SQL & NOSQL: A Brief History

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The Relational Model & SQL

The relational model was proposed in a paper published in 1970 by Edgar Codd, a computer scientist working at IBM. In previous years, some storage systems had already emerged, but the relational model was first proposed with a strong theoretical basis.

Bundler Bulkheads for Rails on Docker

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As part of my exploration of a minimum set of devops tools, I’ve been learning how to stack containers full of Rails apps onto the Docker. There are plenty of examples of how to get started with Rails and Postgres on Docker, even one from the whale’s mouth, as it were. Working from this example, it was pretty clear to me that one of Docker’s major strengths is that it makes it really, really easy to get something running with a minimum of fuss; it took all of about a half day to learn enough Docker to hoist anchor, and even tweak a few things to my liking. One thing kept nagging me about the Docker example, though, and that was a warning from bundler when running docker-compose.

Twelve-Factor Apps and Containers

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In the past we would often treat a server as a machine which has a variety of roles. A single server may be responsible for serving web content, email, processing background jobs, and even hosting a database system. Your application is really only one of the many things that runs on that machine.

Keep Your App on the Rails with BDD – Part 1

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A common way to describe requirements on Agile projects is through the use of user story mapping, and, as a result, user stories. This post will not cover this process, but rather the process of taking an existing set of user stories and leveraging them within our development workflow to ensure that an application is built as accurately and efficiently as possible. To this effect, we will set up tools (Rails, RSpec, Capybara, FactoryGirl, and Guard, to be precise) for implementing our app using behavior-driven development. Structuring our app in this way gives us much better odds of producing robust, low-defect code that delivers on the requirements we set out to build.

Android Tip: adb reverse

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I work from all over the place: Home, on public transit, the office, coffee shops, etc.

A big challenge to developing android apps in an environment where my laptop and phone are on different networks (wifi vs. LTE, or laptop tethered through phone) is the inability for my phone to see the API server that is often running locally on my laptop. Here is a simple tip to allow your phone to hit the backend over ADB and a usb cable.

Drinking The Koolixir – Part 2

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To get a better handle on Erlang’s behavior, I decided to install a popular set of tools for debugging and performance profiling: EPER. I think it stands for “Erlang PERformance tools”, but it could also mean “Everything Proves Erlang Rules” or “Egrets Prefer to Eat Robots” or really anything for that matter. One thing is for certain, however: getting these tools built and running on Mac OS X was fraught with danger and build errors.

HOWTO: Status Check for a Website Database

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Many people know about services that allow you to ping your website to be sure it’s always online. The idea behind those is that they check every 5/10 mins sending a GET request to the given website and if they get an answer 200 they send you an email.

Meteor

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For the past year, I’ve been working mainly with AngularJS and before that Ruby on Rails. I’ve never heard of Meteor until a few weeks ago. I am intrigued by the idea of tightly connecting the client and server together in a synergistic manner that allows for fast responsiveness, which is what Meteor is all about. I decided to go through Meteor’s tutorial online and get a feel for why the framework differentiates itself from other current technologies. From a very high level perspective, Meteor is a very good solution for quickly building an application from the ground up and provides some cool features out of the box.

Performance Tuning in Grails 2.4.x: Part 1

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Over the weekend I made performance optimizations to an internal web app that we use for time tracking and invoicing. The app runs on tomcat and is built using grails 2.4.2. Grails 2.4 included some major changes including asset pipelining. This is the first time I’ve tuned a grails app, and I had to do quite a bit of web crawling in order to find my way. I thought I would share some of the helpful tips I encountered, parts of the configuration I used, as well as some dead ends that could waste your time.

Your Own Mini-Heroku on AWS

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Heroku
is one of those really great tools to help you get started fast with hosting. They support a variety of stacks and save you blood, sweat and tears when it comes to deploying an app. But what about those times where you need to mess with filesystems or have custom binaries that you want to run? How about just having more control of your servers?