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

Learning Git without getting your SVN feet wet

Posted by Tue, 11 Mar 2008 05:59:00 GMT

Our team has been migrating towards using Git as our primary SCM. We have way too many Subversion-based projects and repositories to just do a clean switch over and not everybody on the team has had time to start playing with it. Baby-steps…

So, for those of us who want to use it day-to-day, we’re using git-svn.

Andy Delcambre has posted the first in a series of blog articles to help you pick up on using Git on Subversion-based projects. Check out his article, Git SVN workflow to get up to speed.

Also, if you’re on OSX and using Git… check out Justin Palmer’s new project, GitNub, which describes itself as, “a Gitk-like application written in RubyCocoa that looks like it belongs on a Mac.” This looks promising. :-)

Heading to London, grab a pint?

Posted by Fri, 18 Jan 2008 06:55:00 GMT

Just when you think that you’re sneaking through Fall/Winter without getting sick… it hits you. Been sick the last week and am finally coming up for air. :-)

Anyhow, I’m going to be traveling a few times over the coming weeks/months and wanted to reach out…

Dear Londoners,

A few of us from the Planet Argon team, (Andy, Paige, and myself) are heading to London in just over a week to visit one of our big clients. We’ll also be staying for a few more days to explore. If you’re interested in grabbing a few pints and/or interested in meeting up, drop me an email we’ll try to coordinate something when we’re over there. =)

Moved to our new studio

Posted by Wed, 21 Nov 2007 13:56:00 GMT

One of the reasons why I’ve been too busy to write on my blog lately is that we recently moved into to a new studio. We had a lot of preparation to do before we moved in and are finally getting settled in the new space.

We took the space from…

Planet Argon - Studio BEFORE improvements

To this…

As you can see.. we have lots of natural light for the entire team…

I think that Chris Griffin shares the same excitement that I do about the new space. ;-)

Chris Griffin jumps for joy!

We’ll be posting more photos on the Planet Argon flickr stream over the coming weeks as we get the studio organized. :-)

Multiple Database Connections in Ruby on Rails

Posted by Fri, 05 Oct 2007 21:54:00 GMT

We have a client that already has some database replication going on in their deployment and needed to have most of their Ruby on Rails application pull from slave servers, but the few writes would go to the master, which would then end up in their slaves.

So, I was able to quickly extend ActiveRecord with just two methods to achieve this. Anyhow, earlier today, someone in #caboose asked if there was any solutions to this and it prompted me to finally package this up into a quick and dirty Rails plugin.

Introducing… Active Delegate!

To install, do the following:

cd vendor/plugins;
piston import

Next, you’ll need to create another database entry in your database.yml.

login: &login
  adapter: postgresql
  host: localhost
  port: 5432

  database: rubyurl_development
  <<: *login

  database: rubyurl_test
  <<: *login

  database: rubyurl_servant
  <<: *login

  database: rubyurl_master
  <<: *login

At this point, your Rails application won’t talk to the master_database, because nothing is being told to connect to it. So, the current solution with Active Delegate is to create an ActiveRecord model that will act as a connection handler.

  # app/models/master_database.rb
  class MasterDatabase < ActiveRecord::Base
    handles_connection_for :master_database # <-- this matches the key from our database.yml

Now, in the model(s) that we’ll want to have talk to this database, we’ll do add the following.

  # app/models/animal.rb
  class Animal < ActiveRecord::Base
     delegates_connection_to :master_database, :on => [:create, :save, :destroy]

Now, when your application performs a create, save, or destroy, it’ll talk to the master database and your find calls will retrieve data from your servant database.

It’s late on a Friday afternoon and I felt compelled to toss this up for everyone. I think that this could be improved quite a bit, but it’s working great for the original problem that needed to be solved.

If you have feedback and/or bugs, please send us tickets.

PLANET ARGON is seeking fresh talent... could it be you?

Posted by Thu, 04 Oct 2007 14:10:00 GMT

My blog has been fairly quiet lately because our team has been busy helping push a few big client projects out the door. We’ll be posting announcements about those launches on the PLANET ARGON Blog soon, so stay-tuned there!

We’ve been growing the design-side of our team lately, but we’re also still seeking some more Rails-talent in Portland, OR. If you’re in Portland or interested in moving here1, you should introduce yourself to our team. We’re looking for people to work on-site in Portland, so any remote candidates will be turned away… we’re moving into a shiny and new office space in downtown and are looking for another developer to join our Design and Development team.

PLANET ARGON goes hiking
you’ll fit in really well if you’re into outdoor activities… ;-)

We’re seeking mid-level Ruby on Rails developers that can pick things up quickly. Having some experience with RSpec will go along way with us. Ideal candidates would have great communication skills and be able to work in a fast-paced environment that places a huge emphasis on collaboration between designers and developers (let’s not forget to mention our clients). Bring what you already know and learn the rest with us.

While everyone might have Wii’s in the office, we’ve taken it to the next level with Speed Stacking! :-p

To apply, send an email to,

Side note: We’re giving Catch the Best a whirl to review job candidates. If you’re hiring people, you might consider giving it a try.

1 Everybody is moving to Portland… ;-)

Collaborative Bookmarking... UNLEASHED

Posted by Wed, 22 Aug 2007 02:26:00 GMT

Like many… I’ve been using for several years and so have some of my closest colleagues. A few of us at PLANET ARGON have been using the for:username tag to send each other links, which has been a great productivity hack as we don’t need to copy URLs and paste them into emails, IMs, or IRC channel windows anymore. One of the things that doesn’t have a totally perfect implementation is sending to a group. There are people in your network, but to my knowledge, there isn’t a way to send everyone in a network the same link without selecting everyone individually. This was adding more time to the process of saving a link for ourselves and our fellow team members. So, we came up with a clever hack… a new delicious user account.

Over the past four months, our team has bookmarked almost four hundred links on topics ranging from Rails plugins, Interaction Design, Business processes, cool new web applications, to any variety of things that we find relevant to our team.

So, all of the links are being sent to a fake user. How do we see the links for that user without having to logout of our current user and into the planetargon account? Well, what we’ve done is take the delicious RSS feed and pipe it through feedburner and given everyone the URL that feedburner provides. Now, we’re all able to subscribe to the same feed and check out links when each of us has time for it.

...and this is what I get to see show up in my RSS reader. :-)

How is your team managing bookmarks? :-)

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