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Preview: Railscasts (iPod & Apple TV)

RailsCasts (Mobile)

Every other week you will be treated to a new, free RailsCasts episode featuring tips and tricks with Ruby on Rails, the popular web development framework. These screencasts are short and focus on one technique so you can quickly move on to applying it to

Published: Sun, 16 Jun 2013 00:00:00 -0700

Last Build Date: Sun, 16 Jun 2013 00:00:00 -0700


#417 Foundation

Sun, 16 Jun 2013 00:00:00 -0700

ZURB's Foundation is a front-end for quickly building applications and prototypes. It is similar to Twitter Bootstrap but uses Sass instead of LESS. Here you will learn the basics of the grid system, navigation, tooltips and more.

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#415 Upgrading to Rails 4

Mon, 06 May 2013 00:00:00 -0700

With the release of Rails 4.0.0.rc1 it's time to try it out and report any bugs. Here I walk you through the steps to upgrade a Rails 3.2 application to Rails 4.

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#412 Fast Rails Commands

Thu, 04 Apr 2013 00:00:00 -0700

Rails commands, such as generators, migrations, and tests, have a tendency to be slow because they need to load the Rails app each time. Here I show three tools to make this faster: Zeus, Spring, and Commands.

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#409 Active Model Serializers

Sat, 09 Mar 2013 00:00:00 -0800

The ActiveModel::Serializers gem can help you build JSON APIs through serializer objects. This provides a dedicated place to fully customize the JSON output.

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#406 Public Activity

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 00:00:00 -0800

Learn how to easily add a user activity feed using the public_activity gem. Here I show both the default setup using model callbacks and a manual way to trigger activities.

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#402 Better Errors & RailsPanel

Fri, 25 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800

Here we take a look at two tools to aid us in development: Better Errors which makes it easier than ever to debug exceptions, and RailsPanel, a Chrome extension to see Rails requests.

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#400 What's New in Rails 4

Fri, 04 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800

Rails 4.0 is still unfinished, but it is shaping up to become a great release. Here I show how to setup a new Rails 4.0 (edge) application and walk through many of its new features.

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#396 Importing CSV and Excel

Sat, 08 Dec 2012 00:00:00 -0800

Allow users to import records into the database by uploading a CSV or Excel document. Here I show how to use Roo to parse these files and present a solution for validations.

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#393 Guest User Record

Wed, 21 Nov 2012 00:00:00 -0800

Instead of presenting a sign up form to the user, consider creating a temporary guest record so the user can try out the application without filling in their information up front. They can then become a permanent member afterwards.

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#390 Turbolinks

Mon, 05 Nov 2012 00:00:00 -0800

Turbolinks can make your Rails app feel faster by using JavaScript to replace the page content when clicking a link. It will be default in new Rails 4.0 applications, but here I show how to use it in Rails 3 and mention some of the gotchas.

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#387 Cache Digests

Sat, 20 Oct 2012 00:00:00 -0700

The cache_digests gem (also included in Rails 4) will automatically add a digest to the fragment cache key based on the template. If a template changes the cache will auto-expire. But watch out for the gotchas!

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#384 Exploring RubyGems

Sun, 07 Oct 2012 00:00:00 -0700

RubyGems can make it easy to add a feature to a Rails application, but it can also cause headaches down the road. Here I give some tips on researching gems to decide which one to choose, or when to do it from scratch.

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#382 Tagging

Sat, 22 Sep 2012 00:00:00 -0700

There are several gems to help implement tags in a Rails app. Here I show you how to integrate acts-as-taggable-on and then show how to do it from scratch.

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#378 FnordMetric

Tue, 04 Sep 2012 00:00:00 -0700

FnordMetric allows you to chart events in real time. This is great for keeping track of user activity in your Rails app as demonstrated in this episode.

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#376 JRuby Basics

Thu, 30 Aug 2012 00:00:00 -0700

JRuby is a polished and stable Ruby implementation. Here I show the basics of setting it up and executing Java from within Ruby. I also see how it compares with MRI at running threads.

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#374 Image Manipulation

Thu, 16 Aug 2012 00:00:00 -0700

Learn how to do extensive image manipulation with the ImageMagick commands. Also learn how RMagick can be used in combination with CarrierWave to process uploaded images.

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#372 Bullet

Thu, 09 Aug 2012 00:00:00 -0700

Bullet will notify you of database queries that can potentially be improved through eager loading or counter cache column. A variety of notification alerts are supported.

