Apple makes note of Ruby on Rails

On the Apple Developer site, there’s a new article about open-source scripting languages and how you can use Xcode to work with them. On Ruby, they note:

Ruby is gaining popularity as a language to write web-based applications. Ruby scripts can easily be executed with CGI, and Ruby contains a class called CGI that is used specifically for creating CGI scripts. The CGI class has methods for generating HTML and dealing with cookies, among many other capabilities. If you are considering using Ruby to write web-based applications, you won’t want to miss the Ruby on Rails project. Rails is an open source web programming framework that is rapidly gaining mindshare due to its simplicity and clean design.

Thanks, guys.

Sparklines for Ruby on Rails

Geoff Grosenbach has implemented a really cool Sparklines library for Ruby that even ships with helpers for Rails. A few examples:

Pie—Shows a single percentage
Smooth—Shows continuous data
Area—Highlights data with a colored threshold
Discrete—Uses vertical lines

The Rails wiki returns, plans for Madeleine replacement

The Rails wiki has returned in a trimmed form that abandoned all the previous revisions in order to make Madeleine cope with the pressure. We’ve surely pressed the backend far beyond its original, humble, personal wiki intentions. With tens of thousands of page revisions, it was just choking.

But have no fear. Instiki will soon be available in a database-backed version that’ll be more suitable for public wikis the size of the Rails one.

Calming Anil Dash's concerns of shiny technology

Anil Dash from Six Apart is worried that Blinksale is getting attention for all the wrong reasons. That just because it’s using Ruby on Rails, features snappy Ajax, and is built by a small team it should be inherently deserving of attention. Christian from xml-blog tries his hand at explaining to Anil why it is indeed exciting, at least in regards to Rails:

What I will say is that I understand why Rails/Ajax enthusiasts get so excited about every new product built on Rails that sees the light of day. First, it’s well documented that few IT projects ever make it to production. Second, once you’ve actually worked with Rails, you tend to fall in love with it. This is not some sort of new-kid-on-the-block infatuation; it’s a kind of thankful love born of the countless hours Rails shaves off your development time letting you concentrate on the very thing Anil is concerned about: building apps that meet a need or solve a real-world problem. Lastly, it’s a bit of cheerful exuberance at seeing that mere mortals are indeed able to complete a plan-build-deploy cycle for a real-world Rails application in short time and have it withstand all the traffic that invariably will be thrown at it.

To add my own two cents, I think it’s very exciting to see Blinksale go live using the technology and approach to software development that we’re championing at 37signals. It shows that others are more than able to use our tools and thoughts to achieve good things, which again encourages the belief that Rails and Getting Real are indeed not specific to a single crew — but that you can use them too to similar effect.

Oh, and Blinksale does work very nicely for sending out invoices, too ;). 37signals already sent our first real invoice through the system.

Reusing parts of database.yml with YAML trick

The RedHanded _why features a neat YAML trick today that lets you reuse parts of the database.yml configuration file. So instead of specifying the same login over in all three environments, you just do it once and merge. Nifty!

Blinksale: Do your Rails invoices in a Rails app

Now that you’ve made it out of the ghetto and joined the hundreds of professional Rails programmers making a living enjoying your work life, you’ll need an invoice system to match. Blinksale might just be what you need. It’s a snazzy Ruby on Rails application by Firewheel Design that follows the 37signals school of design with less software and developed under strong inspiration from the Get Real process.

Recho looking for help in San Diego, CA

Recho “…is a new way to discover and recommend music, movies, and other media” and the team behind are looking for Ruby on Rails developers to help them build it. It’s still largely a volunteer operation, but the two guys behind it hopes to soon make it much more than that. Have a look at the join our team notice if you’re interested.

Deliver better and enjoy more for the same amount

Spin Technologies traded in their ASP.NET/C# tools for a fresh set of Ruby on Rails to develop part of their Tasting Australia site. They liked the experience:

Well, in the ASP.Net, C# world, a lot of your time is spent writing code that tells your application how to talk to the database (Data Access Layers, XML Config files and all sorts of ugliness). Once you have that built (and tested), you need to created objects and controls to store that data. Then you need to write Stored Procedures to access the data in the SQL Server. And so on.

All of this is both time consuming and stultifyingly dull. Because you don’t have to do any of this in Rails (well, you do have to create your objects, but that’s easy peasy) you get to spend more time thinking about the application, how it works, and how to make it easier to use.

This means two things: Firstly, we can deliver a better website for the same amount of money, and secondly, we get to have more fun while we’re doing it, because we are continually astounded by Ruby and Rails.