Playing with Ruby

This is a remake of Installing Rails 2 on Ubuntu but targeting Ruby in general and with some improvements. Essentially the same, actually, but more usable, at least for myself.

Ubuntu, like many other free operating systems, have a beautiful package management system that will track what depends on what, what is installed, what is not, what is not longer needed, which versions of each. If you tamper with it, you are asking for trouble. If you do a manual upgrade, from sources, eventually a package upgrade will downgrade your version or some other application being incompatible will not work. And once you start throwing files in /usr, you start to ask for trouble. I’ve been using this type of operating systems for years and I’ve learned this by experience.

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Pylons or Django?

I am trying to decide whether to use Pylons or Django. Both are frameworks for building Python web applications, but with opposing philosophies.

Django tries to be everything. It comes with its own ORM, its own template engine, its own everything. That gives you a nice developing experience because everything fits together and because very nice applications can be built on top of all those components, like the admin tool, which is amazing. Continue reading “Pylons or Django?”

“Programming Languages: Application and Interpretation” now in paperback

Programming Languages: Application and Interpretation, the best book I’ve found on creating your own programming language is now available in paperback.

You can still get a free-of-cost copy of Programming Languages: Application and Interpretation at its original site. Actually, the book is now released under a Creative Common license, thank you Shriram!

This is, actually, old news. The book has been in paperback for quite a while, but I neglected to publish the post at that time. Today, a chat at the Esperanto meeting about Lulu (and how useful it is for Esperantists, that make books nobody wants to publish) reminded me about the post and I’m now publishing it.

Installing Rails 2 on Ubuntu

Ubuntu, like many other free operating systems, have a beautiful package management system that will track what depends on what, what is installed, what is not, what is not longer needed, which versions of each. If you tamper with it, you are asking for trouble. If you do a manual upgrade, from sources, eventually a package upgrade will downgrade your version or some other application being incompatible will not work. And once you start throwing files in /usr, you start to ask for trouble. I’ve been using this type of operating systems for years and I’ve learned this by experience.

Nevertheless you, as I, want to try and code with Rails 2, right? Well, this is how I installed it in my Kubuntu box (should work the same for any Ubuntu and Debian derivate as well as others). I’ve decided to install everything on /opt/rails. I like to keep more-or-less self-contained directories in /opt. So I started with:

Continue reading “Installing Rails 2 on Ubuntu”

Quick and dirty continuous testing with Ruby on Rails

I like the idea of continuous testing: seeing that you broke it, the moment you broke it and the same for fixing. There are some tools to do it, but since they are not packaged, yet, for my operating system of choice I went through the quick and dirty route:

watch -n 5 rake test 2> /dev/null

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Linux is not an operating system

For the purpose of writing this article I’m going to use the following definition of “operating system”. There are other definitions and I’m not claiming this is the right one. An operating system is a unit of software that you can install in a computer and will let you use the computer, thought a set of utilities or program in one way or another. Continue reading “Linux is not an operating system”

Being a prolific blogger

Recently my friend Juanjo pointed out how much activity my blog has been having recently. Thinking about it, he is right and there are two reasons why this may be the case:

  • I’m more inspired than usual. I’m not sure if this is the case, and even if it is, it’s not helpful for me to communicate it unless I’ve found a way to find inspiration easily.
  • I’m writing in parallel. Now this is something to talk about, because it is a technique that can be applied by everyone and I recommend to any blogger.

Continue reading “Being a prolific blogger”

Freeing Squeak, freeing Smalltalk

Squeak is by far the best and most complex Smalltalk implementation out there. It may not play well with other operating systems because it is an operating system by itself. It is also one of the most impressive development environments I ever seen. OK, the most impressive.

The only thing that bothers me is that Squeak is not really free software (search for Squeak in that page). Fortunately, some people are working on making it proper free software. Hurrah! I hope the succeed soon!