Plasticx Blog

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Last blog post of 2007?

Posted by Mike 12/11/2007 at 02:10PM


I’ve been in a writers block for useful bits of information to post on my blog. I guess I’ll give a summary of things I’ve seen and done lately and perhaps that will inspire others.


I started my own S-Corp. to work freelance out of over the summer. I was motivated to do so after attending the The Business of Rails session at RubyConf 2007. And I’ve gotten a lot of great tips on how to be a business person in Rails from the Google group Ruby on Rails meets the business world

I started consulting through Contentfree over the summer. They are a Rails consulting shop and have been working on a startup for their Eachday photo and memories sharing site. Its been great to working with Dave Myron there. Dave is one of the best coders and software designers I’ve ever worked with and I’m not saying that just to get more work!


I went to RubyConf 2007. It was fun. I played a lot of Werewolf (see #53) in the evenings. Sadly, it felt like the close knit party was/is over in the Ruby community since all the momentum that Rails has brought to Ruby is bringing in the masses (I’m in that group, one of “those guys”). My guess is that RailsConf 2008 is going to feel like a JavaOne, and RubyConf 2008 will feel like RailsConf 2007 with to many tracks.


At RubyConf I got to meet the people I’ve met in the #fauna channel on I think some of the greatest Ruby code and ideas I’ve been exposed to are from people in that channel. Shout outs to adamblock, agile, evn, lifo, heaveysixer, loincloth, defunkt, and others.

Evan Weaver

Evan is a genius and pretty cool dude.


Pratik is a genius and is very active on RailsCore contributions. He says Just Say No To Named Spaced Models so I guess you should ignore this post: Rails Models in a Namespace

Chris Wanstrath

Chris is a genius is full of ambition Ambition Google Group

ditching Typo

I’m probably going to ditch this Typo blog when I can make time to do it. I’ll either go with an another Rails based blog called Mephisto or Evan Weaver’s Bax blog which uses scripts and Apache SSI and is hidden on fauna’s SVN on Ruby Forge: ‘svn co svn://’

like Ozimodo

I’ve been thinking about doing a Camping based tumblelog. I even paid a designer to make a template for it. I’ll blog about that latter. It will be like Ozimodo and probably steel code from it.


I’m sitting on a Gem called imPOSTor that will post comments to forums such as phpBB and Web Wiz Forums . I’ll probably release within the month. It has been working inside a production grade private Rails app for over a month so I think its ready to be released. “The imPOSTor library is used to automate the act of posting comments and data to forums such as phpBB and WWF. impostor encapsulates the work of posting to these forums using a common (ruby) interface.”


I’m about to finish the next major version of MMS2R (2.0) . I think I’ve found the best architecture for it be maintained for the long haul. Each release of MMS2R is named after a character in the Metalocalypse cartoon.

Speaking of MMS2R Luke Francl and I submitted a MMS + Rails proposal for RubyConf 2008 called “Mobile Messaging with Rails”. Luke and I are also writing a PeepCode book about Rails+MMS+Mobile phones.

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RV2 Camping on Gentoo

Posted by Mike 07/05/2007 at 03:57PM

Evan Weaver wrote a SysV init.d setup for daemonizing Camping apps on a *Nix system and documents it in rv, a tool for luxurious camping

I used that blog entry as a reference to build one called RV2 that is a little bit more Gentoo specific. Here are my scripts and directory layout

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small urls with Camping

Posted by Mike 07/04/2007 at 09:42PM

I am happy to announce yet another very small URL generator called

hurl it =>

In fact its first entry is this very blog post.

There are obvious predecessors and the recent (and very cool) Rails based urlTea which itself I think is inspired by rubyurl

But hurl it is not those things, hurl it is a Camping application. Camping is a Microframework written by why the lucky stiff, a MVC based framework that is a total size of 4K and written in Ruby. Camping applications are small, light weight, and are intended to do one thing really well. hurl it does one thing very well – RESTfully create and serve very small URLs.

hurl it has these attributes

  • is a Camping application
  • RESTful (index, show, and create verbs) and responds to application/xml
  • tunes its use of ActiveRecord for use with the performanced minded MyISAM engine
  • developed with Agile practices including full unit and functional tests using Mosquito
  • is open source under the MIT License
  • has a neat-o base 62 number algorithm using the alphabet of 0-9,A-Z,a-z that would be good to know on an interview

hurl it is meant to be the honey layer in your peanut butter sandwich on wheat bread. hurl it is not the sandwich nor tries to be anything more than really super awesome at representing long URLs as really short URLs.

Things I’ve found helpful during hurl it development

I wrote a SysV init.d setup for Gentoo based on Evan’s work call RV2

Source hurl hurl

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