Older blog entries for fxn (starting at number 512)

Rails Documentation Team

Rails has now an official documentation team! That's Pratik, Mike, and me. I am very happy this converged this way, there has been a great deal of work in docrails and Rails Guides that finally takes shape.

12 Feb 2009 (updated 12 Feb 2009 at 01:16 UTC) »

Busy. Organizing two conferences: EuRuKo 2009 and RailsDevConf. I am also seen armed with a red pen in Rails Guides. The first semester at the University of Barcelona is over.

7 Jan 2009 (updated 7 Jan 2009 at 12:47 UTC) »


I have some stuff in the buffer to blog about. One of the entries will be about my brand new ebook reader iRex DR 1000S, which motivated my new year's pet project: unmac.

From a Mac you just pass documents to the ereader by drag and drop, and that clutters the file system with ghost "._*" files, Spotlight stuff, FSEvents stuff, etc. You don't see them because the interface hides dot files, but wanted to have a clean SD card anyway.

In addition, Mac archivers like zip(1) or tar(1) and utilities like cp(1) and friends put resource forks and other stuff in hidden files as well. So, for instance, if you untar one of those on Windows/Linux/whatever you'll get that HFS baggage. Ever saw a directory "__MACOSX" out of nowhere? I learnt this the hard-way.

Solution: I wrote unmac, a portable command-line cleaner of those Mac-related spurious files.

Pictures of the conference are starting to appear in Flickr. Svet Ivantchev has uploaded a picture of the moment when I received the award.

15 Nov 2008 (updated 6 Jun 2009 at 06:15 UTC) »

Conferencia Rails 2008

Back from Conferencia Rails 2008. Had a great time, met a lot of online friends and learnt stuff.

I gave the opening keynoye. This keynote was challenging for me because I am used to give tech talks but here I had to talk about something on-topic for an audience where you could find core contributors, curious people, business people, and even politicians.

There were some technical issues and I had to export my carefully animated Keynote presentation to a flat PDF file. But in the end it went quite well, the feedback from people has been awesome.

In this conference there were two tracks, one for tech talks, and one for success stories. There has been more testing-related talks than in any past edition of the conference if I remember correctly, I like that trend.

Obie Fernandez gave the closing keynote. He explained how they work at Hashrocket. He went through their premises and how they implement them. The result is an innovative and first-rate Rails company with high standards, they are no doubt a model to follow.

This year the conference gave a couple of awards. Tog received the "Proyecto del Año" award, and I was honoured to get the "Perso naje Rails del Año" award.

Working on my keynote for the Conferencia Rails 2008, to be held in Madrid this week.

~1350 Rails core contributors

As part of the work I am doing for my opening keynote for the forthcoming Conferencia Rails 2008 I've written a script to approximate the number of people that has contibuted to Rails so far.

This is not a trivial count because when the Rails repo was under Subversion there were just some conventions to give credit to people in changelogs or commit messages. In addition people were given credit by their name, nickname, email, whatever. There were typos... it was all manual. Now under Git this is more systematic.

So the script tries to extract names from those places, and uses a hand-maintained mapping that normalizes names which has received a great deal of input from the Rails community.

After some days the figure has stabilized around 1350 people, which I think is really impressive and says a lot about the agility of Rails as an open-source project. This is the current listing.

shlomif, that'd be a warning due to an otherwise confusing response. That one is fine, and perhaps it would be better to get back a different page. When an email is involved for example I say it was sent and that people check their spam folder. No prob.

When I edit a task in Things there's no silly message saying "task successfully edited". The task view changes, it is there, it is obvious. You as a developer believe web apps have different user-interfaces, and in this particular aspect of the user interface I don't agree they have to be that different.

I don't mean you should write no warnings, I say you should choose which ones make sense. I feel people abuse and there's inertia to put "Product was successfully modified" gratuitiously.

Conferencia Rails 2008

The Conferencia Rails 2008 is taking shape. Yesterday the program was published with a great deal of good stuff.

Besides technical talks you'll see some case studies because this conference by tradition leaves room for explaining websites built in RoR, no matter whether they are commercial, so that people can share experiencie in everything that involves using Rails for a living.

Obie Fernández will close the conference with a keynote on Friday, and me myself will open the conference with a keynote on Thursday.

6 Oct 2008 (updated 6 Oct 2008 at 16:49 UTC) »

User was successfully created

Why so many webapps confirm to the user that some action was successfully done? Of course it was!

Look at your desktop applications, your editor does not bug you saying "File saved!" constantly, iCal is indeed almost completely silent. You warn the user when the disk has run out of space, right?

I think those messages come from the insecurity the developer feels about the amount of failure points between request and response. Perhaps some are just repeating the pattern seen elsewhere. But that's not the user's business, you warn when you fail.

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