I've been working with Ruby on Rails for many years. I wanted to share with you some gems that I include in almost every project as they are so incredibly useful and well made. For convenience, I've organized them into neat little categories.
One of the greatest pleasures of working with Ruby on Rails is the large volume of quality libraries that are available to work with. As a developer, you can stitch together a web app using mostly off-the-shelf components. The speed with which you can turn out a prototype — or even a completed product — is phenomenal.
These days, I enjoy working with NodeJS/Express and Elixir/Phoenix. However, these solutions do not yet have the high quality and mature ecosystem that the Ruby and Rails communities have fostered. (Though they are quickly catching up). It is for this reason that I keep coming back to Rails when I need to get things done.
Static sites have become incredibly popular amongst web developers in recent years. It's easy to see why. We can write content in markdown, store it in a version control system, and run it all through a static site generator to compile a website. The compiled website can be tossed up on a content delivery network. No need for databases. Static sites provide a secure, high-performance and massively scalable solution for content delivery. And they're quick to build to.
I was setting up a server as a sandbox to run some of my personal projects. I needed the server to run PHP, Ruby, and Node.js applications. Running PHP and Ruby side-by-side on Apache is no problem. But running Node.js and Apache on the same box is an issue since Apache and Node.js need to listen for incoming requests on port 80.
A powerful feature of building static sites with Jekyll is that you can create Rake tasks to handle common development tasks. Rake is a software task management tool for Ruby and its easy to use.
I have published minor updates to the Lorem-Ipsum and Concat packages for NodeJS. You can get the updates through NPM. An issue in Lorem-Ipsum that saw 'undefined' appear in program output has been closed. An issue in Concat in which files could be included multiple times under certain circumstances has also been closed.
I can't stay away from Node.js. It's just too much fun. So the first thing I did tonight upon finally settling on Linux Mint/Cinnamon on my laptop was install RVM and Ruby. But then I installed Node.js!
If you are a coder in Hamilton or Niagara, I urge you to get involved in the local tech community. There's a lot of smart, friendly people doing great things around here.
The Software Niagara website quietly went live last week. Thanks to Michael Mottola for helping to develop the site and to LeighAnn Frommann for designing our logo.