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This is a collection of articles I wrote over the last couple of years. These days, I usually write about building and launching software products.

Today’s my first day as a full-time employee at flinc where I’ll mainly be doing Ruby on Rails development. I got in contact with Michael a few months back when he joined the Web Development Fulda group on Xing. We met at the meetup in september and a few days later he invited me to their offices in Dieburg. I was impressed by their product and the spirit of the team, so I agreed on doing trial work for a week. Obviously they liked me and my work and offered me a job.

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During the last couple weeks I’ve been playing around with the iPad and Mobile Safari. I built a little tool to familiarize myself with the Multitouch JavaScript API provided by Mobile Safari as well as web applications for the iPad in general. I named the result Multitouch Inspector because that’s what it does: Inspect the TouchEvents fired by the JavaScript API. ;-) Today I decided to rewrite the tool to drop the dependency on Prototype.js and I published it on GitHub.

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When testing helper methods that use Rails’ output buffer (for example by calling concat) with RSpec, be sure to add this to your specs:

before (:each) do
  helper.output_buffer = ""
end

Took me a while to figure this one out. Apparently RSpec doesn’t initialize the output buffer and you end up with a NoMethodError on nil.

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I’m currently building a tool to help managing severals servers simultaneously for Softvision Media. As I decided to write the tool in Ruby, I’ve been looking for a framework to create command-line executables. On GitHub I stumbled over commander by TJ Holowaychuk of VisionMedia that provides a simple DSL for this task. It integrates with OptionParser and the Highline gem for user interaction. It...

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Yesterday I decided to give Phusion Passenger aka mod_rails a try and installed it. It was dead simple to set it up and to deploy rails applications with it. I’m now using it for several “small” applications, for which the whole overhead of setting up a cluster of mongrels and a proxy doesn’t seem to be adequate. I’ll give you a short summary on how to install mod_rails for apache2 on Debian Etch.

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