IS Department

Looking through the Rails 2.0 stuff

Posted in Programming by Brian Russell on October 27, 2007

I was reading through the Rails 2.o Preview and found a couple of neat things mentioned. The first thing I thought to be interesting is the small tweaks to migration definitions:

There’s a new alternative format for declaring migrations in a slightly more efficient format. Before you’d write:

create_table :people do |t|
  t.column, "account_id",  :integer
  t.column, "first_name",  :string, :null => false
  t.column, "last_name",   :string, :null => false
  t.column, "description", :text
  t.column, "created_at",  :datetime
  t.column, "updated_at",  :datetime

Now you can write:

create_table :people do |t|
  t.integer :account_id
  t.string  :first_name, :last_name, :null => false
  t.text    :description

The other thing I thought was good was the change of how database adapters were handled. I like this myself, it seems very appropriate:

A little more drastic, we’ve also pushed all the commercial database adapters into their own gems. So Rails now only ships with adapters for MySQL, SQLite, and PostgreSQL. These are the databases that we have easy and willing access to test on. But that doesn’t mean the commercial databases are left out in the cold. Rather, they’ve now been set free to have an independent release schedule from the main Rails distribution. And that’s probably a good thing as the commercial databases tend to require a lot more exceptions and hoop jumping on a regular basis to work well.

The commercial database adapters now live in gems that all follow the same naming convention: activerecord-XYZ-adapter. So if you gem install activerecord-oracle-adapter, you’ll instantly have Oracle available as an adapter choice in all the Rails applications on that machine. You won’t have to change a single line in your applications to take use of it.

The rest of the stuff just seemed to center around normal changes you would expect for any framework. Just seems to be maturing and handling the stuff people have come across since its 1.2 release.


Good Rake Tutorial

Posted in Uncategorized by Kevin Colyar on October 12, 2007

“As a Rails developer you’re probably familiar with running “rake” to run your tests or maybe you’ve used “rake db:migrate” to run your migrations. But do you really understand what’s going on under the hood of these Rake tasks? Did you realize that you can write your own tasks or create your own library of useful Rake files?”

Visual SQL Joins, Elevator Tests, Asking 37signals, and Contradiction

Posted in Programming by Brian Russell on October 12, 2007

A Visual Explaination of SQL Joins – Jeff Atwood builds on Ligaya Turmelle’s work which really helps explain SQL joins in a very visual way.  Where was this when I was learning SQL?

Can Your Team Pass The Elevator Test? – Since I already have one of Jeff’s posts linked to above, might as well add another one I thought was great.  It all boils down to understanding what you are working on and why, but not from the geeky perspective.

Ask 37signals – I have been a fan of 37signals ever since I read the Getting Real book (go read it if you haven’t already).  They started a new series on their blog where they answer good thoughtful questions asked by their readers.  Here are a couple of them.

Ain’t nothing wrong with contradition – Another blog post by 37signals that I flagged a while ago.  I felt it matched up to how I operate day to day.

Never Use a Warning When you Mean Undo – Some good information about building software for users instead of programmers.

Microsoft’s Agile Development Center

Posted in Programming by Brian Russell on October 11, 2007

Found this link through another blog pointing to the Agile Development Center from Microsoft.  Of course, it is from their viewpoint, so it may not be the ‘whole’ truth.  None-the-less, I found some good info in there that everyone could benefit from.  Take a look.

Your Skills Are Weak!

Posted in Uncategorized by Brian Russell on October 7, 2007

Your skills are weak if you can’t match this 6 year old!