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#370 Ransack

Fri, 03 Aug 2012 00:00:00 -0700

Ransack allows you to easily build complex search forms. It also helps in adding sortable links and building a dynamic advanced search page.

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#368 MiniProfiler

Tue, 24 Jul 2012 00:00:00 -0700

MiniProfiler allows you to see the speed of a request conveniently on the page. It also shows the SQL queries performed and allows you to profile a specific block of code.

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#366 Sidekiq

Wed, 18 Jul 2012 00:00:00 -0700

Sidekiq allows you to move jobs into the background for asynchronous processing. It uses threads instead of forks so it is much more efficient with memory compared to Resque.

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#364 Active Record Reputation System

Mon, 09 Jul 2012 00:00:00 -0700

If you need to calculate an average user's rating or sum up a number of votes, consider using the activerecord-reputation-system gem. Here I will cover the basics and also briefly present a from-scratch solution.

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#362 Exporting CSV and Excel

Mon, 02 Jul 2012 00:00:00 -0700

As you will see it is easy to add a CSV export option to Rails. Here I also show how to export for Excel in a variety of formats.

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#360 Facebook Authentication

Mon, 25 Jun 2012 00:00:00 -0700

This will show how to create a new facebook application and configure it. Then add some authentication with the omniauth-facebook gem and top it off with a client-side authentication using the JavaScript SDK.

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#358 Brakeman

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 00:00:00 -0700

The Brakeman gem will scan the Ruby code of a Rails application and alert you to common security vulnerabilities.

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#356 Dangers of Session Hijacking

Fri, 08 Jun 2012 00:00:00 -0700

If a user's authentication cookie is sent over an insecure connection it is vulnerable to session hijacking, or more specifically, sidejacking. Learn how this is done, and how you can prevent it.

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#354 Squeel

Wed, 30 May 2012 00:00:00 -0700

Squeel provides a comprehensive DSL for writing SQL queries in Ruby. It is built upon Arel giving you access to many of its powerful features.

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#352 Securing an API

Wed, 23 May 2012 00:00:00 -0700

There are many approaches to locking down an API. Here I start off with HTTP Basic authentication then move on to generating a unique token which can be passed through a URL parameter or HTTP header.

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#350 REST API Versioning

Wed, 16 May 2012 00:00:00 -0700

APIs should be consistent, but it is difficult to do this when returning a JSON response along side the HTML interface. Here I show how to add a versioned, RESTful API. The version can be determined from either the URL or HTTP headers.

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#348 The Rails API Gem

Wed, 09 May 2012 00:00:00 -0700

It is often asked: Is Rails a good fit if I only need to serve an API? In this episode I show how to use the Rails API gem to create a slimmer Rails application designed to respond with JSON.

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#347 Rubber and Amazon EC2

Thu, 03 May 2012 00:00:00 -0700

Deploying to Amazon EC2 allows you to scale an application quickly. Learn how to use Rubber to deploy to the cloud with just a few commands and monitor the cluster with various web tools.

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#346 Wizard Forms with Wicked

Thu, 03 May 2012 00:00:00 -0700

Creating a wizard form can be tricky in Rails. Learn how Wicked can help by turning a controller into a series of multiple steps.

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#344 Queue Classic

Tue, 24 Apr 2012 00:00:00 -0700

PostgreSQL can act as a worker queue which can replace the need for a separate process to manage the background jobs. Here you will learn how to do this with the queue_classic gem.

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#342 Migrating to PostgreSQL

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 00:00:00 -0700

Postgres is a feature-packed relational database that every Rails developer should consider using. Here you will learn how to install it, add it to a new application, and transition from an existing SQLite app using the "taps" gem.

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#340 DataTables

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 00:00:00 -0700

DataTables makes it easy to convert a plain HTML table into one with pagination, sorting, and searching - all done with JavaScript and jQuery. Here I show how to set this up and use a Rails application as the data source.

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#338 Globalize3

Wed, 04 Apr 2012 00:00:00 -0700

Rails has great internationalization (I18n) support making it easy to translate static text into other languages, but how do we translate database content? Learn how using Globalize 3 in this episode.

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#336 Copycopter

Tue, 27 Mar 2012 00:00:00 -0700

Copycopter provides a nice interface that clients can use to edit the text in a Rails application. Learn how to deploy a Copycopter server using Heroku and integrate it in a Rails application through I18n.

