3 Posts for June 2007

Crazy Days and Almost Haml 1.7

Posted June 25, 2007

Wow, has it been a crazy few days. My younger brother’s Bar Mitzvah was on Saturday. The whole family came from California, New England, and even Germany. Between catching up with folks I haven’t seen in years and talking to my grandfather1, I’ve barely had a moment to think since Thursday. So if you haven’t heard much from me in the past few days, that’s why2.

All the spare time I have had has been devoted either to tetris, or to fixing up bugs and adding features to Haml in preparation for version 1.7, which we’ll be releasing next Saturday.

1.7 is going to be very, very cool. Various features have been added such as snazzy helpers for creating HTML in Ruby that work (almost) as well as Haml, a way to nicely do stuff like “a:hover” in Sass, and finally adding a unary minus operator for SassScript.

Testing Controller Helpers

Posted June 15, 2007

As you may recall from my post yesterday, I’m working on a revision of the engine behind this blog. Most of the legwork is already done; I’ve pored over every line of code, making sure it’s as elegant and accurate as it can be. I’ve fixed the logo, which apparently renders wonkily on some computers. I’ve tightened up the UI for inline editing of comments and such. All good stuff. No new features yet (that comes next time), but the innards are much more beautiful.

So why not just upload it and sing glory? Tests. When I first wrote this thing, I didn’t get around to writing any tests to go with it. This is, as anyone involved in the development of stuff like this will tell you, a Bad Thing. So as part of the revision, I’m painstakingly testing every last action1 and helper method, which is taking some time.

I’m not actually using Rails’ default testing framework, which is based on the standard-library test/unit. Rather, I’m using RSpec, Ruby’s BDD testing framework2, along with its Rails extension and the Mocha mocking framework. I’m not actually fond of BDD, but RSpec still has numerous advantages. I don’t want to get into either of these issues right now, but you can count on seeing them in later entries.


Two Days at Microsoft

Posted June 13, 2007

As some folks already know, this summer I’ve got an internship at Microsoft. They’ve got me under all sorts of NDAs and confidentiality agreements, so I don’t know how much of what I’m working on I’m allowed to talk about, but suffice it to say that I’m working with the Office team on something pretty cutting-edge.

Microsoft stands in pretty stark contrast with the kind of Free Software stuff I do in my free time. I’m not even working with on a project under the Ms-PL. There are several reasons for this. The first is that I’m not enough of a Free Software zealot that I’d turn down the opportunity to work on something cool but closed (especially if I were to be paid). The second is that I think it’ll be an interesting lesson in culture to compare that of the monolithic and proprietary Microsoft with those of the FOSS community in general and the Ruby community that I’m most familiar with in particular.

Don’t worry, I fully intend to neither lose my love of freedom nor stop working on my various projects. I am allowed to contribute to open source projects as long as it’s not on company time and they don’t relate to what I’m doing for MS, and I’ll certainly continue doing so.