Writing Awesome CLI Tools in Ruby: Part II

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This is Part II of my series on writing awesome CLI (command line interface) tools using ruby (Part I). In the first part I described how to create your project layout, add an executable binary, and get started. In this next part I will cover:

  • How to structure your code to be usable as both a tool and a library
  • Building your CLI frontend to your library.

Using Photoshop CC to Automatically Generate Web Graphics

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Adobe Generator App Icon

Let’s face it, creating web graphics takes time and is often tedious, especially if you have to slice images from detailed web page layouts. Sometimes it’s even necessary to copy and paste graphics from a Photoshop layout into a new Photoshop document just so you can isolate graphics and save for web. Recently I began experimenting with creating web graphics automatically from Photoshop layers using the new Adobe Generator feature, which was released in Photoshop CC version 14.1 (to check your version launch Photoshop and go to the menu and select Photoshop/About Photoshop and this will open a panel that includes the version number). When Generator is turned on it will monitor the file you’re working on and generate web graphics based on how you name layers. The cool thing is that as you continue to work in Photoshop and make changes Generator will automatically update assets.

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?

Tip and tricks for learning a new code base

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As a consultant, approaching new code bases is something that happens every day. As exciting as it sounds however, working on many different projects can be really tough. This is because in many occasions we are not provided with all the details that we need, but we just requested to fix something that is broken.

What makes these tasks difficult is that the data and code structures can be very large and not very intuitive. Also, it might not be clear who holds the knowledge on them, or in some cases the knowledge can be even lost; for example being held by people who left the company.

Generating Static Pages with Rails

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When working on Filedart we wanted some statically served pages, but to use our site template(s) to have them fit the look and feel. Updating our site’s assets (javascript, css, images, etc) should be easy to update in our static pages as well. Here is a brief overview of how I made this happen.

Of Darts and Buckets

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Web Services

Recently, I had the opportunity to work on an exciting in-house project for Grio called Filedart.  This service, which will launch in the near future, affords the denizens of the web the ability to effortlessly upload content to the cloud by dragging photos or files to a small icon in their taskbar.  After the file is uploaded by the client, the service automatically copies a mini-fied URL to the client’s clipboard.  This URL leads to a brand-new, public web hosting wrapper for that file that they can easily distribute to their friends of colleagues to share.  The service is free, and users don’t even have to log-in to use it.

How to create a rake cron job in Heroku

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A few weeks ago I had to deal with setting up a cron job that periodically updated some db tables of a Ruby on Rails application running on Heroku. Here’s a brief step-by-step tutorial to make your life easier in case you were approaching the same task.