The internet changes everything. This truism is oft-ignored at the peril of entire industries. Time and again, we watch as the entertainment sector tries to legislate the luxury to keep its head in the sand (season finale coming 2012). Meanwhile, the writing on the wall screams of a rosy future complete with ubiquitous delivery of physical and non-physical goods. Clearly, it is a matter of time before showrooms become the future of retail. Keep reading »

In response to this experiment from a couple of years ago.

I often wonder about when it’s appropriate to use helpers or partials in Rails. There’s the ideological question (answered well in this post).

However, there’s also a performance question. You can’t help but feel that helpers are better when you see things like this in your logs:

Rendered selections/_list_item.html.erb (11.5ms)
Rendered selections/_frame.html.erb (17.0ms)
Rendered selections/_list_item.html.erb (0.3ms)
Rendered selections/_frame.html.erb (2.2ms)
Rendered selections/_list_item.html.erb (0.2ms)
Rendered selections/_frame.html.erb (2.0ms)
...and so on when you are rendering a lot of partials

Keep reading »

The Scariest Bug

Dec 19th 2011 by Tom Coleman

The scariest bug is the bug you can’t reproduce

Disclaimer: I’ve never worked at NASA, or designed guidance systems for ICBMs, or even worked on a product mission critical to people’s workflows; so don’t expect the potential consequences of this bug to scare you quite as much unless you, like me, develop user facing web applications.

Just about the worst possible side effect

After wrapping up the main development phase of our latest release. Zol stumbled upon a bug that transformed one person into another. Somehow we managed to create a super bug that would allow you to shape shift. Wonderful and frightening all at once.

What he was supposed to see

What he did see

Simply by hitting refresh on the bindle pictured above, in a blink of an eye, he was me: able to comment, post bindles, and generally live it up. (As you can see I have admin rights as well, so his potential for mischief was high!)

Needless to say the discovery of this bug a few days before our release was more than a little scary; having a normal user suddenly find themselves logged in as an admin user simply by viewing a random bindle is a dangerous scenario. Keep reading »

Why Bindle?

Aug 30th 2011 by Tom Coleman

We believe in companies talking about what motivates them every day. This honesty is what we like to read and what we hope to continue with this blog.

Minimalist Materialism

To put it simply: own the right stuff.

Materialism is often presented in a negative light. It’s been associated with unnecessary spending and waste: buying things for the pleasure of it, rather than need for the item.

Certainly it’s an inclination which has manifested badly historically, but it does have some basis in our primal needs. We own things to function in our day-to-day lives; for most it’s not feasible to have a life without any possessions.

So where to from materialism? If the idea of being without possessions is not realistic, must we head in the opposite direction? Alternatively, people have agitated for what can be described as minimalist materialism. Keep reading »

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