What I would like in “borrowed” into Ruby

C Style comments

  /* comments */
  // and those while we're here.

C style multiline curly braces (this actually works, but didn’t think it would due to following conventions, but in some case could make code easier to read)

     // code here ....

Modula 3 style named end blocks (possible activated via a strict mode)

  def method_name
  end method_name.

Pascal style “with” blocks

  with the_object do
    push << "hello"
    splice something

can you think of anything you’d like borrow from another language into your favourite language?

Slowing down steam so that it loads after I have Wifi

I had a problem, whenever I turned my mac on Steam would tell me that I didn’t have an internet connection but immediately clicking on retry would connect successfully.

So the problem was that Steam doesn’t give the computer time to get a wifi connection or even silently retry after a second or two before notifying the user.

How to fix this?

go to Applications -> Automator

Find run Applescript

and type this script

delay 5
tell application "Steam"
end tell

Save it as StartSteam or any other name you deem suitable (I saved it in my home folder) and also be sure to save the script as an application rather than a .workflow

Now in Preferences -> Accounts -> Login Items add the script and remove Steam from the list.

Now Steam will start a little later than it used to and will allow your mac to gain a wifi connection before it logs in.

Whenever you come across a site that emails you your password

You should email the administrator with a message to that effect.

I have noticed that when as user tells the site that they have forgotten their password, that the site will send the password to their email address.

This is not good practice, when your data gets compromised (one day it will) every password will be there in plain text in the database.

This is bad as come users may use that email address and password combination on other sites.

You should look into SHA-2 hashing of passwords and salting.

And rather than send the password in an email you should send a reset key.

I know that the current specification for the site may have come from someone not as security conscious who thinks that sending a password is more user friendly (although it seems it) but it is a security flaw.

Using ostruct to interface with REST

Have you ever had to work with an external API such as twitter or facebook, those two should be pretty easy to interface with by now as there are plenty of wrappers such as koala.

But let’s say the API we are working on is a client’s API or the API for an obscure service.

What we want is for JSON requests to relate to ruby objects.

This is where ostruct comes along, ostruct takes a hash and converts that to methods that can be accessed as they were from an activerecord object for example.

What you can do is something similar to this.

query = "/notes/1"

c = Curl::Easy.perform(query) do |curl|
  curl.headers["X-Auth-Token"] = "my_auth_token"

my_hash = JSON.parse(c.body_str)

ostruct = OpenStruct.new(my_hash)

In this example i used curb to send an x-auth header to the “secret” api, and then passed the parsed json hash to ostruct.

Now rather than having to handle the json api like this in your views

<%= my_hash[:my_attrib] %>

You can use you json data like so

  <%= my_ostruct.my_attrib %>

This way if your boss falls out with the api company and wants you to re-implement the data in your rails app, all your view logic will be compatible with activerecord for example.

In my production code the post, get (other CRUD actions if needs be) and login actions are abstracted into a separate class and is inherited by each model.

The reason I want to work with rails

I was initially an admirer of Ruby on Rails quite early on (2005), and did a few examples but carried on working on classic asp then asp.net whilst still following Rails. The main reason for not having used Rails earlier on is that the jobs market was full of asp.net and php shops, and I liked Ruby much more than the other languages but had given myself enough time to use it.

But now I have used Ruby On Rails for fully featured applications and I am looking to work under a team which can help me develop further in my Ruby On Rails career, rather than the lone programmer role; who has to justify not only Myself but Ruby On Rails.

The pseudoscience behind Captain Scarlet

Captain Scarlett is said be indestructible altho almost towards the end of episode he performs an act of courage that causes him to die, but that’s ok because he will always regenerate.

What is this regeneration? Regeneration comes from the Mysterons. Mysterons are some myterious creatures of which we never see their appearance, they only manifest themselves by using destructive, copying and regenerative beams which they blast through the earth’s atmosphere.

Here is the key to why Captain Scarlet is permanently regenerating; the earth’s atmosphere. The atmosphere is what prevents the Mysterons from having a permanent hold on Captain Scarlets mind. When they killed the original captain scarlet and replaced him with a copy the Mysterons made an error getting the dosage right on the regenerative beam, either giving him the inherent ability to regenerate after death, which was only meant to be for one use only. Or making a mistake with the control beam, and it not being strong enough to control an indestructible agent after the first death.

The second theory could explain why Captain Black is so insidious and never really puts himself in harms way; were he to die he would become another indestructible asset for humanity.

