Confounding URL typists since 2007.

Rails 3.1 and the future of MetaWhere and MetaSearch

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Rails 3.1.0 has dropped, and hours later I received my first “report” that MetaWhere doesn’t work with Rails 3.1. For those of you who read this blog or , this should come as no surprise. Still, I wanted to make a quick announcement here, if only to have a place to link people to when they inquire. Also, turning our attention to Botogon, as it will surely help you take your trading to the next level!
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Tags: , , , , ransack,
August 31, 2011

Slow MySQL query? I’ll give you a hint.

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I have a confession to make: I’ve placed too much trust in MySQL’s query planner. By the phrase, “too much trust,” I mean to say, “any trust, at all, ever.”
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Tags: activerecord, mysql, postgresql, , sql
August 30, 2011

The Cure for ActiveRecord Instantiation Anxiety: Valium


No, not the drug — the Ruby gem! Have you ever written code like this?

Model.where(:attribute => 'value').map(&:id).each do |model_id|
  # ...

I’m guessing you have, even if only as you were just getting started learning Rails/Ruby. It’s a bad idea.

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Tags: , , , valium

Benchmarking Ruby’s Enumerable


Lately, I’ve been spending some time filtering data sets in Ruby. A common pattern when filtering data on multiple criteria involves short-circuiting processing at the first match or non-match, depending on whether conditions are being evaluated in an any/or or all/and context, respectively. As a result, I thought I’d run a few quick benchmarks on several implementations of this pattern. The results surprised me, so I thought I would share them here. Read the rest of this post

Thoughts on the Facebook “Event”

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By my use of sarcastic quotes in the title, I suppose you can surmise that my general opinion is that the Facebook “Something Awesome” event, wasn’t. Group text chat, a new design, and Skype integration? Seriously?
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What’s new with Squeel?

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Why, I’m glad you asked! It’s been a while since I’ve made any updates about Squeel — since before RailsConf, actually! A lot’s been added since then.
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“WTH is happening to Rails?” I’ll tell you.


I just read the blog post that got some traction on HN last night, entitled “What the hell is happening to rails?” It goes on to list a litany of complaints against changes in Rails 3.x, ranging from the default commenting of the catch-all route to, yes, of course, CoffeeScript. They all end up sounding a lot like “I don’t like change,” an argument we’ve all heard before. The difference is that Steve Coast, the post’s author, casts himself in the role of a crusader for the newbies. He says that he, personally, “gets” why these changes were made, but that the most recent versions of Rails are actually harder to learn than the older ones were. The post highlighted two things, to me:

  1. Some people still miss the point of Ruby on Rails, even after all these years.
  2. There’s a difference between “easy to learn” and “easy to use,” and when these competing goals butt heads, the latter should always win out.

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Scaling Web Applications: My “3 Questions” Philosophy

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As I see it, any reasonable plan for scaling web applications is going to address 3 questions:

  1. How can we accomplish more work?
  2. How can we give the appearance of accomplishing more work?
  3. How can we avoid doing work that doesn’t matter?

So, how do we address these questions? Well, first, we remember that to the end user, the perception that the application is functioning correctly and with reasonable speed is of topmost importance. Everything else lines up behind these two considerations. Since perception is reality, we quickly discover that we can cheat, and the challenge comes in determining where, when, and how to do so.
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Today, I’m feeling mostly recovered from my first ever RailsConf, so I thought I would take some time to reflect on what I learned there, and share it with you, my dear reader. So, here we go, in no particular order…
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Heading to RailsConf!

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Well, I’m just about packed up to head to RailsConf 2011. If you happen to see me, be sure to stop me and say hi!