Noel Rappin Writes Here

Chicago Ruby

June 2, 2010: How To Test Good

Apple, Chicago Ruby, Me talking, Rails 3, Yehuda, nodeNoel Rappin1 Comment


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. Among other, more important things, Jobs admitted that the initial iPhone-ish prototype was tablet sized.

Saw this on Twitter just now, and it looks nice -- a node based console app for speaking HTTP. Looks like that'd be handy in almost any web development toolkit.

David Turnbull has a new Tumblelog called I Suck At Ruby, looks like he's got some useful short bits and good advice for sucking less. I've also got Everyday Rails, by Aaron Sumner (Tip to everybody: make your actual name more prominent on your blog...) Both of which remind me that it's time I put more original content here...

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

Chicago Ruby, Cucumber, JRuby, Kent Beck, RSpec, iPadNoel RappinComment

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). Also, I'm somewhat idiosyncratically waiting for turn-based strategy games to pop up for it, along the line of Avalon Hill's old games -- the thing is perfect for them.


One last reminder of today's Chicago Ruby meeting featuring Matt Polito talking about Git, and me talking about testing.

And then

Looks like Kent Beck has gone and evolved the Agile Manifesto at the Startup Lessons Learned conference. This moves in the direction of what Beck has been calling Responsive Design.

Sarah Mei has a really nice example of outside-in BDD going back and forth between Cucumber and RSpec. Very nice overview of the process.

Ruby 1.9.2 preview 3 is out and available via RVM. Also over the weekend RSpec 2.0.0 beta 9.1 was released.

Charles Nutter has a long technical examination of performance in JRuby.

May 28, 2010: Friday Friday Friday

Chicago Ruby, JQuery, Metaprogramming, Obtiva, Plugins, Rails, Rails 3, RubyNoel RappinComment
Short today, but preparing some longer, more rant-y bits for the future...

Book status

Not much forward motion for the next few days, as I have a lot of other stuff to do, including preparing for Chicago Ruby on June 1 and doing a bit of touch-up on Obtiva's 4-Day Ruby on Rails/TDD boot camp. All fun, but time consuming.

Some Links

A quick tutorial by Peter Cooper on setting up JQuery in Rails 3.

This isn't the first time I've seen something like this, but this article by Alan Skorkin on Ruby Procs and Lambdas is well done and it's worth refreshing from time to time.

We always say that Ruby methods can't have spaces in them, but technically that's a lie, as shown in Joon You's screencast.

Rails Dispatch this week is by José Valim. It's kind of rambling, but a very interesting look at plugins that mess with Rails 3 features like Responders and Generator.

May 27, 2010: Random stuff today

Chicago Ruby, Cory Doctorow, Merlin Mann, RailsRx, Ruby, Superman, TextMateNoel RappinComment
I think we're going to be even more random then usual today. Here goes:

If you downloaded the epub version of Rails Test Prescriptins beta 3, then you may have noticed that the promised Cucumber chapter isn't there. The PDF is fine, and I have no idea about the mobi version one way or another. If you were affected by this, please go back to the Prags site and grab the file again, it appears to have been fixed.

I'll be at Chicago Ruby on June 1 at 6 PM -- see link for details. Free pizza!

Matt Aimonetti claims that this tweet from Matz says that Perlisms like $/ might be removed from Ruby 2.0. Okay...

Merlin Mann weighs in with his favorite TextMate themes and a couple of cool bundles. I'm not normally a fan of light text on dark, but I give it a try every now and again.

Brief review of Cory Doctorow's For The Win: Interesting setup, Cory does a good job explaining the economics and setting up the characters. He's really trying to change the world here. Ending of the book is interesting, not completely satisfying. If I get time, a longer review coming somewhere.

My friend Mark Tyler Nobleman, author of Boys of Steel, which is an awesome kids biography of Superman's creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, announced that he has a contract for his next book about longtime Batman writer Bill Finger. Yay Mark!

May 21, 2010: Meetings

Chicago Ruby, ChicagoDB, Cucumber, Rails 3, Snow LeopardNoel RappinComment

Book Status

Committed what I hope will be the Beta 3 version of the Cucumber chapter. Most of the changes were in the various conclusions. When I originally wrote the chapter, Cucumber was still quite new, and I had kind of a ragged set of thoughts about how it should be used. Since then, I've used it more, and more importantly, there's been a lot more community discussion about how Cucumber is best used, so I needed and was able to tighten up that part a bit.

Meetings, I've Got Meetings

If you are in the Chicago area, you might want to check out some group meetings.

The brand new ChicagoDB user group will have its first meeting Monday June 21 at Obtiva World HQ in Chicago. RSVP if you plan on coming.

Also, the Chicago Ruby meeting on June 1, now has a more detailed description of the schedule.

And then

A couple of links on setup:

This week in RailsDispatch, upgrading from Rails 2 to Rails 3.

Rogelio Samour has posted a set of steps that Hashrocket currently uses to create their standard Ruby setup for Snow Leopard machines. Looks nice.


A few weeks ago I linked to a This American Life story about the NUMMI auto plant that recently closed after a long time being the flagship GM plant for running based on Toyota/Lean principles. Interesting follow up yesterday: the plant will be part of Toyota's investment in Tesla, and will be used to build Tesla's cars.

May 19, 2010: Testing Done Good

Chicago Ruby, Rubinius, TextMate, author paranoia, hoptoadNoel RappinComment

Book Status

I got some editorial feedback on the Cucumber chapter, the plan is to get that turned in by Friday for a Monday switch to Beta 3.

Not sure what Beta 4 will be -- it'll either be Selenium or some of the test quality chapters.


I'll be presenting at Chicago Ruby on June 1, along with Matt Polito. The working title of my talk "Testing Done Good", and it's going to be about writing good and robust tests. More details about that as I put it together. Matt's talk is called "Not an Intro to Git".


Boy, do I identify with this tweet from author and TV writer Pamela Ribon:

I keep waiting for an email from Amazon like: "Hey! Your book's page looks exactly the same as the last time you checked, you crazy lady."

If you want a little more background on Rubinius in the wake of the 1.0 release, Peter Cooper has a Ruby Inside article that explains it. I still couldn't get it to load via RVM, but I'm quite sure that's my own fault.

Thoughtbot announces a new Hoptoad plan, but the interesting part of the post is the metrics of how many errors the system has processed. That's a lot of "oops".

If you love TextMate, but wish it had better method completion, here's a stab at one from Carlos Brando. It's heavily dependent on naming conventions, so actual milage may vary.


Apparently the Smothers Brothers abruptly announced their retirement after 51 years as a performing duo. What does that have to do with Rails? Nothing, just that they are funny and I like them.