Blog / This week: Faster Rails tests, Interactive Video, Lovely Interfaces and the history of BBC News online

Richard Archer
November 30, 2012

Fast Rails Tests Through Behavior Verification (Pawel)

A goodly amount of hints and tips about getting your Rails tests to run faster; mostly through changing the design of your code. http://chill.manilla.com/2012/11/15/fast-rails-tests/

Redmon (Pawel)

Redmon is a Sinatra-based web interface for Redis that you can mount onto your Rails applications to manage live monitoring, getting access to the CLI and having the option to flush your keys. This is particularly useless if you want to use the CLI if you’re hosting an application on heroku because there is no typing lag. We’ve been using Redmon on Flexo CMS. http://steelthread.github.com/redmon/

StatBoard (Pawel)

If you want to be on top of your application, you can use StatBoard to keep an eye on your model records. Check out https://github.com/vigetlabs/stat_board

Whoops (Pawel)

For a free, self-hosted version of Airbrake you may want to take a look into Whoops. http://www.whoopsapp.com/

Popcorn - Annotated Interactive Video on the web (Andrew)

I was looking through the collection of TED videos on my iPad and I came across a talk on Popcorn. A platform for creating interactive video with links and interactive content just like the rest of the web. https://popcorn.webmaker.org/

The History of BBC News Online (Jolyon)

For internet history buffs and devotees of the incomparable BBC news website, here’s a great blow-by-blow account of how it came into existence 15 years ago (with thanks to @bellesy).

The Steve Barnett Monster Linkathon

Cape Town newbie Steve; noted link hoarder, has reliquished a few of his precious treasures:

  • Animate.sass is a Sass and Compass CSS animation library for WebKit, Firefox and beyond based on the work being done by Dan Eden in Animate.css.
  • Cactus is a CSS testing framework proof of concept designed specifically to ensure consistent CSS styling across the DOM.
  • Hayaku is a bundle of useful scripts centered around faster front-end development, similar to Emmett that we mentioned a few weeks ago, but with a nice fuzzy CSS property evaluation aspect to it. Currently it’s only available as a package in Sublime Text 2
  • Rails API An interesting project that makes use of a stripped down Rails version for building JSON APIs for client side apps.
  • Keep Calm and Trust HTML5 Talk and slides from Chris Heilmann about HTML5 entering a new phase where we stop coming up with impressive made up facts around it and just getting on and using it.
  • HTML5 Security Cheatsheet “What your browser does when you look away…”

How statistics and numbers will make you do the wrong thing (Carlo)

We all love A/B testing, right? This post is an interesting read on the value of taking the right lessons from your user research. http://businessofsoftware.org/2012/11/jason-cohen-how-data-statistics-and-numbers-will-make-you-do-the-wrong-thing/

Event: Continuous Improv (Austin)

Unboxed-CT’s very own Austin Fagan will be running an agile workshop on Thursday the 6th December in Cape Town.

“The values emphasised in agile software development and improv seem pretty similar so in a recent coaching circle, Austin and Alicia explored the world of improv and how it could be applied to the world of agile software development.” http://sugsadec2012.eventbrite.com/

SockJS (Carl)

A flash free websocket shim https://github.com/sockjs/sockjs-client

Lovely UI (Rob)

A nice selection of Mobile UI screenshots taken from phone apps and mobile websites. It’s good to see how other apps and sites look like without downloading them, or opening them in the browser. Every screenshot is tagged, so you easily can find some inspiration for adding some sweet navigation, sliders, lists, or buttons to your new mobile site/app. http://www.lovelyui.com/

Chrome Devtools Cheatsheet (Rob)

Super duper cheat sheet for the Chrome Devtools. A must have for every developer :) http://anti-code.com/devtools-cheatsheet/

And finally..

YouAsked.it (Steve B)

Do you feel like you’re not interacting enough on Twitter? Want to start up a few more conversations? Then pop over to YouAsked.it - where you get to answer questions posed by people on Twitter. Just like you could do with ‘Normal’ Twitter - BUT NOW WITH A COUNTDOWN TIMER.