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Showing posts from August, 2010

Rails: reset_session and Webrat Don't Play Nicely with One Another

All the Rails security guides say that you should call reset_session after the user logs in or logs out. This clears out the session and forces a new session ID to be created. It seems there have been a few Rails bugs related to reset_session over the years.

In my login action, I call reset_session and then put a nice message in flash. When I actually use the website, I can see (via Firefox) that I'm getting a new session ID, and I can see my flash message. However, when I write tests for those two things, the flash message gets lost, and I don't get a new session ID in my cookies. It's almost as if the new session is being ignored, and the old session is being used.

I submitted a bug to Webrat about this, but it turns out it's an issue in Rails. This issue is present in version 2.3.8. If this is affecting you, there's a workaround here. I implemented the workaround, and it worked like a charm :)

Ruby: Blooger

I needed some sample code for an interview, so I built a website called Blooger. It's a site (like Blogger) where people can go create a blog to blog about their booger stories. It even has functioning Atom feeds :)

Here's the source code. I used Cucumber, RSpec, Webrat, and factory_girl to do behavior driven development. I used Authlogic for authentication. I used BlueCloth for Markdown support in order to format the blog posts. The README in the source has more details.

Books: Programming Scala

I just finished reading Programming Scala. In short, I really liked it.

The first few chapters are breathtakingly fast. Some of the middle chapters are kind of slow, but are still worthwhile. Scala is a fairly large language (unlike, say, Scheme or C), and the book is a fairly dense 400 pages. I found it helpful to read slowly and take notes.

As for Scala itself, I really like it! Scala is a nice mix of Java, C#, Erlang, Haskell, Ruby, and Smalltalk. You can treat it as a "better Java", or you can treat it as a more enterprise-friendly Haskell. Either way, it's exactly what I was looking for: a language with reasonable syntax, an ML type system, and a decent set of real world libraries. I know that the Haskell community is working hard in this direction as well. I think Scala stands a very good chance at being a work-friendly, programmer-friendly language.

I'm a little afraid that its type system may be too large and too complex for a lot of programmers. To b…

Personal: Looking for Work

I'm looking for a new job. As much as I've enjoyed my time at my current company, I'd like to move on to something new.I'd like to give Scala a shot, if possible. For the last year, I've been doing Ruby on Rails, and before that I was doing Python. I've been learning Scala in preparation of making the transition.I'm only looking at companies in San Francisco or the East Bay.I prefer behavior driven development and really clean code. I'm really bad at working on sloppy code bases with no tests and no documentation.I prefer Linux.I have a predilection toward startups.Here's my resume. Thanks!