Sunday, June 24, 2012

NBC Nightly News features Detroit

I make a very brief appearance around the 1:40 mark. A cool feature piece for other reasons too!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Birthright: Flint, Michigan

Flint's downtown as captured on May 22, 2012. Thanks for the shot, Luke.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Digging for Gems

I've been working on a project the last three weeks for a dev shop out of San Francisco. A lot of the work has been adding additional features to an already completed site, and it's been an enjoyable project. It's nice to see completed work, and I'm able to learn a lot when following someone else's code and picking up on new techniques I haven't seen before. For example, the Ruby if-statement on one line:
foo_bar.present? ? puts "foo" : puts "bar"
Beyond just exposing new syntax, this project has also turned up plenty of new gems to add to the toolbox. A few of my favorites:
  • friendly_id - take out the ugly Rails routes that include ids and instead use the blog posts' titles, for example
  • carrierwave - easy file uploads
  • rmagick - resize images
  • feedzirra - pull in a RSS feed and parse the data into blog titles, url, blog author, blog content, etc.
  • sanitize/htmlentities - strip out any html or harmful content
Working on this project, I've found that I continue to come across stuff in the code that puts me back in the Gemfile and researching the various gems. Which got me thinking - why can't I upload a Gemfile that then spits out a nicely organized list of the gems, a short summary of the gem, their github repos, their ruby gems page, and any railscasts tutorials that exist?