Sandi Metz’s Practial Object Oriented Design comes to London!

I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be joining Sandi Metz to teach two [courses on Object-Oriented design](http://kickstartacademy.io/courses/practical-object-oriented-design) this summer in London.

Hexagonal Rails – Introduction

A few months ago, development of http://relishapp.com├é┬áreached what is a familiar but rather unpleasant plateau for me. Up until that point, it had been developed using conventional Ruby on Rails idioms, with controllers that talk directly to ActiveRecord class methods to make queries, then set instance variables to pass the results of those queries to […]

Two Truths I’ve Learned About Writing Clean Rails Apps

In summary: Implement every feature without javascript first, add javascript as a progressive enhancement Stick to REST. Always. Now I’m as suspicious of absolute rules as you probably are, but these two have served me extremely well in keeping my Rails code clean and easy to maintain. I’m happy to push the boat out and […]

Rails Tip: Use Polymorphism to Extend your Controllers at Runtime

Metaprogramming in Ruby comes in for quite a bit of stick at times, the accusation being that code which modifies itself at runtime can be hard to understand. As Martin Fowler recently described, there’s a sweet spot where you use just enough to get some of the incredible benefits that Ruby offers, without leaving behind […]

MagLev: Death of the Relational Database?

I just got around to watching Avi Bryant’s talk on MagLev, a new Ruby VM built on top of GemStone’s Smalltalk VM. http://www.vimeo.com/1147409 Presumably this is the kind of thing Smalltalkers have been able to do for decades, but to me the prospect of having this kind of freedom on a Ruby platform is very […]

Behaviour-Driving Routes in Rails with RSpec

One thing that isn’t documented very well for RSpec is how to test your routes. I came across an old post on the rspec mailing list which described a great way to do this: describe TasksController “routing” do it “should route POST request for /tasks to the ‘create’ action” do params_from(:post, “/tasks”).should == {:controller =>; […]

DataMapper: A Better ORM for Ruby

One of the things that’s always irritated my about rails’ ActiveRecord framework is the way that the domain model lives in the database.Don’t get me wrong: it’s very clever, and a great showcase for ruby’s metaprogramming features, which will blow average C# / Java mind the mind when they first see it. In rails, you […]

Painless RMagick Install for Ruby on Rails

One of the ironies and frustrations I find of working with open-source software is that things are changing so fast (yay!) that the documentation you find is nearly always out of date (boo!). Trying to figure out how to get the rmagick component of the handy file_column rails plug-in to play nice, I came across […]