Smoke Signals

Friday, April 29, 2005

First looks at Backpack

I have the golden ticket! I have the golden ticket! Those dudes are marketing geniuses. Anyway I am able to play with Backpack. It is pretty cool, it lets you organize a ton of things. There are some things missing from it though. It has no categorization which I think is pretty important. It uses the concept of pages to organize things which is a good metaphor, wink wink nudge nudge. I wish I could see how inserting and using images works but I have to pay for that.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

lego programming

I just realized most other programming languages(ahem php) without good frameworks are like Legos. You can probably build anything with Lego's, one block at a time, piece-by-piece. But I would rather use the proper tools and materials. They are engineered for specific parts of the system, they are smart. Using them is smart.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Ruby Ruby Ruby, where art thou syntax?

Jeez, just when I think I am getting the hang of it I see this: if layout ||= active_layout and action_has_layout? WTF? Thanks to the help of some friendly fellas on the Rails list who pointed me to the Ruby Idioms Page and using irb to test it I was able to figure it out. Let me break it down for you: "if layout ||=" means if layout is nil assign the next variable to layout, what about the and... "||= active_layout and action_has_layout?" that means assign the active_layout variable to layout if layout is empty AND action_has_layout? is true. Whew!

One of the things I have realized about Ruby is, you write less code but it is harder to read if you are a Ruby Nuby. It lends itself to some good refactoring though. I am constantly refactoring code after finding tidbits like this.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Just when I thought I was original

I have been working on a CMS in rails as I have written about in this blog. Some of the concepts have been actually created (albeit for other functionality) in 2 different Rails Applications, Elements and Snippets all I can say is FUCK!. Now the whole tagging metaphor isn't new see: TagSurf, Flickr, my favorite - Del.Icio.Us (which is the inspiration for my idea). However the naming of my cms is quite similar to the 2 rails apps. All I can say to that is FUCK!. When I decide to let the cat out of the bag, I don't want to be accused of copying people. We all copy/borrow to some degree but man, this sucks. I thought of the name WAY before I ever came accross those 2 apps. Not sure what I am going to do about it. I might take my "Fuck-em" attitude and just keep the name. I don't know.

Hackers and Painters or Pastry Chefs?

Maciej Cegłowski(Damn that hurt to spell) has written a good counter to Paul Graham's Hackers and Painters. Now I really like reading most of Paul's essays but I do think grouping painters and hackers isn't quite accurate. Although I haven't read the book so there might be a different meaning to the whole analogy.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Some Rails Performance Nums

Now, this is impressive. I would like to use Lighthttpd on TextDrive. I hope those guys can hook me up. I am not having much luck with Apache over there plus the performance diff is a big reason.