Sunday, December 07, 2014

Grunt-based JavaScript CodeShip build

I have been playing around with CodeShip lately. I really like it! Here's what I'm doing for Grunt-based builds on CodeShip, running the Jasmine specifications on Karma with PhantomJS.

Setup Commands

gem install compass
nvm install 0.10.33
nvm use 0.10.33
npm install
npm install -g grunt-cli
npm install -g bower
bower install

Test Commands

grunt test

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Creating a Rails 4.1 app using JRuby

Notes around creating a Rails 4.1.8 application on JRuby

Creating application

Using RVM to manage my rubies.

rvm use jruby-
gem install rails
rails new .

Configuring Rails app for PostgreSQL and JDBC

Add the following to the Gemfile.

gem 'activerecord-jdbcpostgresql-adapter'

Also add the following towards the top of the Gemfile.
ruby '1.9.3', :engine => 'jruby', :engine_version => ''

My Gemfile as it currently stands:

source ''

ruby '1.9.3', :engine => 'jruby', :engine_version => ''

gem 'rails', '4.1.8'
gem 'activerecord-jdbcpostgresql-adapter'
gem 'sass-rails', '~> 4.0.3'
gem 'uglifier', '>= 1.3.0'
gem 'coffee-rails', '~> 4.0.0'
gem 'therubyrhino'
gem 'jquery-rails'
gem 'turbolinks'
gem 'jbuilder', '~> 2.0'
gem 'sdoc', '~> 0.4.0', group: :doc
gem 'puma'

Configuring database.yml

Set up your databases environments, similar to what I have here:

default: &default
  adapter: jdbcpostgresql
  encoding: unicode

  <<: *default
  host: localhost
  database: foobar_development
  username: postgres
  password: postgres

  <<: *default
  host: localhost
  database: foobar_test
  username: postgres
  password: postgres

  <<: *default
  host: localhost
  database: foobar_production
  username: postgres
  password: postgres

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Exposing PostgreSQL on vagrant to host OS

I've been working with vagrant lately on a Ruby project and I wanted to the ability to view the PostgreSQL database on the vagrant image through DbVisualizer on my OS X system. This is quite easy to set up in PostgreSQL and vagrant.
  1. Add a port forwarding entry to your Vagrantfile: "forwarded_port", guest: 5432, host: 15432. I'm using Vagrant 1.6.3 here. Start/restart your Vagrant image.
  2. Edit the pg_hba.conf file on the vagrant image. This file may reside in different areas; ours was in /etc/postgresql/9.1/main/. Change the IPv4 local connections entry from...

    host    all             all               trust


    host    all             all                  trust

  3. Restart PostgreSQL on the vagrant image: sudo service postgresql restart
  4. Configure your database tool to connect to localhost, port 15432.
You should be able to connect to your Vagrant PostgreSQL databases now.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NAT port forwarding in VMware Fusion 6

More of a reminder to myself than anything. Found this blog posting really helpful for enabling NAT port forwarding in a VMware Fusion 6 virtual machine. Important that you restart VMware Fusion after making this change. Just restarting the VM will not pick up the change to nat.conf.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Resolving issue with Yeoman-generated Angular web project and the jasmine framework provider

I'm kicking off a new Angular web client project today and I'm using Yeoman to get me up and going here. Seems the angular-generator for Yeoman doesn't properly link in the plugins needed for running Jasmine specs within karma, reported on this StackOverflow question. Add the following to your karma.conf.js file in the project root directory:
plugins: [
I also needed to install these node packages and save the configuration to the package.json file:
npm install karma-jasmine --save-dev
npm install karma-coverage --save-dev
npm install karma-junit-reporter --save-dev
npm install karma-phantomjs-launcher --save-dev
npm install karma-safari-launcher --save-dev
npm install karma-firefox-launcher --save-dev

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Using the pound key as a valid choice in a Tropo ask

More of a reminder to myself, but might be useful for others, as I found this through trial and error. We have an ask in our call flow that wants to capture the pound key (#) as a valid choice. Seems easy enough, just add the pound symbol '#' as a choice to the choices array. But that alone doesn't work. You also have to assign a different terminator to the ask (e.g. '*'). You won't actually use the terminator, but reassigning the terminator to something other than '#' seems to free '#' up to be used as a valid choice.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Getting websocket-rails up and running on Heroku

I wanted to document my endeavors to get websocket-rails up and running on Heroku. In my case, I'll be adding Redis to the mix, as I'm trigger server-side events from a worker process that is running delayed_job tasks. Thus, in a multi-process environment, Redis has to be used to communicate from the worker process to the Rails process (which actually maintains the web socket infrastructure). My experiences with setting this all up were actually quite pleasant and things just worked without many issues. The documentation for websocket-rails could benefit from elaborating some non-development environment scenarios, but that's a very minor gripe.

