Well folks, it’s been a long road, nearly a year since I presented the idea for «Distributed Programming with Ruby» to Obie Fernandez in a hot tub in Florida, but finally my book is done, dusted, back from the printers and available for purchase from a variety of places, include Amazon.com! It was an absolutely amazing experience and I can’t thank everyone involved with the project enough for all of their help, guidance, and having to put up with me over the past year.

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At work recently we had a need to build a large Rails application that we then wanted to, for lack of a better word, subclass. Unfortunately there is no real good way of doing that. Rails Engines and templates have way too may limitations. We wanted to bundle up the entire Rails app (models, controllers, views, routes, migrations, configurations, libs, assets, etc… everything!), but there was no good way of doing that.

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So with my book, Distributed Programming with Ruby, finally finished, and a nice long weekend I was able to sit down and work on a little pet project of mine. I decided to work on a little site that I could use to track my rather large Pez collection. (Yes, I know, I collect Pez - so what!) While working on it I got to use some new technologies that I really haven’t had a chance to play, so I thought I would talk a bit about some of the ones I liked the most.

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The latest version of Apple Push Notifications on Rails (APN on Rails) has been released. This release brings a few bug fixes, a new migration, and Feedback processing. Installing/upgrading is easy: $ sudo gem install apn_on_rails $ ruby script/generate apn_migrations $ rake db:migrate It’s important to always run the migrations generator after each update to get the latest database schema needed for the the gem. To use the new Feedback integration you have to first make sure that you update the new last_registered_at column when your iPhone application calls home.

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I’m now entering the home stretch of writing the Distributed Programming with Ruby book. I’m just a few weeks away, well, technically I’m hours away from finishing the last chapter (Delayed Job) in the official table of contents, however, I’m going to add another chapter and a half. Why? Mostly because I’m a glutton for punishment. That and I want to deliver the best book possible. The extra chapter and a half, not featured in the table of contents below, will be on MapReduce technologies.

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The other night I submitted a new iPhone application to the Apple Store. The app, which I’ll speak about when, and if it gets approved, uses the new Apple Push Notification service available in iPhone OS 3.0. On the server side I have a Rails application that I am using to send the notifications to Apple. The problem I ran into was how. Enter the APN on Rails gem. While searching I found one plugin for Rails that mostly worked for me, Sam Soffes’ apple_push_notification plugin.

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Recently I was sent a survey from the college I attended, the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts. In the survey I was asked a question about what I’ve done in the field of music, that’s what my degree is in, since I’ve graduated. I typed up a rather long winded answer to the question and afterwards I thought it was actually thought it was an interesting commentary on the recording industry.

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For those of you who have checked out the Rough Cuts version of my book, «Distributed Programming with Ruby», I thought you would like to get a peek into how the Table of Contents is going to change shortly. For those of you who haven’t seen the old Table of Contents, or are just plain old interested to see what’s going to be in the book, or to see how far along with the book I am, here is the current Table of Contents as of tonight:

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After more than two years powering production level applications I found that Cachetastic was starting to get a bit long in the tooth. I felt that there was a lot I could to make Cachetastic an even better library than it already was. I thought that I had added a bunch of cruft to the framework that people were just not using and maintaining it all seemed like a bit of a pointless chore.

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Hey there folks, I know it’s been awhile, so I thought I would give you all a very quick update as to how the book is going. It’s going really well. I’m about 100 pages into it, and it’s shaping up very nicely. Addison-Wesley is preparing to put it into their «Rough Cuts» program so you can all get your dirty little hands on what I’ve written so far as early as a few weeks from now, or so I’m told.

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