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craft of software development

January 2008 Archives

2008, a new year

Posted by Marty Haught on Jan 01, 2008Comments

I’m looking forward to 2008. It’s not that 2007 has been bad, quite the contrary on a personal level. However, I feel 2008 is going to be even more exciting for me than 2007 was.

First, I’ve formed my own business corporation for software consulting, Haught Consulting Inc. This is a big deal as in the past I’ve either consulted for another company or did side consulting on a simple Schedule C. The new business will let me go beyond just 1099s. It’s also exciting to know that I’m functioning professionally on a completely different level. I have the confidence that I could actually run my own company and be successful. I couldn’t have said the same thing with confidence even just two years ago.

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3-2-1 Launch

Posted by Marty Haught on Jan 31, 2008Comments

I have been finding myself thinking about Hashrocket’s (Obie’s new company) new offering called 3-2-1 Launch. It’s a fascinating idea to sell a short block of focused development to a client to kick start their new project for a fixed price.

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Boulder Ruby's Radiant meeting

Posted by Marty Haught on Jan 18, 2008Comments

Just a couple days ago the Boulder Ruby Group held their monthly meeting focusing on Radiant. Even though it was a really cold night in Boulder hovering in the single digits, we had all of our regulars at the meeting. It was a shame not too many others made it out as I thought the talks were really great on learning about Radiant. Sean Cribbs and Loren Johnson tagged team the first part of the meeting focusing on Radiant’s core, mission and uses. Even though I’m on the mailing list and know Radiant fairly decently, I learned several new tidbits. I also think those in attendance got some out of it as I know Tony Arcieri created a new Radiant site during the meeting. How cool is that!

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Builder output

Posted by Marty Haught on Jan 22, 2008Comments

I ran into a strange issue recently when outputting a table row constructed through Builder::XmlMarkup. We noticed as the output of our markup had an extra tag at the end. While you can guess what this is, how it was happening what a bit more mysterious as we’ve used Builder before and hadn’t seen this extra tag. As you may know Builder will create xml tags based on the methods you invoke on it, which is really cool. When we include the Builder object in a double-quoted string the to_s method was called on our behalf that appended the extra tag. The solution wasn’t all that difficult to figure out once you read the Builder rdoc but I hadn’t seen mention of this technique in other tutorials on Builder. The target! method will get you the output you need without appending any other tags.

Consulting Panel

Posted by Marty Haught on Jan 19, 2008Comments

I’m looking forward to this month’s Derailed meeting. They’ll be holding a panel on consulting. Most of the questions are purely business related but it’s a reality that a good number of us Rails programmers share. If you’ll be in the Denver area on January 24th and are interested in knowing more about running a business as an independent consultant, I’d recommend you drop in.

Knowing what you want

Posted by Marty Haught on Jan 23, 2008Comments

I really enjoyed Jeff Patton’s latest blog post about agile development. This is something that I’ve known intuitively but have never seen it articulated so clearly. I’m not sure if my spidey sense would go off with a comment like this “We know what we want. Can you estimate how long it will take to build?”. I know that while this is their current view of what they want, undoubtedly it will change as the team starts to flesh it out. I will, however, feel quite comfortable saying you don’t need to know all the details but we’ll still need some guidance as to paint as much of a picture as we can of the story. Thanks for the tip Jeff. I’m now going to internalize this and see how things go.

Werewolf vs Settlers

Posted by Marty Haught on Jan 01, 2008Comments

Many of you that know me, know I’m a long-time gamer. I’ve played all sort of games from classic Dungeons & Dragons and other role-playing games (Travelers, Star Frontiers, Champions, Hero, Gurps, White Wolf’s Werewolf and some custom systems) to CCG such as Magic: The Gathering to various computer-based games (The Universal Military Simulator, Sim City, Civilization, X-wing, many FPS, RTS, MMORPG, etc) to a slew of board games (Monopoly, Risk, Axis and Allies, Dungeon, Rails, etc) to more classic games such as checkers, chess, poker, spades, bridge, etc. You get the idea, I know games. :)

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YUI 4 Rails

Posted by Marty Haught on Jan 12, 2008Comments

I wanted to make a quick announcement that I’ve started up a new project on RubyForge for YUI widget integration into Rails. Andy and I will be extracting this plugin in the coming weeks so stay tuned. You can find the project here: