Using git add -A

In my day-to-day Git workflow I often find myself doing the the following before a commit:

git add .
git add -u
git status

The first line adds any new or modified file contents to the Git index and the second uses the “update” flag which marks any deleted files as deleted in the Git index. I then proceed with a commit and all my changes are committed.
I find myself repeating this before every commit and so had a browse of the documentation to see if there was a simpler way. I found the “-A” or “–all” flag which I had never noticed before (is this new?). Now my commits are usually a two step process:

git add -A
git commit -m "Committing all changed and deleted files"

Hope someone finds this useful.

Releasing IQ::Color

At SonicIQ we have a number of RubyGems used internally that we haven’t found time to open-source yet i.e. cleanup the documentation and get into state that people can find useful. I’m going to make it my mission to get some of these out there which first involves releasing some of the smaller Gems that the larger ones depend on.
IQ::Color is a really simple Gem for converting colour values to and from CSS(3) notation, this is used by a couple of our larger Gems but I can see it being of use on it’s own. A simple example:

color1 =, 127, 255)
color1.to_css #=> "#7f7fff"
color2 = IQ::Color.from_css('rgba(127,127,255,0.4)')    #=> 127  #=> 127   #=> 255
color2.alpha  #=> 0.4
color2.to_css #=> "rgba(127,127,255,0.4)"

More examples can be found on GitHub.

Fixing {{model}} placeholders in Rails 2.3 when Rails 3 is installed

This was causing me all kinds of grief. I am running Rails 2.3 and Rails 3 apps on the same server and on installing Rails 3, the Rails 2.3 apps started displaying {{model}} and similar strings in views.
It turns out that Rails 3 uses i18n version 0.5.0 and with this version as far as I can see, the placeholder text in translations follow the %{text} format instead of the {{text}} format in 0.4.2 which Rails 2.3 was using. The only way I found to fix this was to declare the specific i18n version before the Rails gem gets required in the “load_rails_gem” method of “config/boot.rb” in my Rails 2.3 apps:

def load_rails_gem
  gem 'i18n', '0.4.2' # Add this line
  if version...

Doing this specifies that we want i18n 0.4.2 exactly, whereas Rails 2.3 specifies version “>= 0.1.3” which would obviously includes “0.5.0”.
In running Rails 2.3 and Rails 3 apps side by side, I also ran into this problem and overcame it with the fixes by “bct” and “ronin-95281” in the comments… apparently Rails Core won’t fix this.
If anyone else has a cleaner fix for this I would love to hear about it.

Completely Flattening a Git Repository

Whilst working on a recent project, I ended up with a massive git repository due to frequent commits of large-ish files. As I was the only one working on the project and I was certain I didn’t need anything from the history, I wanted to be able to flatten all the commits in the repository.
I didn’t find exactly what I was after but found a handy tip on Stack Overflow. In essence you re-initialize your local repository and force a push to your remote. A word of warning, if you have anyone else pulling or pushing to the remote repository, they will hate you for this as it will completely screw up any revision history or branches they may be working on.
Here’s my modified version of the tip on Stack Overflow to take into account .gitignore and removing the existing .git repository:

$ cd {{project-directory}}
$ rm -rf .git
$ git init
$ git add .
$ git commit -m 'Initial commit'
$ git remote add origin {{url}}
$ git push --force

p.s. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Ruby Causing MacBook Pro to Run Hot

The past couple of days the fan on my MacBook Pro has been constantly on and battery usage down to around a third. Launching Activity Monitor, it showed 3 Ruby processes all at 100% CPU usage. The solution was to force quit these processes and within seconds, the fan slowed up and the battery indicator went up. Force quitting these processes didn’t affect anything I was doing with Rails or IRB so I guess they were just stray processes.
If anyone else gets the same problem, just launch Activity Monitor which lives in the /Applications/Utilities folder, click the CPU tab if not already selected, select processes with a process name of “ruby”, click “Quit Process” and then select “Force Quit”. Just selecting “Quit” wouldn’t work for me hence the “Force Quit”.
I hope this saves someone else the head-scratching as to why their Mac is running hot.

Using Artifice to Stub Server Responses

In a recent project I needed a way to fake a response from a server in my Cucumber features. Specifically, I was testing integration with a payment gateway and wanted to stub it’s responses based on different requests.
In the past I have used FakeWeb, however it becomes a little hairy when you need to stub a response based on request body. I came across a couple of alternatives, firstly WebMock which looks promising but then Artifice from the mighty Yehuda Katz caught my eye…
Artifice lets you “replace the Net::HTTP subsystem of Ruby with an equivalent that routes all requests to a Rack application”. I like the simplicity of this solution as you can in essence use a Rack application to replace the responses of the service you are testing.

An Example

First we create a simple Rack application to stand in for the server we are interacting with.

app = proc do |env|
  [200, { "Content-Type"  => "text/html" },
    ["Hello world: #{env.inspect}"]

Then we simply use Artifice’s “activate_with” method to wrap any requests.

Artifice.activate_with(app) do
  response = Net::HTTP.start("") do |http|"/the_url", "foo=bar")
  puts response.body

This allows for a Rack app to be used as a stand in for a complete API, it could be a Sinatra app for example allowing for easy route handling. We could go so far as to have a series of Rack apps that can be used as stand-ins for common API’s.