Red Squirrel Reflections
Dave Hoover explores the psychology of software development

Dave Hoover
dave.hoover@gmail.com

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Wed, 22 Nov 2006

SafariWatir 0.2.0

Hamish released the first rb-appscript gem, paving the way for the new and improved SafariWatir. Now with non-sluggish performance! Seriously, my regression test script runs ridiculously fast on my MacBook Pro compared to previous versions of SafariWatir.

This performance boost comes as no surprise. Up until now I was doing the simplest most naive (and slowest) thing that could possible work by using backticks to invoke AppleScript from the command line...

`osascript <<SCRIPT
tell application "Safari"
  do JavaScript "#{script}" in document 1
end tell
SCRIPT`.chomp

This got me started, but it turns out that using an Apple Event bridge like rb-appscript is more natural, and so much faster...

app = AS.app("Safari")
document = app.documents[1]
app.do_JavaScript(script, :in => document)
In unrelated news, my fellow Obtivian Tyler Jennings has submitted his first Rails patch.

[/projects/watir] permanent link

Fri, 10 Nov 2006

Speaking at erubycon

I'll be heading to sunny Columbus in February to speak at erubycon, a conference focused on Ruby in the Enterprise put on by the artisans at EdgeCase. I'm honored to share the same web page with the other erubycon speakers: Bruce, Stuart, Justin, and Neal.

[/links] permanent link

Reflections on Leading Obtiva's second Rails/TDD Course

Today was the last day of the second run of the Ruby on Rails TDD Boot Camp. It was an excellent week spent with a comfortably-sized group of strong developers from diverse backgrounds ... some with many years of web development experience, some with none, some with Ruby expertise, some with none. One difference from our first course was that, at least from my perspective, this group gelled. I attribute this difference mostly to my nervousness, and subsequent hurried delivery, in our first course. The second time around I was able to pace things better which had a calming effect on me, and I predict this will continue to improve.

My most noteworthy lesson from this course should serve as a warning for anyone considering taking this course in the future:

  • We are teaching people Ruby and Rails and Ajax in the context of Test-Driven Development
  • We build a Rails project from scratch via TDD
  • The first two days are spent on introductory Ruby and Rails material
The diversity of people coming to us for training means that we won't be able to work at the right level for everyone in the room, but after seeing some experienced Rails developers in my last two classes somewhat frustrated by the introductory material, I wanted to provide a warning for the future. When in doubt, read the course description.

[/training] permanent link

Fri, 03 Nov 2006

Ryan Platte joins Obtiva

I'm excited to announce that Ryan Platte will be joining Obtiva in a few weeks. Ryan is the fearless leader of Chirb and will add significant depth to our dynamic language expertise.

[/obtiva] permanent link

Wed, 01 Nov 2006

Obtiva on Rails in Chicago and Atlanta

I've been pleased to see next week's Rails/TDD course in downtown Chicago fill up to match the attendance of our August course in the burbs. I'm excited to spend the week with another group of programmers willing to get their hands dirty in Ruby, Rails, Ajax and Test-Driven Development. I'll post an update after the course with thoughts, observations, and lessons learned.

I'm even more excited to see the course travel to Atlanta in December with my good friend Obie as the instructor.

[/training] permanent link


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