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Comparing Rails and Phoenix: Part I

As I was thinking about this article a few weeks ago, I was excited when I saw that Chris McCord, creator of the Phoenix Framework in Elixir, was on the Elixir Fountain podcast. One of the things they mentioned on the show was that they were tired of the comparison being made between Rails and Phoenix. The bias of coming ...

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Do You Believe in Programming Magic?

Unlike pulling a rabbit out of a hat, “magic” in programming is often performed under the guise of productivity. In this post, we’ll look at what defines a magical programming experience for better or worse. If you were in Rails around 2007 you might be quick to describe it as “auto-magical,” and this was a good thing. Magic meant freedom ...

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How to Build Rails APIs Following the json:api Spec

We’ve talked before about how to build a JSON API with Rails 5. We also discussed using Rails 5 in --api mode, serializing our JSON responses, caching, and also rate limiting/throttling. These are all important topics, but even more important is producing a clear, standards-compliant API. We’re going to look at how to build an API that conforms to the ...

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Running a Rails Application on Deis

In the last couple of years, we have seen a lot of development in the devops field. It’s becoming much easier for developers to provision servers and deploy their applications on those servers just with a couple of key strokes. Since the start of the SaaS and PaaS products (even before we knew them as that), we have seen a ...

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Building Cross Model Search with Ember, Part II

In Part One of this two part series, we covered how to integrate Elasticsearch and Rails to query against multiple models. To illustrate this, we started a Rails app for an ecommerce store named Tember. It includes an Elasticsearch index made up of four different models using Toptal’s Chewy gem. Today we’re going to pick up where we left off ...

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Speeding Up Bulk Imports in Rails

This article is about speeding up bulk imports in Rails. Let’s imagine we have 50,000 products to import… not an absurd amount, but enough that we can start to notice some pain and enough that we wouldn’t want to keep the user sitting there while the system tries to import them all. That is unless we can figure out a ...

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Using Docker for Rails Development

Over the first weekend in October, more than two hundred developers gathered in Ghent for ArrrrCamp, a serious-yet-pirate-themed Ruby conference. I was happy to deliver a talk on using Docker for Rails development. Below is a condensed version of the talk, which covers an introduction to containerization and the Docker ecosystem, as well as some examples of running Rails applications ...

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Building Cross Model Search with Ember, Rails, Elasticsearch

With its accurate algorithms and autocomplete UI, Google has set the bar extremely high for web apps implementing custom search features. When a user searches your website, they don’t expect their query to only get results for one type of entity. For example, if you had a grocery store web app and someone searched for “banana,” the query results could ...

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Architecting Rails Apps as Microservices

Rails apps come in many shapes and sizes. On the one hand, you have large monolithic applications where the entire application (admin, API, front-end, and all the work it needs to perform) is in a single place. On the other end of the spectrum, you have a series of microservices, all communicating with each other with the goal of breaking ...

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