Weekend Links

The usual round of Rails 3 updates: Pratik writes about the new Active Record Query Interface. I’ve had trouble with chaining nested scopes, so am very glad to see a better logic implementation, but the real win is that no queries are executed until the results are needed meaning that fragment caching suddenly gets much easier/more reasonable to use. Also on the new API front, Mikel has a piece on the new ActionMailer API which also seems much improved. Naturally with so many pieces about Rails 3 cropping up, posts are emerging linking as many as possible; Maxim Chernyak’s is the most comprehensive I’ve seen so far (though it’s missing my posts on the topic). If you’ve got a few hours free on February 18th, you may like to check out O’Reilly’s free online conference about Rails 3. And if you can’t wait to get started you might like to look at Jeremy McNally’s rails-upgrade gem that may help you on your way.

Caliper is a hosted version of the metric_fu gem, providing a very simple way to get lots of stats about your ruby app. I’ve had trouble getting metric_fu to run cleanly, so this could be a handy tool, though I’d rather get metric_fu properly integrated into my own Continuous Integration system. Speaking of which, my office mate Matt wrote up his experiences setting up Hudson for CI. I’m using Hudson too (partly thanks to Matt’s recommendations) and would highly recommend it.

I enjoyed reading about Tim Bray’s experience teaching his son and his classmates about blogging. Tim’s approach of having the students start by writing seems a great way to instil a positive vision of the web and also introduce a sense that web content isn’t necessarily to be trusted. On an entirely different note, I also enjoyed Russell’s brief piece “lowering the point point” arguing that:

Playing with something like Gowalla or Foursquare is worth doing – to see if it’s worth doing.

It’s been good to see Rachel Andrew blogging more frequently of late and I’m enjoying her pieces about running a small business. I’m particularly intrigued to see what responses come in to her piece about responding to tenders/RFPs as that’s a topic I’ve been wondering about lately too.

Google Sites suddenly becomes more interesting thanks to the addition of a Data API. On a not-entirely-unrelated note, I’ve been watching Tom release extractomatic and Paul release docent with some interest. It used to be that the potential ongoing work of maintenance was a disincentive to releasing tools that others might use, but things like Google App Engine and heroku really help with that.

Oh yes, Google are phasing out support for IE6. Could this be the move that pushes those last hold-out large institutions to upgrade to browsers created less than eight years ago?

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