Tools
Git, for Real
David Keener just conducted an educational session on git for software developers and system engineers at General Dynamics Mission Systems. The slides will be published online in the next few weeks.
My Ruby Gems
I'm very pleased to see that the Ruby gems that I released into the wild are doing very well. Active Breadcrumbs has almost 11K downloads and Domain Name Validator has almost 5K downloads.
Working On a New SOLR Talk
I'm working with Jonathan Quigg on a new talk, "Security Strategies With a SOLR and Rails." We last spoke together at the GFIRST Cyber Security Conference in Atlanta, GA. This topic seems like a good follow-up to my "Rails and the Apache SOLR Search Engine' talk from RubyNation 2012.
Git Giggle External Link
Many thanks to Jonathan Quigg for pointing me towards Git Giggle, a UI tool that allows you to visually explore how a file in your Git repository has changed over time. Forget "git blame," this tool is much more informative.
Good XML Schema Validator External Link
The online XML Schema Validator from DecisionSoft has been excellent for validating XML files against an XML schema. Unlike most parsers, it also provides extremely useful error messages, which helps greatly in debugging.


Update: (2012/03/30) The company name and URL changed, so I have fixed the link.
Excellent Cucumber Resource External Link
David de Florinier and Gojko Adzic have done a great service by providing a free online book about Cucumber, a tool for Behavior Driven Development (BDD) that has become widely used in the Ruby, Java and .NET comunities. It's available in PDF form, or can be read online. Check it out today!
Getting Started With EngineYard External Link
This is a great tutorial video on how to get your first application (and virtual server) set up and configured properly with EngineYard hosting. It includes details on how to configure a deploy key with GitHub.
Twitter Problems
I just got "rate-limited" doing a search on Twitter for #RubyNation. This was the first time I've used Twitter in the past week because I've been busy with multiple projects. It's also, by extension, the first and only search I've done in the past week. I have to say that either Twitter's search is broken, or their algorithm for identifying people who need to be rate-limited is totally FUBAR.
Adobe Connect Pro Class
I'm currently in MetroStar's Adobe Connect Pro class, with instructor John Zeno Gianopoulis. It's a very nice communication tool, and it's being heavily used by MetroStar's education division.
Awesome Computer Accessories External Link
Here are some great, steampunk computer accessories. Totally pointless, but amazingly different in a bizarre sort of way. Must see it to believe it.
Votridea.com Launches!
My team's been working for months now on the Votridea Online Video Contest Platform, and it just soft-launched today. The platform can do video and photo contests, is cloud-based, fully-scalable and robust since it's based on the real-world experiences we got running international contests for the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Great Stats About Google External Link
This link shows some really interesting info graphs about Google. It shows just what an Internet behemoth Google has become.
MetroStar Launches Votridea Contest Platform External Link
My company, MetroStar Systems, just a launched a new product called Votridea. It's a contest platform, generalized from our ExchangesConnect online video contest, that can foster brand awareness, build social communities and promote innovation.
Git is Great for Branches
I've been using git pretty heavily lately. The commands are a little wonky to learn, but once you've mastered a core set, distributed software revision control becomes a snap. I'm particularly impressed with how smoothly git manages branches and synchronization. I remember how painful that was in Subversion (and CVS).
AWStats Now Working
Finally got AWStats working for this blog site. I've already got SiteMeter (the free version), which provides one view of the site's traffic, but it will be interesting to contrast this with the more detailed view provided by AWStats.
Finding Good Twitter Lists External Link
Twitter just recently added a feature that allows users to organize the people they're following into meaningful lists. However, Twitter doesn't really provide a way for users to search for interesting lists. When Wini Tse asked me how to find good lists, I quickly discovered the Listorious site. Check it out, they did a nice job on the site.
Check out the Huge Multi-Touch, Multi-User Touch Wall External Link
Schematic is a design group that has created a multi-touch, multi-user touch wall for Cannes. To picture it, just think of multiple iPhone apps running on a large wall screen at the same time and supporting many users in an impressive, graphically intense fashion. Very cool stuff. Click on the title to view a video.
Just Finished iPhone SDK Training
Dave Keener just completed Pragmatic Studio's "iPhone SDk" training course, held in Reston, VA this week. "Highly recommended for those who are serious about embarking into the realm of iPhone application development," stated David Keener. The course covered the SDK, some fundamentals of Objective C, development tools (XCode and other tools), and various Cocoa Touch capabilities. The class was taught by Bill Dudney and Daniel Steinberg.
iPhone Alumni


Subversion Branching and Merging External Link
This blog entry by Ned Batchelder is basically the best article I've seen on branching and merging using Subversion.
Merging Branches in Subversion
In Voxant's codebase today, I had to merge a branch back into the trunk. As a recent converter to Subversion, this was new to me, so I went looking in the Blogosphere to find out how to do the merge effectively. I came across this nice blog entry from Eleutian Technology:

How to Branch Properly.

Winning an iPod Touch
I just won the new 8GB iPod Touch at an AOL offsite event (for best team scores in bowling if you can believe it). Within 8 hours, I had it filled with music, i.e. - more than 700 songs. Truly an impressive device ... expect some posts about it later.