a website to announce, which will be the portal to various conversations, patterns, and resources related to Dialogue-Driven Development.

Rails Hosting with Resource Limits

Posted by Mon, 25 Sep 2006 23:33:00 GMT

Over the past several weeks, David and Daniel have been working to make our Ruby on Rails hosting options even more streamlined. We’ve been aiming to implement new resource limits on all of our servers.

For example, did you know that when you purchase a Business Level 1 account with us (starting at only $75/month), you’re getting 196 MB of resident memory and 368 MB of virtual memory? The great part about this? You don’t have to configure and manage the server yourself… we do it for you!

If you’re shopping for some hosting… you might take a quick peak at our Rails Business Hosting packages.

..and yes, our standard hosting plans have resource limits too! We hope this will cut down on the noise that you hear from your neighbors.

Luigi has a secret

Posted by Thu, 21 Sep 2006 01:02:00 GMT

I’m in New York City this week working with one of our clients… and a little birdie told me that the PLANET ARGON team in Portland is preparing a formal announcement in the coming week(s)...

..the informal announcement?

Dedicated servers for hosting your Rails applications! ...yeah it’s about time. ;-)

Contact us for more details. Tell them that Luigi sent you.

Install Ruby, Rails, and PostgreSQL on OSX

Posted by Mon, 29 May 2006 13:46:00 GMT

15 comments Latest by Manjoor Thu, 13 Jul 2006 10:00:30 GMT

WARNING: This post contains some outdated instructions. Please read Installing Ruby on Rails and PostgreSQL on OS X, Second Edition.

Our Creative Director, Allison Beckwith, picked up a new black MacBook this weekend and I had the luxury of getting it setup to model our standard setup. We all try to keep our setups fairly similar so that we don’t hit too many issues when working together on projects.

I’ll try to keep this short and to the point… because if you’re like me… you just want to start playing with Rails! ;-)

The steps I followed to get her setup like the rest of the development team at PLANET ARGON went something like this.

XCode and DarwinPorts

  • Download and install iterm (the Universal dmg)
  • Download and install XCode tools from Apple (dmg)
  • Download and install DarwinPorts (dmg)
  • Start up iterm.
In this step we are going to modify the default bash profile so that every user on the machine that uses bash will get the path for darwinports in their bash_profile.
sudo vi /etc/profile

Modify the following line to include /opt/local/bin in the PATH… save the file (see vim documentation for details)


Ruby and Rails

  • Open up a new iterm tab (apple-t)
  • Install ruby with darwinports with: sudo port install ruby rb-rubygems
  • Install Ruby on Rails and all its dependencies with: sudo gem install -y rails

PostgreSQL and Ruby libs

  • Install PostgreSQL8 with: sudo port install postgresql8
  • We need to modify the /etc/profile file again because the postgresql8 install doesn’t add programs like pg_ctl to /opt/local/bin. Change the PATH to now look like this and save.

  • Install the postgres gem with: sudo gem install postgres
    • Oh NO!!! You should see an error about it not finding libraries… what will we do?

  cd /opt/local/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/postgres-0.7.1
  sudo ruby extconf.rb --with-pgsql-include=/opt/local/include/pgsql8 --with-pgsql-lib=/opt/local/lib/pgsql8
  sudo make && sudo make install
  # for good measure...
  sudo gem install postgres

Successfully installed postgres-0.7.1

Configure PostgreSQL for single user

In our development environments, we don’t find it necessary to keep PostgreSQL running all the time on our servers. We only want it running when we’re doing development. We also typically install it per user on a machine to keep us from needing things like usernames and passwords to connect to it from an application we’re running on the machine. Let’s setup PostgreSQL the PLANET ARGON way!

  • Open up iterm and go to your home directory
  • Init your new PostgreSQL database with: initdb -D pgdata
  • Start up PostgreSQL with: pg_ctl -D pgdata -l pgdata/psql.log start
  • Create a new database with: createdb argon_development
  • Test the new database with: psql argon_development
  • Did it load up your new database? If so, great! If not… check your steps… :-)

Test Rails + PostgreSQL

  • Navigate to a directory where you don’t mind sticking projects… mkdir development; cd development
  • Generate a new Rails application with: rails -d postgresql argon
  • Navigate to new Rails application directory. cd argon
  • Generate a new model to test with: ./script/generate model Argonista
  • Edit and save the migration that was generated ( db/migrate/001_create_argonistas.rb ) file with your favorite editor…

  class CreateArgonistas < ActiveRecord::Migration
    def self.up
      create_table :argonistas do |t|
        t.column :name, :string
        t.column :blog_url, :string

    def self.down
      drop_table :argonistas
  • Edit config/database.yml to look like the following… you’ll notice that we don’t need to supply a username or password.

    adapter: postgresql
    database: argon_development

    adapter: postgresql 
    database: argon_test

    adapter: postgresql
    database: argon_production
* Run the migration with: rake db:migrate

  $ rake db:migrate
  (in /Users/allisonbeckwith/development/argon)
  == CreateArgonistas: migrating ================================================
  -- create_table(:argonistas)
  NOTICE:  CREATE TABLE will create implicit sequence "argonistas_id_seq" for serial column "" 
  NOTICE:  CREATE TABLE / PRIMARY KEY will create implicit index "argonistas_pkey" for table "argonistas" 
     -> 0.0399s
  == CreateArgonistas: migrated (0.0402s) =======================================
* Test your new model from console

  $ ./script/console 
  Loading development environment.
  >> a =
  => #<Argonista:0x24569dc @attributes={"name"=>nil, "blog_url"=>nil}, @new_record=true>
  >> = 'Robby'
  => "Robby" 
  >> a.blog_url = ''
  => "" 
  => true
  >> exit
* Great, let’s go look at our database table…

  $ psql argon_development
  Welcome to psql 8.1.3, the PostgreSQL interactive terminal.

  Type:  \copyright for distribution terms
         \h for help with SQL commands
         \? for help with psql commands
         \g or terminate with semicolon to execute query
         \q to quit

  argon_development=# SELECT * FROM argonistas;
   id | name  |          blog_url           
    1 | Robby |
  (1 row)

There we go, we’ve setup Ruby, Rails, and PostgreSQL on a brand new Intel MacBook without breaking a sweat!

Extra Goodies

  • Subversion: sudo port install subversion
  • Lighttpd: sudo port install lighttpd
  • ImageMagick: sudo port install ImageMagick (known to take a while…)
  • GraphicsMagick: sudo port install GraphicsMagick
  • Install the rmagick gem: sudo gem install rmagick

Have fun!

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