Weekly Digest, 1-11-09

Lots of links this week. Please do enjoy!


Obie Fernandez: Top Ten Attributes of Good Clients

Friendliness. Gives you positive publicity in public. Pushes you to learn and evolve in private. Realistic expectations. Involvement. Open-mindedness. Respect. Has a viable business model. Diligence. Pays on time.

A Day of Cleanup

I’m going to start putting together a quick prototype of how Rails3 can be JavaScript agnostic while retaining the existing JS helpers next week some time. I’ve already gotten a lot of good feedback from the jQuery and Mootools communities, and plan to get as much involvement as possible as I move forward.

A Smaller Number

Before we used to highlight the total number of blogs on WordPress.com… The new number is a stat we track of active logged-in WordPressers interacting with the site. Now 163,702 is much less impressive sounding than 5.2 million, but that’s okay.

Making Highrise faster with memcached

The number one rule for improving performance is to measure, the number two rule is to measure some more, and the third rule is to measure once again just to be sure. Guessing about performance never works, but it’s a great excuse to get you out in the weeds chasing phantom ponies.

Killing distractions

I believe that procrastination feeds on these distractions and that my personal productivity has decreased due to the time, energy and thoughtspace I’ve given them. I believe that a distracted mind is no place for innovation, problem-solving and creativity. And happiness.

RightScale response to Amazon’s AWS Console

Ever since AWS pre-announced that it was developing its own web-based console for EC2, we’ve been asked how it compares with RightScale. Now that it’s released we can actually make an informed comparison.

New Web-Based AWS Management Console

Today we’re announcing the availability of the Web-based AWS Management Console, which in this first release provides management of your Amazon EC2 environment via a point-and-click interface.

A Clarification on Public API

In short, when I say “public API”, I mean documentation, testing and commitment.

Overnight Success: It Takes Years

There appear to be no real shortcuts: even Mozart, who was a musical prodigy at age 4, took 13 more years before he began to produce world-class music. The Beatles seemed to burst onto the scene with a string of #1 hits and an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964. But they had been playing small clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg since 1957, and while they had mass appeal early on, their first great critical success, Sgt. Peppers, was released in 1967.

Overnight success takes a long time

This notion of overnight success is very misleading, and rather harmful. If you’re starting something new, expect a long journey. That’s no excuse to move slow though. To the contrary, you must move very fast, otherwise you will never arrive, because it’s a long journey!

You Will Probably Fail in a Boring and Project-specific Way

…went through several informative rounds of load testing and tuning until we felt comfortable handling tens of thousands of users. We never got tens of thousands of users.

OpenID removed from Wetpaint

Why doesn’t Wetpaint support OpenID? Low usage. Out of over a million accounts, less than 200 registered users used OpenID.

Undo Last Commit

git reset –soft HEAD^. This pulls out your most recent commit, putting the changes back into your working tree. It’s exactly like an undo button for whatever you just committed.

Does Amazon S3 really save money?

If your startup is using Amazon S3 for its storage needs, for the benefit of the startup community, can you please elaborate your rationale for choosing this service?

Announcing the Rails activists

Bringing Rails and Merb together is about more than just merging the respective code. Following on Merb’s success in offering a strong evangelism effort, we’re pleased to announce the creation of the Rails activists.

Fixtureless datas with Machinist and Sham

Equipped with a Lathe, Machinist allows you to craft beautifully valid and well-populated ActiveRecord models. It’s extremely handy if you want an alternative to YML fixtures or you’re sick seeing the ugly save(false).

Happy New Year from thoughtbot

Our open source plugin work continued to get a lot of love in 2008 – we continued to maintain and release new versions of Shoulda – and we introduced Factory Girl and Paperclip. It’s great to see this combination of tools getting so much adoption and appreciation from the ruby community

What good is a flexible paperclip?

Since it’s the Holidays, I’ve been spending a bit more time than normal on Paperclip. It’s all about making Paperclip more flexible, more adaptable, and more friendly to use.


Who are you following that’s not following you back? Who’s following you that you’re not following back? Find out!

Twitter and the Password Anti-Pattern

The more frequently we do this, the more routine it becomes, the more we become desensitized to the inherent risks in this behavior. And so we take it for granted that we must cough up a username and password in order to try out that new shiny service, given the countless times previously where nothing bad happened.

Eviction, or the Coming Datapocalypse

…these sites were hand-made, done by real people, with no agenda or business plan or knowledge, exactly, of how everything under the webservers worked. They were paying for their accounts, make no mistake…

Engineering @ Facebook’s Notes

2-3 Terabytes of photos are being uploaded to the site every day.


Hot Sauce & Chile Pepper Facts

Feeling guilty about the fact that you smother every food item that passes your lips with hot sauce (including chewing gum)? Don’t: apparently capsaicin is the next best thing to testosterone, in terms of enhancing your general awesomeness and overall killing power.

Android netbooks on their way, likely by 2010 » VentureBeat

Everybody and his brother has delicioused this by now, but it’s worth mentioning one more time: Android runs on portable PC’s because it /wants/ to run on portable PC’s. For the cheap seats, what this is about is the fact that Goog wants to be a player in the OS game. The stack looks like this: Android manages the hardware, Chrome runs on Android and Google Apps live in the cloud. And Microsoft is a vague, distant, unpleasant memory.

Op-Ed Contributors – How to Repair a Broken Financial World – NYTimes.com

Are you done raging out over the fact that our nation’s elected officials just let the most notorious and least popular cadre of career criminals in 200 years of American crime into the Treasury to steal close to $700 billion and spend it on pay raises, golden parachutes, palatial estates and private planes? Me neither. This article is a great place to keep that fire going with new talking points.


Published by

Trevor Turk

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