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#334 Compass & CSS Sprites

Wed, 21 Mar 2012 00:00:00 -0700

Compass improves the Sass experience by providing useful mixins, functions, and more. You will also learn how to make CSS sprites with it in this episode.

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#332 Refinery CMS Basics

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 00:00:00 -0700

If you need to quickly create an informational site that can be easily edited, consider using a content management system. Here I show how to build a site using Refinery CMS.

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#330 Better Sass with Bourbon

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 00:00:00 -0800

If you are tired of the browser vendor prefixes in CSS, check out Bourbon. It provides Sass mixins and functions to make CSS more convenient.

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#328 Twitter Bootstrap Basics

Tue, 28 Feb 2012 00:00:00 -0800

Twitter Bootstrap can help make beautiful web apps quickly by providing you with useful CSS and JavaScript. Here you will learn how to include it into Rails with the twitter-bootstrap-rails gem.

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#326 ActiveAttr

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 00:00:00 -0800

ActiveAttr provides what Active Model left out. If you need to create a table-less model with features similar to Active Record, watch this episode.

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#324 Passing Data to JavaScript

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 00:00:00 -0800

There are a variety of ways to pass variables from a Rails application to JavaScript. Here I show three techniques: a script tag, a data attribute, and the Gon gem.

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#322 RABL

Wed, 08 Feb 2012 00:00:00 -0800

RABL - Ruby API Builder Language - provides a DSL for generating JSON or XML responses in a Ruby application. Learn how to share and configure complex JSON data in this episode.

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#320 Jbuilder

Mon, 30 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0800

Jbuilder provides a DSL for generating JSON. It includes a template engine which allows you to create complex responses with helpers and conditions.

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#318 Upgrading to Rails 3.2

Mon, 23 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0800

Rails 3.2 sports many new features including automatic explain queries, tagged logging, key-value store in Active Record, improved migration generator and more. Learn all about these new features in this episode.

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#316 Private Pub

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0800

Private Pub makes it easier than ever to publish and subscribe to real-time events in a Rails app. You can use publish_to with a block of JavaScript or supply a hash for use with JSON.

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#314 Pretty URLs with FriendlyId

Mon, 09 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0800

If you are tired of model ids in the URL, overriding to_param can only get you so far. The friendly_id plugin can help by making it easy to generate a URL slug and maintain a history.

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#312 Sending HTML Email

Mon, 02 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0800

HTML email can be difficult to code because any CSS should be made inline. Here I present a few tools for doing this including the premailer-rails3 and roadie gems.

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#310 Getting Started with Rails

Mon, 26 Dec 2011 00:00:00 -0800

Learning Ruby on Rails can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to programming. Here I will take you on a tour through various resources to help get started with Rails.

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#308 Oh My ZSH

Mon, 19 Dec 2011 00:00:00 -0800

As Rails developers, we frequently use the command line. Here I will show how to switch to Z Shell using Oh My ZSH including how to make your own theme and plugins.

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#306 ElasticSearch Part 1

Mon, 12 Dec 2011 00:00:00 -0800

Add full text searching using ElasticSearch and Tire. Here I will show the steps involved in adding this search to an existing application. This is the first part in a two part series.

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#304 OmniAuth Identity

Mon, 05 Dec 2011 00:00:00 -0800

With the release of OmniAuth 1.0 there is a new Identity strategy which allows users to register/login with a password if they don't want to use an external provider.

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#302 In-Place Editing

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 00:00:00 -0800

Edit an attribute in-place without leaving a page using the Best In Place gem. Learn how to add validations and support for various field types.

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#300 Contributing to Open Source

Mon, 21 Nov 2011 00:00:00 -0800

GitHub makes it easier than ever to contribute to open source with pull requests. Here I show how to submit a pull request to the VCR project.

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#298 Getting Started with Spree

Mon, 14 Nov 2011 00:00:00 -0800

Spree allows you to quickly turn a Rails project into a full eCommerce application. Here I show how to set it up and configure the look and feel of the store.

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#296 Mercury Editor

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 00:00:00 -0800

Mercury allows you to edit a section of HTML directly in the web browser through a WYSIWYG editor. Here I show how to integrate Mercury into a Rails app and save the changes back to the database.