Step 1: Get the solution running in development

Pretty straight-forward. You have to get everything working in your development environment. Nothing earth shattering here, but if you plan on triggering server-side events to your JavaScript clients from something like delayed_job, you will need to use Redis. I'm using OS X Mavericks here, so I install tools through Homebrew. Here's how I got Redis up and running in my environment:
  1. Install via Homebrew: brew install redis
  2. Start up Redis from the command line: redis-server /usr/local/etc/redis.conf
If you need to monitor Redis, use the redis-cli: redis-cli monitor Now that we have Redis up and running, get websocket-rails integrated into your application. I won't belabor how to do that--the documentation does a good job of detailing how. I use a channel to communicate from the client-side and the server-side. Another thing to note is that for anything I do on the client that I want an event for coming from the server, I use a correlation ID from the client-side that I can keep track of on the client-side, so when an event from the server-side is received, I can determine whether I'm interested in it because it contains the original correlation ID. Read more here about the correlation ID design pattern.

Step 2: Get the solution running on Heroku

Now that everything works in development, I needed to get the solution out to Heroku.
  1. If you previously installed SSL, you will have to disable it before enabling websockets support. Remove the certificates: heroku certs:remove, then remove SSL support through the Dashboard.
  2. Enable websockets support: heroku labs:enable websockets
  3. Add a Redis provider Heroku addon to the app if you haven't done that already. Note the Redis connection information.
  4. Update the websocket_rails.rb initializer with the Redis connection information. I had to add some conditional logic to determine which environment I was deployed in. Also import here is that host and port won't typically be enough to connect to a Redis add-on. You'll definitely need a password and probably a username. Those can be passed through the redis options in this initializer. Currently my websocket_rails initializer has some code in it like this:
        if ENV["RAILS_ENV"] == 'production'
            config.redis_options = {
                username: 'rediscloud',
                password: 'UHDDBHD&*#$DFkkdfha',
                host: '',
                port: '15204'
            config.redis_options = {
                host: 'localhost',
                port: '6379'
    This will invariably change so I can differentiate between staging and production, but you get the point.
Doing all this I was able to get the websocket-rails stuff to work and have not had any issues with it, even with dynes spinning up and down.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Installing pillow on OS X Mavericks with Xcode 5.1

I've been doing some Python and Google App Engine development lately and I hit an issue with clang throwing an error like the following....
cc -fno-strict-aliasing -fno-common -dynamic -g -Os -pipe -fno-common -fno-strict-aliasing -fwrapv -mno-fused-madd -DENABLE_DTRACE -DMACOSX -DNDEBUG -Wall -Wstrict-prototypes -Wshorten-64-to-32 -DNDEBUG -g -fwrapv -Os -Wall -Wstrict-prototypes -DENABLE_DTRACE -pipe -arch x86_64 -DHAVE_LIBJPEG -DHAVE_LIBZ -I/System/Library/Frameworks/Tcl.framework/Headers -I/System/Library/Frameworks/Tk.framework/Headers -I/usr/local/include/freetype2 -IlibImaging -I/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/include -I/usr/local/include -I/usr/include -I/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/include/python2.7 -c _imaging.c -o build/temp.macosx-10.9-intel-2.7/_imaging.o

clang: error: unknown argument: '-mno-fused-madd' [-Wunused-command-line-argument-hard-error-in-future]

clang: note: this will be a hard error (cannot be downgraded to a warning) in the future

error: command 'cc' failed with exit status 1

The following discussion helped: I've had more issues with the March 2014 version of the Command Line Tools for Mavericks. Grrrr.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Copy as HTML plugin in RubyMine

Just a quick note: the Copy as HTML plugin does not show up in the RubyMine 6 plugins listing. But if you download it from here, and install it from disk through the Plugins preferences page, it will work flawlessly in RubyMine. Not sure why it does get listed, but it's a great plugin nonetheless.

