Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

Women: the Technology Bell(e)wether

01 November 2005

When I first arrived at RubyConf, one of the first people I met said, “Wow. I think you’re the first woman ever at a RubyConf.”

Since there were six women at RubyConf, I can’t say as I’m the first, since we all arrived at the same time, really.

But, as I put it, “women are the technology bell(e)wether.” If you start seeing women adopting a new technology, it’s really about to take off.

So, bellewethers are us.

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Validating Markup in Functional Tests

01 November 2005

Occasionally, one finds little gems in patches rejected for inclusion into Rails. This is one of those gems.

You can take the code, plop it into your test/testhelper.rb, add an “assertvalid_markup” to the right functional test and then it’ll tell you exactly how borked your (x)html is, complete with all relevant error messages.

Note: I recommend commenting that out after you’ve gotten valid markup and only check when you’ve made major changes to the markup or are about to deploy. That way, your testing will go much faster and you won’t slam the w3c’s servers.

Thanks to Scott Raymond.

Since putting the code here broke my layout (and my mother complained about that), get the info from the Rails wiki page.

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29 October 2005

So here I am at TagCamp, and I was reminded of an upcoming talk I’ve got for the Silicon Valley BSD User Group on Thursday about Ruby on Rails. If you’re in the area and interested in finding out more about RoR, come on down. This will be sort of an intro talk, so if you’re interested in some of the more advanced stuff, I probably won’t be covering it except to give a brief nod to some of the new features in Rails 1.0. If there’s interest, I’ll show the “tag cloud and AJAX for newbies” application I’m working on at this very moment.

Technorati Tags: tagcamp, svbug, ruby on rails, rubyonrails

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Why I love TextDrive

25 October 2005

For seven years, was hosted at Hurricane Electric. However, even though they were across the bay, I never really felt like I “belonged” there.

At BayCon this year, I talked to Matt Mullenweg, who suggested I look into TextDrive. I’d already heard of them, of course, but it took me a couple of days to sign up.

Turns out I signed up on their first anniversary, moving my site a few days later.

When I went to RubyConf, I had a whole bunch of fun hanging with the TextDrive staff and customers, coming back with my head reeling. This is the most fun company I’ve seen since Be. Everyone’s there because they really want to be. Imagine that.

The kinds of things that impress me aren’t the little things so much, but rather the openness.

Best move I ever made.

Thanks Matt, I owe you a beer. Good luck in your new venture.

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Getting in the Zone

24 October 2005

I’ve been working to re-discover what music gets me into the right zone for certain deep-concentration work (including programming).

My iPod shuffle just reminded me of a sort I’d quite overlooked: slack key guitar, particularly the Hawai’ian Slack Key Guitar Masters CDs.

For those of you who know about my obsession for things Hawai’ian, you aren’t surprised, are you?

Personal favorite? Ledward Ka’apana, Radio Hula.

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Deirdre's Gluten-Free Flour Mix

22 October 2005

As many of you know, I can’t eat wheat, rye, barley, or, in most cases, oats.

This morning, Rick was going to make crepes, but the container of gluten-free flour I had was empty, so I had to mix some more.

Bette Hagman, in her book The Gluten-Free Gourmet proposed a 9:3:1 mixture of White Rice Flour, Potato Starch (not potato flour, which is gross), and Tapioca Starch.

However, this mix is extremely caloric and low in protein, so I’ve been substituting for the last few years. Here’s what I used today:

1 cup soy flour
1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch

If you can’t tolerate soy, then up the chickpea and white rice flour by 1/2 cup each and omit the soy.

Because of the higher protein, my mixture rises better than the original Hagman recipe. It can be substituted directly for any quickbread (e.g. banana bread) recipe, though I still usually use an extra egg. The recipes for yeast breads are still quirky, though.

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SubEthaEdit and Conference Notes

16 October 2005

One of the features commented upon at RubyConf was the high percentage of people using Macs: approximately 80%. Really!

So, being enterprising folks, some people started conference notes for each session in SubEthaEdit, then sharing them for others to edit via Bonjour. Since many people had Bonjour and SubEthaEdit open, several people jumped in to add their own tidbits to the notes, creating a richer experience than if any one person had written them.

I got to co-write session notes with Martin Fowler (whose preferred color was green, fyi). I think that’s pretty freakin’ cool.

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