Dave Schweisguth in a Bottle

How many meanings of that can you think of?

How I spent my working vacation

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While at Fandor (still the finest independent and international film streaming service) I had almost no time for personal projects, but I did manage to write a few blog posts on Fandor’s late engineering blog, “Behind the Fan Door” (as my Fandor doppelgänger, fandave). These fit the best with my own interests and the rest of this blog:

Also, the idea of data testing is interesting, although its context in that post is less so. And, for completeness, here’s every single one.

[2017 update: “Behind the Fan Door” is gone, so I’ve replaced links to it with links to archived copies on my own site. Links in the copies are, unfortunately, mostly broken.]

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Written by dschweisguth

March 2, 2014 at 08:31

Posted in Programming, Testing

Scattered sightings

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While waiting for another message in a bottle to drift your way from this blog, you might want to check out Behind the Fan Door, where Fandor‘s engineering team — of which I am one — relates our experiences with Ruby and Rails and other things while bringing you fine independent and international films on line.

Written by dschweisguth

September 12, 2011 at 20:05

Posted in Uncategorized

Essential reading for the modern programmer

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Software is a uniquely plastic medium, and the practice of software development changes constantly and quickly. All software engineers are self-taught; even the college-trained learn most of their trade on the job. Though we learn by doing and by watching others and studying their work, I’ve found that reading has consistently been the most powerful way I can understand what I’m doing and learn new methods. So I’m constantly recommending to colleagues one book or another, hoping that they’ll get from it the same value that I did.

To make that easier, here’s a list I’ve been meaning to put together for a long time, of books and other writings that have been essential in shaping my practice of programming. Well-read programmers will find few surprises here, but can be sure that any of these that they’ve missed will be worth their time.

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Written by dschweisguth

July 16, 2011 at 23:04

Posted in Programming

Upgrading GWW from Ruby 1.8.7 to Ruby 1.9.2 and RVM

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Having already upgraded GWW from Rails 1 to Rails 2 and then Rails 3, the last step to bring it fully up to date was to upgrade to Ruby 1.9.2. It wasn’t difficult, but it took enough puzzling out to be worth writing down, and I even found a regression in Ruby.

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Written by dschweisguth

June 3, 2011 at 16:12

Posted in Programming, Rails, Ruby

Succinct specs for Rails named routes

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I like all of my routes tested, and I like all of my routes named, and I like all of my named routes tested. I even like to test my RESTful routes; even though it feels a bit like testing Rails, it more than paid for itself when migrating to Rails 3. How, then, to spec a named route succinctly?

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Written by dschweisguth

May 11, 2011 at 08:48

Posted in Programming, Rails, Ruby, Testing

Rails’ named routes considered helpful

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The current Rails best practice is to use RESTful routes. One nice thing about a RESTful route is that it comes with a name. Similarly, :member and :collection routes are automatically named. But sometimes you need a plain old arbitrary route, which you can then name or not as you wish. It may seem like overkill to give every route a name, especially if the route is referred to infrequently in templates. But there’s another place where you’re virtually guaranteed to need that named route again: in tests.

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Written by dschweisguth

May 11, 2011 at 08:36

Posted in Programming, Rails, Ruby, Testing

Do dynamic languages need more tests than static languages?

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Recently I made an error in a Ruby program (a Rails application) that I wouldn’t have been able to make in a Java program. I renamed a model method manually — because another class had a method with the same name, and RubyMine’s Rename Method refactoring would have renamed both methods — and although I renamed the method itself and uses of the method in the model object’s spec, I missed uses of the method in a controller and mocks of it in the controller’s spec. All of the tests passed, but the application broke. “Gee,” I thought, “if I’d had to compile everything first, that couldn’t have happened.”

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Written by dschweisguth

May 2, 2011 at 18:09

Posted in Programming, Testing