Scout, our server monitoring service, has grown quite a bit in 2009.
Scout, our server monitoring service, has grown quite a bit in 2009.
It hurts - it feels like giving up. You’re stuck on a problem and do the last thing that makes sense - stop thinking about it. And the minute you forgot about the problem the solution comes into focus. Sometimes it’s a shower, for others it’s a long walk or playing a video game.
Andre, Charles, and myself leave for RailsConf Thursday.
Scout, our server monitoring and application, is now available for public consumption.
We’ve used Scout for several months internally. Along with Colloquy, Google Docs, Basecamp, and Skitch, it’s one of the few apps I use every day.
We thought you’d like Scout - but we didn’t expect to reach our 100 account limit in about an hour and a half.
Andre and I will be at SF Beta tonight demoing PlaceShout, our short-form local reviews service.
We’re using Scout, our monitoring and reporting application, to graph the performance of our Rails applications and servers.
Better = more work. Tools that “make better easier” are rare.
We’re working on our subscription plans for Scout. While working on the plans,
we took a look at what other subscription-based services are charging for access.
Tracking the results of your blatant self-promotion campaign can be a time-consuming effort. You might be using Google Analytics for web traffic and FeedBurner for blog subscribers. You’re probably checking link referrals. You’re querying the database for usage statistics (user signups, logins, etc.), etc.
When something bad happens you want to find out about it as quickly as possible.
I’ve been researching ways to consolidate bank account information into a single, automatically updating view. There are a couple of new web-based options - most notably Wesabe and Mint - but those have a consumer focus. I’m more interested in viewing trends in our business - a real-time financial dashboard.
I’ve added 2 videos to the Scout homepage - they demonstrate 3 things:
One issue we face with PlaceShout, our short-form local reviews site, is that many of the shoutouts may not be relevant to you. If you haven’t been to Nihon in San Francisco, you can’t agree or disagree with Natasha’s shoutout: “Swanky whiskey bar/restaurant. Food was good-small plate Japanese and sushi”.
In just 4 years, Detroit Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski turned one of the worst franchises in professional sports into one of the best. I thought this portion of a recent Detroit Free Press column really summed up why:
Last week, I had the single best neighborhood cafe experience of my life. Amazing service. Gorgeous interior. Spotless. Plenty of unhidden power outlets. A luxurious back patio. Reasonable prices.
This American Life recently profiled Harold Washington, the first black mayor of Chicago. The episode featured one of the most stiring sound bites in my recent memory - a portion of a debate that served as Washington’s coming-out party. It was easy to imagine myself listening to the minute-long segment on the radio and knowing instantly that whether I liked it our not, this longshot is going to win.
Andre and I recently finished the initial launch of Placeshout’s Facebook application. There are several “getting started” tutorials available on building Facebook applications with Ruby on Rails, but there were quite a few issues we ran into that are beyond a “How To” blog entry.
There’s a very easy way to ensure that your project won’t be quoted by a quality, not-starving-for-work web development firm: make the firm sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before you provide an overview of the project.
Sometimes our Ruby on Rails apps work perfectly with test data, but when they go to production, errors creep in. Debugging errors on a production server is a pain and a bit dangerous.
At the Bovine Bakery in Point Reyes Station, CA, there’s a custom shelf on the wall that holds a collection of coffee cups. I thought it was a nice decoration, but then I read the posted notes - people can leave a coffee cup and use it instead of a throw-away paper cup. It’s a win for the Bovine Bakery, the environment, and the Point Reyes community.
Recently I moved from San Mateo to San Francisco. Like any move, it involved a couple phone calls to utility companies.
If you’re like me and have been putting off RESTful routing in Rails (in other words - the future), checkout Andre Lewis and his presentation on RESTful routes at Thursday’s Silicon Valley Ruby on Rails Meetup.
1. Java hearts Ruby
I’ve been lucky enough to work on many client projects that make me (and my friends) generally excited. Blurb, a client of ours and a recently launched Ruby on Rails application, is one of those projects.
There’s plenty of ways to scope and develop a web application. But frankly, it’s not that different than planning and implementing any other type of project. A recent San Francisco Chronicle article looked at Chicago and how rapidly the city moves on urban initiatives compared to San Francisco. The similarities between Chicago’s city planning philosophy and agile software development are uncanny.
Using a subdomain as an account key is a great way to personalize a web application. Rails has a nifty plugin written just for this, but the implementation information is a bit scattered. Here’s a step-by-step guide for implementing, testing, and simulating this powerful feature.
Microsoft has declared victory over J2EE, and is now setting their sites on Ruby on Rails.
Salesforce, the large Customer Relationship Management tool, and Ruby on Rails, the elegant web development framework, seem like an awkward pair. About as awkward as dipping a Wendy’s french fry in a frosty.
Realizing that hitting “talk” on my phone dialed the previous number. Figuring out that the arrow next to my fuel gauge showed which side the car fuel door is on. Tab completion.
A couple of times a month, I’ll have a “wow - that’s so useful and so simple” moment. One of the first times I experienced that with Ruby was with
Metaprogramming is your secret identical twin that likes doing all of the things you don’t. Need to take out the trash? Just tell your twin. Need to program in Java? Send your twin an email.
Heartbeat is a single-web page control panel that lets you run any rake task within your application’s directory, from deployment to tests to migrations. If you can write a rake task, Heartbeat can execute it! Additionally, you can use it to monitor the uptime of your URLs.
Auto-Complete is a great tool when it provides possible results BEFORE you finish typing. Unfortunately, using Rails’s included AJAX helpers to query the database as you type often results in a large delay before matches are returned.
Another San Francisco Ruby Meetup. Another record-breaking attendance mark (has any Ruby group in the world brought together more than 110 people?).
Atlanta Technology Executive (and recent friend) Scott Burkett blogged recently on what Atlanta can do to emulate the entrepreneurial environment of Silicon Valley. Having lived in both areas, I’ve had a chance to meet and work with many remarkable entrepreneurs.
We love Ruby on Rails - since 2005, all of our applications have used the web framework. But we don’t enjoy deploying Rails applications.