From a Mac you just pass documents to the ereader by drag and drop, and that clutters the file system with ghost "._*" files, Spotlight stuff, FSEvents stuff, etc. You don't see them because the interface hides dot files, but wanted to have a clean SD card anyway.
In addition, Mac archivers like zip(1) or tar(1) and utilities like cp(1) and friends put resource forks and other stuff in hidden files as well. So, for instance, if you untar one of those on Windows/Linux/whatever you'll get that HFS baggage. Ever saw a directory "__MACOSX" out of nowhere? I learnt this the hard-way.
Solution: I wrote unmac, a portable command-line cleaner of those Mac-related spurious files.
Conferencia Rails 2008
Back from Conferencia Rails 2008. Had a great time, met a lot of online friends and learnt stuff.
I gave the opening keynoye. This keynote was challenging for me because I am used to give tech talks but here I had to talk about something on-topic for an audience where you could find core contributors, curious people, business people, and even politicians.
There were some technical issues and I had to export my carefully animated Keynote presentation to a flat PDF file. But in the end it went quite well, the feedback from people has been awesome.
In this conference there were two tracks, one for tech talks, and one for success stories. There has been more testing-related talks than in any past edition of the conference if I remember correctly, I like that trend.
Obie Fernandez gave the closing keynote. He explained how they work at Hashrocket. He went through their premises and how they implement them. The result is an innovative and first-rate Rails company with high standards, they are no doubt a model to follow.
~1350 Rails core contributors
This is not a trivial count because when the Rails repo was under Subversion there were just some conventions to give credit to people in changelogs or commit messages. In addition people were given credit by their name, nickname, email, whatever. There were typos... it was all manual. Now under Git this is more systematic.
So the script tries to extract names from those places, and uses a hand-maintained mapping that normalizes names which has received a great deal of input from the Rails community.
After some days the figure has stabilized around 1350 people, which I think is really impressive and says a lot about the agility of Rails as an open-source project. This is the current listing.
shlomif, that'd be a warning due to an otherwise confusing response. That one is fine, and perhaps it would be better to get back a different page. When an email is involved for example I say it was sent and that people check their spam folder. No prob.
When I edit a task in Things there's no silly message saying "task successfully edited". The task view changes, it is there, it is obvious. You as a developer believe web apps have different user-interfaces, and in this particular aspect of the user interface I don't agree they have to be that different.
I don't mean you should write no warnings, I say you should choose which ones make sense. I feel people abuse and there's inertia to put "Product was successfully modified" gratuitiously.
Conferencia Rails 2008
Besides technical talks you'll see some case studies because this conference by tradition leaves room for explaining websites built in RoR, no matter whether they are commercial, so that people can share experiencie in everything that involves using Rails for a living.
Obie Fernández will close the conference with a keynote on Friday, and me myself will open the conference with a keynote on Thursday.
User was successfully created
Why so many webapps confirm to the user that some action was successfully done? Of course it was!
Look at your desktop applications, your editor does not bug you saying "File saved!" constantly, iCal is indeed almost completely silent. You warn the user when the disk has run out of space, right?
I think those messages come from the insecurity the developer feels about the amount of failure points between request and response. Perhaps some are just repeating the pattern seen elsewhere. But that's not the user's business, you warn when you fail.
Rails Guides has started with great speed, I am amazed. There are several guides being written in parallel and more reviewers have joined the project.
Semester at University of Barcelona
I gave today the first class of the semester at the University of Barcelona. The group is full. We gave an overview today and distributed people in two groups for exercices. This course will start at a low pace unfortunately because next Wednesday is a local feast, but then it will be non-stop up to the end. (Except perhaps for the Conferencia Rails 2008 to be held in Madrid in November.)
Open Source Activity
I am involved in a few things for the forthcoming months. Besides the Perl course at the UB I'm reviewing Rails guides, submitting patches to Rails now and then, organizing Euruko 2009 and Spanish Perl Workshop 2009, preparing a talk about Active Record internals... No time for being bored :- ).
New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.
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If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!