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#294 Playing with PJAX

Mon, 31 Oct 2011 00:00:00 -0700

PJAX allows you to quickly update a section of a page using AJAX with automatic pushState support. Here I show how to use both pjax_rails and rack-pjax gems.

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#292 Virtual Machines with Vagrant

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Vagrant allows you to run your Rails application and all of its dependencies in a portable, sharable environment. Use for development, set it up as a staging server, or experiment with a production setup.

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#290 SOAP with Savon

Mon, 17 Oct 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Communicating with a SOAP API can be a daunting task. Savon makes this easier by presenting the SOAP API through a Ruby interface.

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#288 Billing with Stripe

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Stripe is a full-stack payment solution with very reasonable pricing and is easy to setup. See how to add it to a Rails application here. Currently only available in the US.

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#286 Draper

Mon, 03 Oct 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Clean up complex view logic using Draper. This gem provides decorators (much like presenters) which bundles view logic in an object oriented fashion. In this episode I do a step-by-step refactoring of a complex template into a decorator.

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#285 Spork

Mon, 26 Sep 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Spork improves the loading time of your test suite by starting up your Rails application once in the background. Use it with Guard for the ultimate combo in fast feedback while doing TDD.

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#284 Active Admin

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Active Admin allows you to quickly build an admin interface with just a few commands. Not only does it look great, but it is very customizable as shown in this episode.

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#283 Authentication with Sorcery

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Sorcery is a full-featured, modular solution to authentication which leaves the controller and view layers up to you.

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#282 Upgrading to Rails 3.1

Mon, 05 Sep 2011 00:00:00 -0700

It is incredibly easy to upgrade to Rails 3.1, but if you want to take advantage of the asset pipeline you will need to put in some extra effort. Have no fear because I walk you through each of the necessary steps in this episode.

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#281 Foreman

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Foreman can help manage multiple processes that your Rails app depends upon when running in development. It also provides an export command to move them into production.

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#280 Pry with Rails

Mon, 22 Aug 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Pry is an alternative to IRB and sports many great features. Here I show how to integrate it into a Rails app, and how it can aid in debugging.

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#279 Understanding the Asset Pipeline

Mon, 15 Aug 2011 00:00:00 -0700

The asset pipeline is probably the biggest feature in Rails 3.1, but it can seem like magic at first. Here I dive into exactly how the asset pipeline works.

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#278 Search with Sunspot

Mon, 08 Aug 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Sunspot makes it easy to do full text searching through Solr. Here I show how to search on various attributes and add facets for filtering the search further.

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#277 Mountable Engines

Mon, 01 Aug 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Engines are receiving a major update in Rails 3.1. You can mount them at any path, embed assets, run generators and more. See how in this episode.

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#276 Testing Time & Web Requests

Mon, 25 Jul 2011 00:00:00 -0700

It can be difficult to test code that deals with the current time or an external web request. Here I show you how to do both using the Timecop and FakeWeb gems.

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#275 How I Test

Mon, 18 Jul 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Here I show how I would add tests to the password reset feature created in the previous episode. I use RSpec, Capybara, Factory Girl, and Guard to make request, model, and mailer specs.

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#274 Remember Me & Reset Password

Mon, 11 Jul 2011 00:00:00 -0700

It is easy to create authentication from scratch, but how do we extend it with more features? Here I add a "remember me" check box and a "forgotten password" link.

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#273 Geocoder

Mon, 04 Jul 2011 00:00:00 -0700

If you need to work with geographic data, Geocoder is an excellent gem for converting addresses and coordinates, finding nearby locations, determining distances, and more!

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#272 Markdown with Redcarpet

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Redcarpet is an easy-to-use gem which interprets Markdown. Here I show how to customize it and add syntax highlighting through Pygments and Albino.

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#271 Resque

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Resque creates background jobs using Redis. It supports multiple queue and comes with an administration interface for monitoring and managing the queues.

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#270 Authentication in Rails 3.1

Mon, 13 Jun 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Here I show off three new features in Rails 3.1 that will help with authentication: easier HTTP Basic, SecurePassword in the database, and forcing SSL.

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#269 Template Inheritance

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 00:00:00 -0700

In Rails 3.1 the controller inheritance also applies to the view layer. Here I show how to add an application template which is shared by all views, and a lookup path for overriding templates based on the subdomain.

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#268 Sass Basics

Mon, 30 May 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Sass extends CSS with variables, nesting, mixins and more. Here I show how to convert plain CSS to SCSS in a Rails 3.1 app.

