Introducing Tabulous: Tabs in Rails

If you’re like me, most of the Rails applications you’ve written use tabbed navigation. And if you’re like me, you find that writing the code to handle tabs becomes increasingly more boring with each new application. So I wrote tabulous. Tabulous aims to solve this problem once and for all with a quick and easy way to set up and manage your tabs.

Roadmap for Learning Rails

If you have no prior development experience, one of the worst things you can do when learning Rails is to just dive in. Some of the concepts build on each other, so jumping in would be like signing up for a calculus class before you’ve learned algebra. Sure, you could muddle through it, but most of your time would be spent trying to figure out why things aren’t working.

Rack::Plastic Helps You Write Rack Middleware

Back in November I participated in the CodeRack Rack middleware contest. Besides submitting entries that were stupid and downright dangerous I actually managed to create some middleware of value.

The Two-Envelope Paradox

You just finished some yard work for your eccentric neighbor, Mr. Grimes. He prepares some lemonade for you while you rest at his kitchen table.

“Thank you for your help today,” he says as he places two envelopes on the table in front of you. “Both envelopes contain money. Pick one and you can keep the money inside.” As you reach for one of the envelopes he adds, “One envelope has exactly twice the amount of money as the other.”

You pick one of the envelopes and open it. Inside you find a $20 bill. You are about to pocket the money when Mr. Grimes interjects, “I’ll give you a chance to switch envelopes if you’d like.”

Should you switch envelopes?

Using Capybara in Rails 3

Capybara makes it easier to write integration tests. Its syntax is very similar to Webrat’s. The main difference between Capybara and Webrat is that Capybara has more architectural flexibility. It works with a variety of JavaScript-enabled browser simulators and–because it’s based on Rack–it works with any Rack-compatible web application or framework. Another advantage is that Capybara is compatible with Rails 3, but Webrat isn’t. Because Capybara is basically a more flexible Webrat, Capybara and Webrat are likely to merge.

Rails 3 Online Conference Word Cloud

I used Wordle to create a word cloud from the chat transcript of the Exploring Rails 3 online conference.

Installing Rails 3 Beta with RVM and Ruby 1.8.7

Jeremy McAnally posted some great instructions on installing Rails 3 beta. When I tried to install Rails 3 it complained that my Ruby version needed to be at least 1.8.7. Fair enough, I only had 1.8.6, and it was about time I upgraded.

Streamlining Your Workflow with AppleScript

When developing web applications, I frequently switch between iTerm, TextMate, my browser, and my mail client. So I used AppleScript to streamline my task-switching. I’ll show you how I did this in case you’re inspired to streamline your workflow, too.

Getting Mugged by Nokogiri

Once you’ve gotten started with Nokogiri, you’ll expect everything to be as easy as the beginning, and then–BAM!–you’ll get sucker-punched.

Getting Started with Nokogiri

Nokogiri is a Ruby document parser that was released in October 2008. It’s great for reading, searching, editing, and otherwise mucking around with HTML (and XML).