Using Teacup to style individual UIView components

I've been doing a bunch of RubyMotion development lately and I'm continually amazed at the power of this framework. One of the many great tools available to RubyMotion developers is Teacup, a UI view layout and styling domain-specific library (DSL). I think DSLs are one of the big advantages that RubyMotion has over traditional native iOS development using Objective-C and Xcode. More information on Teacup here. There's tons of documentation around using Teacup with UIViewControllers, but scant documentation on using Teacup with custom UIView components. There are times that you cannot style a UIView or subclass when the view is initially rendered. Examples include table cells and table headers. Well, don't fear, because you can always mix-in the Teacup layout behavior into any old Ruby class and get that functionality. Below is a table view header helper class that creates new UIView objects with a UILabel subview. Notice how I mix in the Teacup::Layout behavior into the helper and then I have access to all the Teacup stylesheet and layout functionality.

 1 class TableViewHeaderHelper
 2     include Teacup::Layout
 4     stylesheet :table_view_header
 6     def create(frame, title)
 7         view = UIView.alloc.initWithFrame(frame)
 8         view.stylename = :root
 9         layout(view) do
10             label = subview(UILabel, :label)
11             label.text = title
12         end
13         view
14     end
16 end

In this above example, the factory method takes a frame and a title for the header. I create the root UIView and then pass that to the Teacup layout to do the rest of the composite magic. Since the title is dynamic, I get a reference to the created UILabel and set the text of the label to the title string passed into the factory method.

Next up is the Teacup stylesheet. This sits in app/styles/styles.rb in my RubyMotion application. I defined a couple of global UIColor objects and then define the table_view_header style for use in the TableViewHeaderHelper class previously shown. The rest of this is standard Teacup functionality, so I won't repeat what they have already documented.

 1 sectionBackgroundColor = UIColor.colorWithRed(221/255.0, 
 2                                               green: 238/255.0, 
 3                                               blue: 249/255.0, 
 4                                               alpha: 1.0)
 5 headerTextColor = UIColor.colorWithRed(50/255.0, 
 6                                        green: 50/255.0, 
 7                                        blue: 50/255.0, 
 8                                        alpha: 1.0)
10 :table_view_header do
12     style :root,
13           backgroundColor: sectionBackgroundColor
15     style :label,
16           top: 1, 
17           left: 15, 
18           width: 500, 
19           height: 40,
20           font: :bold.uifont(20),
21           textColor: headerTextColor
22 end

Finally are the UITableViewDelegate protocol methods that I implemented to get a custom header for my UITableView. Note that the frame height used for constructing the UIView in the TableViewHeaderHelper is ignored, and the UITableViewDelegate heightForHeaderInSection:section method is used to determine the header height instead. Kind of strange, but it works.

 1     def tableView(tableView, viewForHeaderInSection: section)
 2         frame = CGRectMake(0, 0, tableView.frame.size.width, 1)
 3         title = "#{}: My Stations by date"
 5                                          title)
 6     end
 8     def tableView(tableView, heightForHeaderInSection:section)
 9         50
10     end

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Google App Engine\Python: Using the task queue with a reverse proxy or SSH tunnel

This is more a note for myself. When using forward, a SSH tunnel Ruby gem from the folks at, Google App Engine\Python devserver will barf trying to resolve the Host header when dispatching tasks on the task queue. In my case, my tunnel hostname was coming through in the Host header, causing the KeyError in _port_registry.get(port) invocation.

  def _resolve_target(self, hostname, path):
    if self._port == 80:
      default_address =
      default_address = '%s:%s' % (, self._port)
    if not hostname or hostname == default_address:
      return self._module_for_request(path), None

    default_address_offset = hostname.find(default_address)
    if default_address_offset > 0:
      prefix = hostname[:default_address_offset - 1]
      # The prefix should be 'module', but might be 'instance.version.module',
      # 'version.module', or 'instance.module'. These alternatives work in
      # production, but devappserver2 doesn't support running multiple versions
      # of the same module. All we can really do is route to the default
      # version of the specified module.
      if '.' in prefix:
        logging.warning('Ignoring instance/version in %s; multiple versions '
                        'are not supported in devappserver.', prefix)
      module_name = prefix.split('.')[-1]
      return self._get_module_with_soft_routing(module_name, None), None

      if ':' in hostname:
        port = int(hostname.split(':', 1)[1])
        port = 80
        _module, inst = self._port_registry.get(port)
      except KeyError:
        raise request_info.ModuleDoesNotExistError(hostname)
        _module, inst = None, None
    if not _module:
      _module = self._module_for_request(path)
    return _module, inst

The line in red is the line that is barfing. Comment out the raise error line and set _module and inst to None, allowing execution to continue and the next line will test if _module hasn't been set and will go ahead and resolve it. Found the temporary fix from Hopefully this is something the GAE people can fix in upcoming versions of GAE\Python SDK.