YAML defaults

I really do love the way you can add defaults in YAML

development: &defaults
  consumer_key: randomzombieaction
  consumer_secret: morerandomzombieaction
  <<: *defaults
  <<: *defaults
  <<: *defaults

Stewie Vs Zombie

Who will win?

Donkey Kong Vs. Stewie

Who will win?

jQuery, Nano and Songkick

Knocked this one up earlier today to get my Songkick gig listings on this here blog. Maybe its just the novelty of having some gigs to go to and a bit of showing off that we’re running off to Germany for 11 days of mayhem and we’ve not learned how to speak the language yet.

$(document).ready(function () {

  var template = "<li><a href='{uri}'>{displayName}</a></li>";
  var apikey = '<your apikey>';
  var container = $("ul#concerts");

  $.getJSON('http://api.songkick.com/api/3.0/users/<your songkick username>/events.json?apikey=' + apikey + '&jsoncallback=?', function(data) {
    events = data["resultsPage"]["results"]['event'];
    $.each(events.reverse(), function() {
      container.append($.nano(template, this));


Pledge Music Alpha Launch

Our new project Pledge Music went into Alpha just over a week ago and by all accounts its been a success.

“Pledge Music is a way for fans to help their favourite artists make records and raise money for charity. By combining new social networking technology, fan incentives and old school music biz know how, fans can visit the site to not only hear great new music, but also share the experience with friends and get actively involved in what they are listening to.”

We launched on two platforms Facebook and Pledge Music with our first project Another Last Goodbye by Marwood. The project aimed to raise $5000 in order record a CD with a percentage of the profits going to Amnesty International and met its target with 7 days of launch which we’re very pleased with.

Now we have a successful Alpha test, Marwood are entering the studio to record their album over the next few weeks and we look forward to hearing the album very soon.

Now the real work begins as we do a last push to move through Beta and into a full release over the next month with another 9 projects already in the pipeline. Go team.

Chef how to


Counter cache is now read only?

I recently added counter cache to one of my assocations to try and solve a validation problem. ie. If an object has too many associated objects already then it would be invalid.

Easy, set up counter cache and update your existing database with the current totals, however this doesn’t work anymore. It doesn’t set them at all.

Subscription.all.each do |s| 
  s.update_attribute :requirements_count, s.requirements.length

I can see all the updates in my log, but minus the ‘requirements_count’ which was the whole point :S

Requirement Load (0.9ms)   SELECT * FROM "requirements" WHERE ("requirements".subscription_id = 158) ORDER BY created_on asc
  Subscription Update (0.9ms)   UPDATE "subscriptions" SET "updated_on" = '2009-07-11 17:44:35.463992' WHERE "id" = 158
  Requirement Load (1.1ms)   SELECT * FROM "requirements" WHERE ("requirements".subscription_id = 264) ORDER BY created_on asc
  Subscription Update (0.9ms)   UPDATE "subscriptions" SET "updated_on" = '2009-07-11 17:44:35.470008' WHERE "id" = 264

I found this in the ActiveRecord changelog :( It states this is now a readonly field. Under normal circumstances I agree it should be readonly but what about when you just want to get your data into the right state?

*2.0.0 [Preview Release]* (September 29th, 2007) [Includes duplicates of changes from 1.14.2 - 1.15.3]

* Add attr_readonly to specify columns that are skipped during a normal ActiveRecord #save operation. Closes #6896 [Dan Manges]

  class Comment < ActiveRecord::Base
    # Automatically sets Article#comments_count as readonly.
    belongs_to :article, :counter_cache => :comments_count

  class Article < ActiveRecord::Base
    attr_readonly :approved_comments_count

The solution it seems is to redeclare the class you are trying update the count in in the migration class. I cut and pasted this from a mailing list post I found. This seems stupidly awkward a solution and took far too long to diagnose this problem.

class AddRequirementsCountToSubscriptions < ActiveRecord::Migration
  class Subscription < ActiveRecord::Base

    has_many :requirements

    def reset_column_information
      generated_methods.each {|name| undef_method(name) }
      @column_names = @columns = @columns_hash = @content_columns = @dynamic_methods_hash = @generated_methods = @inheritence_column = nil

  def self.up
    add_column :subscriptions, :requirements_count, :integer, :default => 0

    Subscription.all.each do |s|
      puts "UPDATING #{s.id}"
      puts "#{s.requirements.length}"
      s.update_attribute :requirements_count, s.requirements.length

  def self.down
    remove_column :subscriptions, :requirements_count



Facebook Development with Adobe AIR


Skip all filters

I found some code recently for a client that skips (or should at least) skip all filters in a controller. I haven’t seen this done before and a quick google clarified someone else has put it to use somewhere, as I wasn’t sure if this should ever have worked.

class FooController < ApplicationController
  skip_filter filter_chain


It was actually implemented with a little more functionality to set options for all the filters that are being skipped. e.g only for particular actions in a controller.

class ApplicationController

  def self.skip_all_filters(options = {})
    skip_filter filter_chain, options


However, this doesn’t appear to work in post Rails 2.1 applications. So I found myself using the following instead.

class ApplicationController
  def self.skip_all_filters(options = {})
    filter_chain.map(&:method).each do |filter|
      skip_filter filter, options


class FooController < ApplicationController
  before_filter :do_something
  skip_all_filters :only => [:blah, :blah2]


htpasswd files and basic Apache authetication

Its been a long time since I needed to do any kind of basic Apache authetication so a quick reminder to myself more than anything.

Its easy to generate a new file with the username and password. Don’t use ‘-c’ the next time as you’ll lose the contents of your original file.

htpasswd -b -c /var/www/websitething/.htpasswd username password

Adding this to my basic VirtualHost config now restricts access to the site with my username/password. woo.

<VirtualHost *:80>
  DocumentRoot /var/www/websitething/public

  <Directory /var/www/websitething/public>
    AuthType Basic
    AuthName MyPrivateFile
    AuthUserFile /var/www/websitething/.htpasswd
    Satisfy All
    Require valid-user