Coding News

Finally, I had some quality time with my laptop and got up to speed with recent developments in the Ruby / Rails world.

Many of you know how to use and do use several Ruby versions on the same machine, but for those who doesn’t, there are a couple of nice solutions. The first one is ruby_switcher and here’s a good post on how to install and use it. It’s really nice, easy to install and simple in use. The second (that I discovered) is RVM. It does all the same, but in a more organized and generalized way. The biggest advantage over the Ruby Switcher is that you can have multiple unconnected named Gem sets in every Ruby version. Say, you have several applications that you work on and to keep it all organized and to avoid Gem version collisions, you can use a named space for each of these projects. Very nice idea.

Last week I had an interview with one local agile team (you know I’m a freelancing type, but sometimes I feel we miss all the fun confining ourselves to home offices). The interview went well, in case you wonder, yet the office is inconveniently remote, so I back-pedaled a bit. During the meeting we accidentally taught one another a couple of tricks. I shared a thing or two about RSpec, and got some insights on HAML / SASS in return. It appears, there’s a project {less} which does what SASS does, but in a slightly different, more elegant fashion. It bases on top of the regular CSS and adds some cool new features, like variables, mix-ins, nested rules and operations. If you plan to use it, the first step would be the easiest. You grab your existing CSS files and start adding new features. It has a compiler to turn your files into legit CSS, and a plug-in that takes all the load for those who use Rails.

Yesterday I played with Rails 3 pre-release, but stumbled upon block after block. Partially, that’s because I used the all new Ruby 1.9.1, and partially because many plug-ins (especially for user authentication) still don’t work in Rails 3. Finally, I couldn’t make a single test run in Rails 3 + Ruby 1.9.1 combo due to TMail incompatibility with Ruby 1.9.1. Today I’m planning to try Ruby 1.8.7 and see how well that works. Rails 3 has so many great features and enhancements that it would be a shame to give up on them so quickly.

Until next time.