Weekly Digest, 11-30-08

Please find the attached interesting links for this week as provided by Trevor and Tim:

This Week in Edge Rails

it certainly hasn’t looked like a holiday week in edge Rails. Things are moving fast, with some major changes afoot for version 2.3 of Rails.

Ta-da List on Rails 2.2, Passenger And EC2

If you haven’t documented your server deployment process in code or experimented with these technologies, now is the time.

Slicing Your Attributes

ActiveRecord models default to having all attributes assignable this way. As a result, unless you’re very careful with attr_protected and attr_accessible, there’s a good chance your app has security holes.

Favicon Hell: Small Feature, Big Code

The end result is that it took thousands of lines of code just to display favicons. And that’s often the case with features that seem simple at first glance. It’s not until you dive into the code and find all the weird problems and bugs that you realize your little feature is actually a big PITA.

Warren Buffett’s 10 Ways To Get Rich

When you get to my age, you’ll measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. That’s the ultimate test of how you’ve lived your life.

Ask Hacker News: Does the SaaS model really work?

I’m working on a web startup with a partner and I’m just feeling unsure of whether whole SaaS thing really works.

Pair Programming – Marketing FAIL

My modest proposal is to stop calling it Pair Programming or Extreme Programming. At this point, that is like calling your new energy company Enron. I propose calling it Collaborative Development.

Notes from the Ruby Manor

I’m lucky enough to be at RubyManor today; a Ruby conference organised by Ruby users, for Ruby users.

Cloud computing is a sea change

How sysadmins can prepare …don’t be shy, embrace the cloud. If you’re a UNIX sysadmin you already have the right stuff to succeed in this new world of utility on-demand computing…

Dumbing Down the Cloud

I trust Dropbox. Here’s why.

Turning Ideas Into iPhone Applications

No one wants to work for equity or the promise of future returns for someone else right now. There is too much cash work out there. The developers willing to take risks on future returns would rather do this for their own application projects. That is a risk worth taking.

Refactoring Rails Controllers

One of the basic memes of Rails is “Skinny controller, fat model.” And even though most examples, especially the ones using the newer REST features in Rails advertise it, there are still heaps of controllers out there that have grown too big, in both the sense of lines of code and the number of actions.

Seven Rules for Building Online Portfolios

Your site is a frame. Make every project a link. Make it simple. Don’t be clever. Make it easy for us to contact you. Make it easy to update. SIMPLIFY!

iPhone GUI PSD

Over the past few months we’ve had to create a few iPhone mock ups for presentations. Since we know we’ll be doing more of this, we created our own Photoshop file that has a fairly comprehensive library of assets.


Today’s task managers have evolved into complex database-like applications, TaskPaper provides an alternative that harkens back to simpler (and faster) times.

Daring Fireball: Treating URL Protocol Schemes as Cruft

…it’s always struck me as somewhat ungraceful that we spend all day staring at dozens of URLs that all start with the same repetitive prefix. [If you’re going to hide http://, why wouldn’t you also hide the equally useless www?]

On App Store pricing

People have always been willing to pay money for valuable software, and users of the iPhone platform are no different. It’s not some crazy new voodoo platform where nobody will pay for anything. Treat it like any other software market, and you’ll see that it responds in the same way.

Schneier on Security: The Future of Ephemeral Conversation

Full disclosure: security expert and cryptography ace Bruce Schneier is a personal hero of mine. That having been said, I feel like I must also now say that I would only recommend a particular essay of his to other people if I felt like it was genuinely worthwhile. This piece deals with so-called “digital ephemera” (the casual conversations you have on-line) and the generation gap that exists between my generation (“baby busters” or “millenials”) and everyone from the GenX and previous set. Definitely a must-read for anyone whose life has been as copiously documented as yours certainly has been if you are reading this.

Geek to Live: Wget local copies of your online research (del.icio.us, digg or Google Notebook)

I’m going to go meta here for a second with a link to a lifehacker.com article about how to archive delicious links and diggs. Basically, this describes the wget flags you want to use if you’re trying to keep a local archive of someone’s delicious links: handy for automating things like, for example, a weekly digest of your del.icio.us links


Published by

Trevor Turk

A chess-playing machine of the late 18th century, promoted as an automaton but later proved a hoax.