Blog / Dev Newsletter: 2 November 2012

Richard Archer
November 2, 2012

We’ve got a lot to get through this week, so let’s get started;

2012 Rails Rumble winners… (Lee)

We start off this week’s post with the results of the recent Rails Rumble contest:

.. and the winners’ perferred choice of gem

Dwellable have written up a nice breakdown of the gems used by this year’s Rails Rumble winners:

On upgrading to Rails 4 (Lee)

One of the significant new changes in Rails 4 is strong parameters, which can apparently easily be included in your Rails 3 app. Here’s a more in-depth look.

Ruby 2.0.0-preview1 released

Exactly what it says on the tin. With 10% more Japanese.

Ruby 2.0 patch promises to make Rails faster (Leo)

So there’s a Ruby 2.0 patch that promises to make Rails startup 2.2x faster. Unsurprisingly, it revolves around optimising the “require” keyword. It sounds very promising and definitely worth a read.

Jolyon’s found something interesting on mocking

Using mocks in our Rails tests hasn’t always produced elegant and highly maintainable test code. The assumption was that there must be a better way and no doubt there is room for improvement but having watched Justin Searls’ talk To Mock or Not to Mock, it looks as if Rails + mocking is in no way a walk in the park.

For those that weren’t enticed enough to click the Rails Rumble link above; here’s Honeybadger, pitched to me as a ‘cheaper and better alternative to Airbrake’. Is it any good? I have no idea. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

getUserMedia and realtime ASCII-fication (Carl)

Get your webcams ready:

Giving Lifehacker a run for their money (Murray)

For those who like lists of new tools to try out:

‘Trimming the fat’ - Paul Robert Lloyd

Nice case study of the steps taken by the OP to optimise the performance of his site:


Well that was exciting wasn’t it? Let’s take a little break. Just sit back, put your feet up and enjoy the contributed kitten GIF gallery for a few minutes. We’ll wait for you here, see you in a bit. Just ignore that some people can’t tell the difference between gifs and jpgs…

::Wireframing App Of The Week::

Continuing our semi-regular feature:

book: “Ruby Under a Microscope” (Matt Peperell)

Typically when using a program language we don’t about the details of the underlying implementation. But what about those cases when we do care? The newly published book “Ruby Under a Microscope” should sate those needs. Available in PDF, EPUB and MOBI formats, you can find details at

video: Alex Sexton on Client side i18n (Carl)

video: JavaScript is the new Punk Rock

editor plugin: Emmet

Previously known as the web development toolkit Zen Coding, Emmet has been released with improved parsing and range of snippets. Basically, it’s a way to type CSS-like expressions in your editor and produce expanded markup. It is compatible with most major editors.

…and something for the Vim users

In the interests of balance, I found something for Vim as well; Vundle - think Bundler for Vim and you’re basically there.

Things Happening in the Outside World™

XpDay2012 : “This might be good” (Murray)

Node Knockout:

MxM Interface Developer meetup : “Made by Many are planning a new meet-up for Interface Developers in January and they’re looking for people who would be willing to talk (and attend).” (Richard S)

Cape Town Front-end Developers meetup : “Cape Town finally has it’s own FE group - which kicked off in grand style last week with a talk from HTML5 and Opera evangelist Bruce Lawson”