Thursday, July 17, 2008

Use blank fixtures for Bj tables when testing with Bj

I have an integration test where I need to test a web process that starts a background process with Ara T Howard's awesomely named Bj plugin (Background Job - but never has overhearing talk about Rails testing cause so many funny looks and stifled laughs).

I found some great notes here: which show how to wait for a job to finish during a test.

One problem I ran into, though, was that I somehow had a bad job that got stuck in the testing database table, and that was messing up testing results because Bj would wake up during the test, see the old bad job, and resubmit it. It took a while to track that down.

I fixed it by simply putting blank fixtures in test/fixtures for each of the Bj tables: bj_config, bj_job, and bj_job_archive. That way Bj starts from a blank slate when each test starts. There's a Bj protip for you. Another one is to watch the Bj logs for the test environment.

Monday, July 14, 2008

360's coming, did you bring your coat?

So Tom and John have really been putting on the pressure to blog, so here I am! Finally blogging!

I'm going to be at 360 Flex in San Jose on August 17th (register at, and if you're new to that conference, you should definitely think about going. 360 is more fun than a lot of other conferences I've been to in the past because of the close-knit community and the effort that Tom and John put into making the event work smoothly and fun for everyone.

I'm going to be speaking about my perennial topic, Flex and Rails, this time with more focus on RubyAMF and getting things connected. I'm also lucky enough to be presenting on Data Visualization with Juan Sanchez of fame, a friend and colleague. We're going to try to put on a good show for you guys, so, we'll see you there right?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

UIRC scores Iron Man Interview

Ok, maybe not with Iron Man himself, but close. The User Interface Resource Center, (UIRC) which is sponsored by my company EffectiveUI, has a great interview up with Kent Seki, the designer in charge of visualizations and HUDs for the Iron Man movie.

Not only is this a great interview, but I like the way the UIRC is approaching talking about UIs. This interview and another one a little bird told me is coming up are some great cross-cutting looks into people who think hard about designing innovative interfaces.