Specify the Ruby patch level in your RVM config files
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If you are using RVM, be sure to specify the patch level for the version of Ruby you want to use, in the .rvmrc file. On some of my apps I had it, and on others I didn’t. When I upgraded RVM to the latest earlier this week, and then CD’d into an app directory, my Mac terminal would close with no visible error message. This was the case for many of my Rails apps, but not all of them. Finally figured out, off a tip from Steve Pothoven (@pothoven), that it was crashing on the apps that didn’t specify the patch level. Once the patch level was specified, all were accessible again.

The Best Rails Rumble apps of 2010 – The Top 10 and Honorable Mentions
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I finally made it through the rest of the Rails entries from the Rumble. In a previous post I published my favorites from the first half, but now that I’m done, I’ve picked my top ten, and I’m putting them all together here and listing some as Honorable Mentions.

The point of the Rumble, of course, is to show how much can be done in one weekend with the powerful web development framework, but too many of them seem to have taken the opposite approach and tried to see how little they could do in 48 hours. I’ve always felt this competition needs a ‘How much did you get done’ category, since I assume that was the point of the Rumble in the first place. Now it seems to be more about micro apps that could be built in 12 hours, which is safer, but less impressive regarding what Rails can do.

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Favorite Rails Rumble Entries for 2010
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Before I write about my own experience this year in my second Rumble (my team’s entry this year is CommendableKids), I decided to try out as many of the entries as I could. I’ve gone through half of them at this point, and below are my favorites so far. Before I get to them, here are a few observations I’ve made while reviewing them all.

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Rails Rumble 09 is Over
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PeepNoteIt’s over. After a month of intense planning, several months of searching for a designer, and 48 hours of nonstep coding, save for a total of 7 hrs of sleep, my Agile Nomads Rumble team pulled it off. It was a lot of fun, though I had the unfortunate experience of having to go through the entire thing with a wicked head and chest cold. When I finally got home I found I had a fever. Recovery time ahead for me.

Our entry was PeepNote.com. It’s an application that allows the user to import all their Twitter friends and then annotate them with notes and tags. I’ve long wished I could remember why I started following someone (maybe met them at a conference), or keep my self from re-following someone that I stopped following for some reason (like the fact that they are negative all the time perhaps, or never talk about anything of interest).

The interface is really easy to use and very quick to get started. After signing into your Twitter account, you can simply click the PeepNote login button, give us your email and all your Twitter friends will be imported, up to 250 (a limitation only in place for the Rumble, due to the size of the free server we are on, and lack of time to do a thorough job to enhance performance to you can import your 45,000 twitter people.

Once you’ve added notes (like food they like, the fact they have 2 kids and/or a spouse, where you met them, etc), you can easily search and filter your peeps by tag. A very handy tool if like me, you meet a lot of people on Twitter.

My team consisted of Steve Pothoven, working his magic with Prototype, Scriptaculous, and RJS, as well as doing all the server setup, and assisting me on the Rails development. Josh Hemsley was the designer I finally decided on after a lot of searching, and I can say that I am so thankful I didn’t find a designer any sooner. He was such a pleasure to work with, was very committed, and turned out what I think is the best designed app of the Rumble. As well, Linda Olson joined our team. I recently came on board with her at WOMbeat! as a partner handling the CTO duties, and asked her to pitch in by performing the role of QA, content writer, and video producer. Her critical eye helped us spot numerous errors to produce a high quality entry and complete it on time.

In the week or so ahead, I’ll document the process I went through in planning this weekend, and how the four of us worked together from three locations without missing a beat. I’ll discuss lessons learned, and what we used to get the job done quickly. As well, in the next 24 hours I’ll be adding the video here that Linda worked on. We weren’t able to finish it in time to put on the home page, but, I can still post it here once we finish.

So stayed tune, and please let me know what you think of PeepNote. I think its a very helpful app for Twitter users, and once the competition is over, there are great plans in the works to expand it to do an even better job of helping you remember the important things about the people you meet online.

Update:The video from youtube has been added below.

Rails Rumble 09
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Rails Rumble 09 Badge

I will be participating in the Rails Rumble 09 this year with design Josh Hemsley and Rails/Javascript developer Steve Pothoven. We have begun or planning and I’m really excited about the project and the team I’m working with.

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