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#267 CoffeeScript Basics

Mon, 23 May 2011 00:00:00 -0700

CoffeeScript allows you to write JavaScript in a concise, elegant fashion. Here I convert JavaScript code to CoffeeScript in a Rails 3.1 app.

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#266 HTTP Streaming

Mon, 16 May 2011 00:00:00 -0700

HTTP Streaming allows the browser to start processing the HTML response while the Rails app is still processing the rest of the request.

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#265 Rails 3.1 Overview

Mon, 09 May 2011 00:00:00 -0700

This is the first episode in a series covering Rails 3.1. Here I show how to install the beta and show some of the new features.

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#264 Guard

Mon, 02 May 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Guard watches files and runs a command after a file is modified. This allows you to automatically run tests in the background, restart your development server, reload the browser, and more.

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#263 Client Side Validations

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Showing validation errors inline as the user is filling out the form can lead to a better use experience. Learn how to do this using the Client Side Validations gem.

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#262 Trees with Ancestry

Mon, 18 Apr 2011 00:00:00 -0700

The Ancestry gem works like a tree but also allows us to fetch deeply nested messages in a single query. It provides a method to arrange them after fetching.

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#261 Testing JavaScript with Jasmine

Mon, 11 Apr 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Are you testing your JavaScript? Learn how to add specs using Jasmine. This episode also covers jQuery integration with jasmine-jquery.

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#260 Messaging with Faye

Mon, 04 Apr 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Faye is a subscription/publishing server which makes it easy to do push notifications within a Rails app.

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#259 Decent Exposure

Mon, 28 Mar 2011 00:00:00 -0700

The decent_exposure gem makes it convenient to share controller data with the view through methods instead of instance variables.

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#258 Token Fields

Mon, 21 Mar 2011 00:00:00 -0700

With the jQuery Tokeninput plugin it is easy to add an autocompleting list of entries for a many-to-many association.

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#257 Request Specs and Capybara

Mon, 14 Mar 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Request specs in RSpec are a great way to ensure the entire application stack is working properly. Here I also show how to use capybara with integrated JavaScript testing using Selenium.

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#256 I18n Backends

Mon, 07 Mar 2011 00:00:00 -0800

Internationalization is easy to add in Rails, but the YAML files can be difficult to manage. In this episode I show how to use Redis for managing the translations through a web interface.

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#255 Undo with Paper Trail

Mon, 28 Feb 2011 00:00:00 -0800

Undo and redo behavior is easy to add with a versioning gem such as Paper Trail. Learn how to add an undo link to any model's flash message.

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#254 Pagination with Kaminari

Mon, 21 Feb 2011 00:00:00 -0800

If you need pagination in Rails 3 try out Kaminari. It is a clean, flexible solution which uses scopes to flow nicely with Active Record queries. Did I mention it also works with Mongoid?

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#253 CarrierWave File Uploads

Mon, 14 Feb 2011 00:00:00 -0800

CarrierWave makes it easy and clean to add file uploads to your application. It supports a variety of ORMs, frameworks and image processors.

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#252 Metrics Metrics Metrics

Mon, 07 Feb 2011 00:00:00 -0800

Metric Fu, Metrical, SimpleCov, Rails Best Practices, and more are covered in this episode on metrics.

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#251 MetaWhere & MetaSearch

Mon, 31 Jan 2011 00:00:00 -0800

MetaWhere provides a way to do complex find conditions without SQL in Active Record. MetaSearch makes it easy to create search forms with many find options.

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#250 Authentication from Scratch

Mon, 24 Jan 2011 00:00:00 -0800

Password authentication is not too complicated to make from scratch, it will also help to get a better understanding of how it works.

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#249 Notifications in Rails 3

Mon, 17 Jan 2011 00:00:00 -0800

Rails 3 comes with instrument support through the ActiveSupport::Notifications class. Call "subscribe" to listen to notifications, and "instrument" to send them.

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#248 Offline Apps Part 2

Mon, 10 Jan 2011 00:00:00 -0800

Learn how to make a site usable offline with HTML 5 localStorage. This last part of the series covers jquery-tmpl and jquery-offline.

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#247 Offline Apps Part 1

Mon, 03 Jan 2011 00:00:00 -0800

Learn how to make a site usable offline through an HTML 5 cache manifest. This first part of the series covers rack-offline and problems you may run into.

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