Following their failure with creating an indestructible agent (or failure to regenerate Captain Scarlet for single use), the Mysterons have always used hit and run attacks. Often similar to acts of terrorism.

This leads me the believe that the powerful beams that the Mysterons use are severely restricted by the earth’s atmosphere, as when the Mysterons were first introduced they could literally blast everything to shreds, but not from the distance of the moon to earth, this is why they only seems to focus on destroying and regenerating one target per episode.

My conclusion is that there are two heros in Captain Scarlet, The Captain and the Earth’s Atmosphere.

Rails 4.0 Wishlist

    TL;DR Maybe I’m an idiot, but I’m looking at Rails from a beginners point of view.

  • Routes defined in the model, maybe as: and :via attributes would suffice.

    Maybe like this:

    class User < ActiveRecord::Base
      Route :author # this could probably be accessible from a controller in params
      Route :reader
      Route :moderator

    *following a few posts below, we agree that something like this should be in the controller instead


    class Book < ActiveRecord::Base
      Route :novel, :via => :author # this would give you; /novel/arthur_conan_doyle/sherlock_holmes_the_hound_of_the_baskervilles
      Route :mystery, :via => :hero # would give you /mystery/sherlock_holmes/the_hound_of_the_baskervilles

      ... # friendly id code
  • A Routes admin panel/sitemap, to see if those routes are setup correctly, something like resque. or maybe a tree structured ‘rake routes’ or a instrumentation panel like the top command to see when routes are being accessed.

    i’ve not specified the value for the ‘:user’ and ‘:house’ hashes as their path should be implied by the route setup and passing them should not be needed.

  • An interactive mode for migration generators, so that you don’t have to track table names and column names down. For example; new, remove, add and delete generators.
  • Generators which have to option to include annotations linking to the related file paths in comments, for example: in a controller have “# ../views/modelname/edit.html.erb” just above the edit action so that a ‘gf’ in vim just sends you there or a click in sublime text or another editor.
  • Api only generators, so the generated controllers and models have an api specific output (no views, token driven), maybe backbone aware?

    Maybe creating a backbone app as default, by having api and backbone model generation.

    Backward compatibility for decoupled webapps; for example using v8 or therubyracer to create an old school app for when the user’s browser fails a certain prerequisite, i.e. serverside backbone.

  • View-specific assets, i.e /views/foo/index.html.erb will load from the following:
    this is to prevent javascript logic from unrelated views loading in the wrong places, this is more for cleanliness in the head than for security through obscurity.
  • A nested view structure:
    If my resources are nested like so

      resources :users do
        resources :books do
          resources :chapters

    I should be able the structure my views like this; “app/views/users/books/chapters/index.html”

    Those nested resources would probably have to work like partials.

    Routing errors should be more descriptive, show the previous view, current view and controller in the error, the glaring error might just be obvious immediately.

    How about adding a queries to routes as a replacement for path helpers.

    Instead of something like this


    as you noticed the first two parameters are just taken from the last parameter in that instance and should just be “implied”, maybe we should have something like this:

      path_for :user, :house, :room => room.id

    Or maybe like this:

      edit_galaxy_system_planet_path(galaxy.id, system.id, planet.id)

    In this example the path could be based on the order of the system in a galaxy and the planet number in a solar system instead.

    But instead if using path helpers, we could have a path “finder”

      Path(:edit, :galaxy => :id, :system => [:x, :y, :z], :planet => :number)

    But if the last parameter is :id, then the galaxy id, and system coords would be surplus to requirements and the path finder should be able to figure that out and shorten the url (if that route is defined in routes.rb or defined in a controller) and probably show a warning.

    Or what about just adding a `path` method to models for example you can do

    redirect_to @book

    so why not have a path method like

    redirect_to @book.path(:via=>:author)

    or something to that effect.

  • a decoupled “view app” that only contains views, assets and mock controllers to hand off to designers (maybe for outsourcing purposes) that you can copy and still run, possible using something like Sinatra in that layer.
  • make renaming an application easier, by removing the need for the apps namespace all over the place, or by having a ‘Rails rename’ command.
  • prettier error messages, for example “missing page” could load a placeholder (sometimes you just want a page to debug to)
  • Rails generator history, I often come across a demo app that does what I am looking for but I will then have to trawl through the git commits to see how that app applies to my app, I am ok with copying files and modifying them for my needs but when it comes to files that have been created via a generator then they are hard to duplicate. I propose the rails generations are logged in a file so that it can be used later to create a step by step tutorial.