Contest: Free iPhone Oxford Dictionary

Posted by ryan
at 2:19 PM on Monday, December 29, 2008

I’m not big on publicizing commercial works due to the obvious bias involved, but we’ve recently finished up the Oxford American College Dictionary and Thesaurus for the iPhone and our client was nice enough to give us a few free download codes. Never one to waste free stuff I thought I’d offer them up to my readers.

So here’s the deal – to distribute these free downloads of our Oxford Dictionary for the iPhone (appstore) I’m going to run a little contest: Post your favorite word in the comments along with your preferred usage of the word (like an example sentence). I’ll pick my favorite five entries after a week or so and will email you your promo codes (so be sure to leave your email address in the comment form). Note: I am a sucker for humor and wit, so be liberal in your application of them.

Most real iPhone dictionaries (from respected publications) go for upwards of $20 – $30 so this is a pretty decent value.

Now wow me with your vocabulary.


The winning words are: sesquipedalian, recidivist, floccinaucinihilipilification, obsequious (indirectly) and esquivalience

You guys should be getting your promo codes in a few minutes. Thanks for the submissions everybody! (and, yes, all these words are in the dictionary app)


tags: iPhone, dictionary

What's New in Edge Rails: Dynamic Scope Methods

Posted by ryan
at 9:24 AM on Monday, December 29, 2008

This feature is scheduled for: Rails v2.3/3.0

For quite some time now you’ve been able to perform simple queries using dynamic find_all_by_xx_and_yy methods:

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Article.find_by_published_and_user_id(true, 1)
  #=> "SELECT * FROM articles WHERE published = 1 AND user_id = 1"

These dynamic finders provide an easy way to quickly encapsulate non-reused query conditions (for commonly used query logic you should consider using named scopes). The downside, however, is that you can’t chain query conditions when using these dynamic finders.

With the recent addition of dynamic scopes, however, you now have a way to both quickly specify query logic and chain further conditions. The naming works in the same manner as dynamic finders and the chaining works in the same fashion as conventional named scopes:

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Article.scoped_by_published_and_user_id(true, 1).find(:all, :limit => 5)
  #=> "SELECT * FROM articles WHERE published = 1 AND user_id = 1 LIMIT 5"

Note how you can hang further chainable query methods off the dynamic scope here? You could also have preceded the dynamic scope with another scope, or even another dynamic scope:

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Article.scoped_by_published(true).scoped_by_user_id(1)
  #=> "SELECT * FROM articles WHERE published = 1 AND user_id = 1"

This is really just another tool to put in your toolbox based on the powerful named_scope functionality of ActiveRecord.

tags: ruby, rubyonrails

What's New in Edge Rails: Merb!

Posted by ryan
at 3:16 PM on Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This feature is scheduled for: Rails v3.0

Wow, from the bombshell department comes the news that Rails and Merb will be merging to form Rails 3. It seems the Rails and Merb teams have acknowledged that there is good in both frameworks and that they can be combined into a singular web framework.

To be honest I don’t love the idea of having less choice in Ruby web-framework world. However, I do think this bodes well for Rails. We can only hope innovation stays alive within the combined team (and that their perspectives only enhance each other and don’t outright conflict).

Read what Yehuda, now a Rails core team member, Ezra, Carl and Matt have to say as well.

Little ‘ole Rails is definitely growing up – lots of big stuff coming in Rails 3…

tags: ruby, rubyonrails

What's New in Edge Rails: Rails Metal

Posted by ryan
at 10:02 PM on Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This feature is scheduled for: Rails v2.3/3.0

In what is clearly a move to make me irrelevant within the Rails community, news has broken about the new Rails metal feature before I had the time to do a proper write-up. (And for the second time in as many weeks, no less). I need to get on my horse here, many apologies.

So Rails Metal is a way to cut out the fat of the MVC request processing stack (and the all the niceties, too) to get the quickest path to your application logic. This is especially useful when you have a single action that you need to run as quickly as possible and can afford to throw away all the support Rails normally provides in exchange for a very fast response time.

While I could throw out some examples here, I’ll let Jesse Newland of RailsMachine do the heavy lifting with his great writeup (a little morsel – his tests have Metal running 25x faster than the comparable controller-based action).

This is definitely an exciting feature to keep an eye on!

tags: ruby, rubyonrails

What's New in Edge Rails: Application Generators

Posted by ryan
at 8:53 AM on Thursday, December 11, 2008

This feature is scheduled for: Rails v2.3/3.0

I’m way late to the party on this one, but it’s such a great feature that the least I can do is provide some link love for Edge Rails’ new application template feature.

In a nutshell, this lets you create a Rails app already bootstrapped with your choice of plugins, gems and other base info specified. No longer do you need to manually download your preferred libraries at the start of every project – you can save your configuration off to any text/ruby file and kick off a new app with:


rails blog -m ~/my_template.rb

Or apply an app template to an existing app:


rake rails:template LOCATION=http://mydomain.com/templates/start.rb

Go read up on the details of this great new feature in Pratik’s writeup covers (which is wholly based on the rg project by Jeremy McAnally).

tags: ruby, rubyonrails