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Rails, DB2 and the Enterprise

Recently Matt Aimonetti wrote an insightful article about Rails and the Enterprise. In it he identifies five core Enterprise application needs: Reliability Support Performance Advantage over the competition Integration and transition path Matt then proceeds to illustrate how Rails does a good job in regards to most of these points, despite a few existing challenges. Among these challenges, I can clearly see the...

ThinkCode.TV’s English Catalog Goes Live

This is a short post to announce that ThinkCode.TV has finally gone live. Well, technically the Italian site has been live for months and is a favorite of many Italian programmers. Today however, is the first day in the life of the English version of ThinkCode.TV. The initial line-up includes a freebie about solving ASCII mazes in Python (previously released), a screencast about jQuery, another about MacRuby and...

DB2 support for Django 1.2 is here

The latest release of the IBM Adapter for Django now supports Django 1.2. Aside from enabling you to use the most recent version of Django, this release adds a few new goodies into the mix, that I’m sure many will appreciate. For example, IBM’s adapter (through the underlying DBI wrapper) now uses persistent connections, which are especially helpful when dealing with Django – as it lacks connection...

Free Python screencast about solving mazes

ThinkCode.TV’s English site is going to be launched on April 19th. To celebrate the upcoming launch and whet your appetite, a 19 minute long screencast about solving ASCII mazes with a few lines of Python code was just released for free. This video serves to illustrate Python’s elegance and power, as well as ThinkCode.TV’s approach to screencasts and education. In order to download the screencast,...

Simple suggestions for implementing passwords correctly

The usability of web forms is a subject that has been discussed extensively, and one which is supported by a large body of literature (1, 2, 3, 4). The consensus is that getting web forms right is much harder that it may initially seem. One aspect that particularly annoys me is the way most developers implement passwords and their validation. Despite the emergence of single sign-on systems like OpenID, most users...

Heads up: IBM is looking for top notch student hackers

As a thank you for following my blog, I’d like to introduce you to what I think is a great opportunity for the right students. My team is looking for two bright students for a 16 month, full-time internship opportunity with IBM. Aside from being a bright and ambitious student, you should currently be working towards a Computer Science degree at any recognized University in the world (and have completed at...

DB2 support for Ruby/Rails turns 2.0

This article is obsolete. Please refer to the following articles for up do date instructions: Ruby/Rails and DB2 | Python/Django and DB2. Thank you! The API development team just released a major version of the ibm_db gem. Detailed installation instructions are available on RubyForge (PDF). Among several improvements, there are three particularly newsworthy features: Support for Ruby 1.9; Support for mingw32, used...

Setup Ruby Enterprise Edition, nginx and Passenger (aka mod_rails) on Ubuntu

The following is a very short guide on setting up Ruby Enterprise Edition (REE), nginx and Passenger, for serving Ruby on Rails applications on Ubuntu. It also includes a few quick and easy optimization tips. We start with setting up REE (x64), using the .deb file provided by Phusion: wget http://rubyforge.org/frs/download.php/66163/ruby-enterprise_1.8.7-2009.10_amd64.deb sudo dpkg -i...

Add code highlighting to your Google Waves

Google Wave is still rough around the edges, but it has a lot of potential in terms of becoming a great collaboration tool. As a developer, your first question will probably be: “How do I add code highlighting to my waves?”. The answer is straightforward, however not very easy to find if you google it. I hope this post will help fellow developers who are experimenting with Google Wave. The following...

Getting MacRuby’s compiler to work

There is major news in Rubyland today. MacRuby’s team just released their fist beta of version 0.5 (an experimental, still incomplete version of Ruby), which brings JIT, removal of the dreaded GIL (Global Interpreter Lock), native threads, GCD (Grand Central Dispatch) for multicore computing, and a whole new set of features found in the release announcement to the table. The most important new feature is the...

Benchmarking Tornado vs. Twisted Web vs. Tornado on Twisted

FriendFeed, which was recently acquired by Facebook, just released an interesting piece of open source software. Tornado is an open source version of the scalable, non-blocking web server and tools that power FriendFeed. The FriendFeed application is written using a web framework that looks a bit like web.py or Google’s webapp, but with additional tools and optimizations to take advantage of the underlying...

Improve the speed and security of your SQL queries

An easy way to improve the performance and security of SQL queries is to replace literals with parameters. By replacing literal values with parameters, advanced relational databases will be able to compile your queries and have their execution plans cached. This saves time and precious resources when the same query (minus the actual values) is executed over and over. Consider the following series of...

Enabling support for DB2 and Python/Django/SQLAlchemy on Mac OS X Snow Leopard

This article is obsolete. Please refer to the following articles for up do date instructions: Ruby/Rails and DB2 | Python/Django and DB2. Thank you! This is the Python version of a post I made about Ruby a few days ago. Now that Mac OS X 10.6 is out, it’s time to leave the world of 32 bit computing behind. The pre-installed Python interpreter will run in 64 bit mode by default, so you may need to pay attention...

Installing the Ruby driver for DB2 on Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Now that Mac OS X 10.6 is out, it’s time to leave the world of 32 bit computing behind. The pre-installed Ruby interpreter will run in 64 bit mode by default, so you may need to pay attention when installing some C-based gems. The ibm_db Ruby gem for DB2 can easily be installed or updated to the latest available version by following these simple steps: $ sudo -s $ export...

Recommended Ruby and Rails books (August 2009)

I finally got around to updating the Ruby and Rails book pages. The existing list was getting a bit obsolete and I didn’t like the idea of recommending old books to newcomers. I also had some interesting new entries. Without further ado: Recommended Ruby Books Recommended Rails Books A few people may disagree with the choices, but I think most experienced Ruby and Rails programmers, who’ve read those...

Do programmers still buy printed books?

Yesterday I published a post titled My latest order of programming books, which received a fair number of comments both here and elsewhere online. Aside from a few good suggestions for other must-read books for programmers, there were several comments about how buying hard copies of books in this day and age is stupid. A few advocated piracy as an alternative to buying books, printed or not. Aren’t we supposed...

My latest order of programming books

A few days ago it was my birthday. This year I decided to reward my aging self with some books I’d had my eyes on. My budget was roughly $250, nothing to snicker at, but programming and computer science books aren’t exactly famous for being inexpensive. The hardest part was shortlisting only a few titles, out of a substantial number of books that interest me. This ruthless streamlining was not solely...

How much faster is Ruby on Linux?

In a previous article I compared the performance of Ruby on Windows, built through Microsoft Visual C++ and GCC. The numbers for the MinGW version were very impressive. So the question now becomes, how does its performance compare to that of Ruby on Linux? To quote one person (Alex) who commented on the aforementioned post: With the new mingw32 substantial speed improvements, think it makes sense now to also test...

On Scala’s future

Kenneth McDonald posted the following question about Scala’s future in the Scala mailing list: I thought it would be interesting to find out people’s predictions for how much of the Java market Scala will eventually penetrate. It’s nice to see Scala doing reasonably well so far, so now’s your chance to make a prediction on the future of Scala: a) Scala will remain a niche language, competing...

The DB2 adapter now supports Django 1.1

This article is obsolete. Please refer to the following articles for up do date instructions: Ruby/Rails and DB2 | Python/Django and DB2. Thank you! I’m glad to announce that the API team has just released version 1.0.2 of the adapter for Django. And on my birthday to boot, what a nice present. This version extends its support to the recently released Django 1.1, as well as incorporating the feedback that was...

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