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ActionCable: The Missing Guide

ActionCable was introduced to Rails as of version 5. It allows you to create pub/sub WebSocket connections in your Rails application, which brings live updates to your user experience. ActionCable upgrades an HTTP connection between the server and client to a WebSocket. Some of the benefits of a WebSocket is that the amount of data transferred per transmission is considerably ...

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Principles of Effective Testing with Capybara

Currently the world of integration testing is overwhelmed with complexity. Industry standards require adding more layers of abstraction with tools like Cucumber, SitePrism, and others, and as a result it becomes more difficult and tedious for a developer to write a simple test. But as any other part of the codebase, testing scenarios should be simple and fun. They should ...

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Concurrency Abstractions in Elixir

Elixir gives you the tools to easily write concurrent code. In an earlier post, I introduced concurrency in Elixir by looking at the building blocks of concurrency. Processes follow the actor model of concurrency and are the core underlying construct with which you can then send and receive messages between other processes. What you might have seen is that there ...

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Understanding Elixir Types

When I first started getting into Elixir, one thing that never quite made sense to me was the type system. It worked…but it wasn’t clear why it was set up the way it was or what benefits come from it. Hopefully, I can get you through some of my initial confusion about Elixir types. The Why: Message Passing My initial ...

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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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Effectively Testing Dockerized Ruby Applications

Docker is an incredibly popular tool for virtualizing development and production environments. Its value lies in the idea that it creates portable, scalable environments that anyone can scaffold within minutes. However, a consequence of virtualizing environments is that we have to take a different approach to testing them. How do we effectively test Docker applications? This can be a loaded ...

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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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Writing a Rails Feature – Blow by Blow

My favorite part of seeing someone live code is all the mistakes they make, but not because I’m a mean awful person who likes to see others fail. Watching others recover from mistakes helps me recover from my mistakes. It also makes me feel better when I see that they mess up the same ways that I do. Too often, ...

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