Home » Author Archives: Daniel P. Clark

Author Archives: Daniel P. Clark

Daniel P. Clark is a freelance developer, as well as a Ruby and Rust enthusiast. He writes about Ruby on his personal site.

Creating Powerful Command Line Tools in Ruby

When it comes to software development, a majority of the tools available to us are command-line applications. It is also well worth noting that many of the tools used on the command line are quite powerful in what they can accomplish, from the trivial to the tedious. Taking this further, you can combine command-line applications to chain together a sequence ...

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Working with the Evernote API in Rails

Many people find Evernote to be an invaluable tool for organizing their life. The Evernote API provides has some really great features to take advantage of, including document download and OCR (optical character recognition). Whichever features you choose to investigate, be sure to read their terms of service so that you are within the guidelines of API usage. So much ...

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Creating Advanced Active Record DB Queries with Arel

If you’ve used Rails, you’ve likely used Active Record as a way to access and record database transactions in a more Ruby-like manner. Active Record goes a long way in simplifying the use of a database. But more then that, it’s designed in such a way that we don’t have to worry about the particulars for working with specific databases. ...

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Building a Well-Polished Ruby Gem

A gem is a package for Ruby to distribute code in a maintained unit. But that’s not all there is to it. A Ruby gem can also contain full documentation and testing. And gems can be further configured for external services for quality, test suite, and documentation verification. When you’re publishing code for other people to use, you’re also presenting ...

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Managing Private Dependencies with Bundler

Bundler is a great resource for managing dependencies in your Ruby projects. It helps verify compatible versions between each of your gem dependencies as well as create a version lock file. This guarantees that everyone who uses that same project will be working with the same gem versions that worked for you. Specifying Dependencies with Gemfiles The Gemfile is a ...

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The Pros and Cons of Ruby Refinements

In Ruby 2.0.0, refinements were introduced as a new feature. Monkey patching has been used for a long time for modifying code behavior, but it creates side effects in code elsewhere that ends up affected by the modified code. The purpose of Ruby refinements is to provide a solution by scoping changed behavior to the very specific area of code ...

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Visualizing Algorithms Before Implementation

In mathematics, problem-solving flows through a series of steps, otherwise known as a formula or algorithm. It’s helpful to visualize algorithms before trying to implement them — it’s a safer and more efficient design route than simply trying to plan a process in your head. An algorithm is a sequence of unambiguous instructions for solving a problem, i.e., for obtaining ...

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Coming to Rust from Ruby

I like to keep an open mind for other languages and what I may learn and how I may be better for it. Yet I’m cautious about the shift toward languages that become suddenly popular. Programming languages are tools designed with particular focus that bring with them both benefits and costs. Not every language is a hammer and not every ...

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Unobtrusive JavaScript via AJAX in Rails

For now, the main way to add dynamic content to a webpage is with JavaScript. Ideally, we want to update a site’s contents from the server without reloading the page. Let’s take a look at how we can accomplish this with AJAX in Rails. Now, many of the brief AJAX examples I’ve come across show variations of retrieving collections of data ...

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A Deep Dive into Ruby Scopes

The Ruby language was designed with a pure object-oriented approach. In Ruby, everything is an object. Object-oriented design provides encapsulation for properties and actions. Encapsulation’s purpose is to protect methods and data from outside interference and misuse. With encapsulation, everything has certain scopes from which they may be utilized. Several categories of scope in Ruby are global, instance, and local ...

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