Weekly Digest, 7-9-09

…”weekly,” eh?

pauldix’s typhoeus

Like a modern code version of the mythical beast with 100 serpent heads, Typhoeus runs HTTP requests in parallel while cleanly encapsulating handling logic.

iPhone-like password fields using jQuery

That may have been the reason why Apple developed implemented an alternative method on iPhone/iPod Touch: passwords get masked while typing but the last character in row is shown in plain text.

Tango Palette Dashboard Widget

Colors from Tango Desktop Project with one-click! Click on color box will copy hex value (without #, useful, for example, with Photoshop) into the clipboard. Enjoy!

The EveryBlock source code

EveryBlock.com is an experimental news Web site that provides information at a “microlocal” level — by neighborhood or city block. It was funded by a grant from Knight Foundation, which requires the site’s backend code to be open-sourced. Here is the code.

MongoMapper, The Rad Mongo Wrapper

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Mongo and how awesome it is. Towards the end of the article (and in the slideshow) I mentioned MongoMapper, a project I’ve been working on.

Cassandra Wiki

Cassandra is a highly scalable, eventually consistent, distributed, structured key-value store. Cassandra brings together the distributed systems technologies from Dynamo and the data model from Google’s BigTable. Like Dynamo, Cassandra is eventually consistent. Like BigTable, Cassandra provides a ColumnFamily-based data model richer than typical key/value systems.

tmm1’s youtube-g

youtube-g is a pure Ruby client for the YouTube GData API. It provides an easy way to access the latest YouTube video search results from your own programs. In comparison with the earlier Youtube search interfaces, this new API and library offers much-improved flexibility around executing complex search queries to obtain well-targeted video search results.

JaredKuolt’s robustthread

This module allows for the creation of a thread that will not simply die when the process dies. Instead, it joins all RobustThreads in Ruby’s exit handler.

zilkey’s active_api

ActiveApi allows you to define an XML schema in Ruby, and use that schema to convert ruby objects to xml. Features XSD or DTD generation; Versioning; The ability to represent your model in a way that is not tightly coupled to the model itself.

neerajdotname’s admin_data

Rails plugin to browse and manage your data using your browser.

adamsalter’s sitemap_generator-plugin

This plugin enables ‘enterprise-class’ Google Sitemaps to be easily generated for a Rails site as a rake task, using a simple ‘Rails Routes’-like DSL. It allows you to take care of familiar Sitemap issues…

GooOS, the Google Operating System

Google isn’t worried about Yahoo! or Microsoft’s search efforts…although the media’s focus on that is probably to their advantage. Their real target is Windows. Who needs Windows when anyone can have free unlimited access to the world’s fastest computer running the smartest operating system? Mobile devices don’t need big, bloated OSes…they’ll be perfect platforms for accessing the GooOS.

Introducing the Google Chrome OS

So today, we’re announcing a new project that’s a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It’s our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.

New on Posterous: Audio and video *plays* on your iPhone in Safari, no flash needed

Now, audio and video you attach and send to Posterous can be played on an iPhone in Mobile Safari. No more “missing flash” errors!

Getting Pretty Lonely

As the developer evaluates communities to participate in, they must evaluate the legal impact such participation will have on their own project. The closed source communities are, by definition uninviting to outsiders. GPL communities are open and embracing of other GPL developers, but generally off-putting to liberal-license and closed-license developers. Only the liberal-license communities are attractive to developers from all 3 camps.

The Mythical Man Weekend

The “I can do it in a weekend” beast reared its naive head on Hacker News recently which in turn generated some intelligent discussion on the topic. We’ve all been there and we’ve all learned the hard way.

When GitHub goes down…

There are quite a few ways to deploy without github… ah the wonders of git!

Adam Wiggins and Ryan Tomayko, Heroku

An interview in 3 parts with Adam Wiggins and Ryan Tomayko of Heroku from their recent visit to New Relic. They discuss the vision behind the creation of Heroku, their passion for helping developers create scalable, high-performance Rails apps in the cloud, taking full advantage of cloud deployment, and their tips and best practices to create a high-performance app.

[whatwg] Codecs for audio and video

After an inordinate amount of discussions, both in public and privately, on the situation regarding codecs for video and audio in HTML5, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that there is no suitable codec that all vendors are willing to implement and ship. I have therefore removed the two subsections in the HTML5 spec in which codecs would have been required, and have instead left the matter undefined, as has in the past been done with other features like img and image formats, embed and plugin APIs, or Web fonts and font formats.

Secrets of Simplicity

Rules for being simple and usable (Giles Colborne)

Go Daddy DNS & Heroku

As easy as using Heroku is, setting up DNS seems to be one of the trickier parts.

The One in Which I Call Out Hacker News

The next time you see an application you like, think very long and hard about all the user-oriented details that went into making it a pleasure to use, before decrying how you could trivially reimplement the entire damn thing in a weekend. Nine times out of ten, when you think an application was ridiculously easy to implement, you’re completely missing the user side of the story.

Twitter, an Evolving Architecture

Most of the tools used by Twitter are open source. The stack is made up of Rails for the front side, C, Scala and Java for the middle business layer, and MySQL for storing data. Everything is kept in RAM and the database is just a backup. The Rails front end handles rendering, cache composition, DB querying and synchronous inserts. This front end mostly glues together several client services, many written in C: MySQL client, Memcached client, a JSON one, and others.

P2: The New Prologue

Prologue broke ground when it brought microblogging to WordPress.com. Now it’s cooler, faster, sleeker, and ready for 2009 and beyond.

fesplugas’s typus

Effortless backend interface for Ruby on Rails applications. (Admin scaffold generator.)

Posterous is the best way to publish video and photos from your new iPhone 3G S

Posterous has always been about email, so when Apple announced the iPhone 3G S would shoot video, we already knew it would just work with our site! We’ve optimized Posterous to work well with the iPhone 3.0, so now it’s better than ever. [The benefits of having a simple, universal input are obvious.]

Fails on Rails

The total cost of development for a failed Ruby on Rails system is much less than a failed Java EE system.

Development virtual machines on OS X using VMWare and Ubuntu

I’ve been using Linux as my primary development environment for a number of months now, despite being an abject Mac fanboy.

Published by

Trevor Turk

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