Monday, July 6

Making Light window & Ajax Pagination to work simultaneously on a single module

Here is one more simple tip to make both Ajax Pagination & Light Window work together.

It's not that great solution but a simple thought which would not strike when you are struck. Before moving ahead with problem and solution, few words on light window & Ajax pagination.
Light Window: A javascript library that relies on porotype & scriptaculous for it's effective visuals.
Ajax Pagination: A simple pagination in ajax way, doesn't need to reload the page.

In one of our enhancing projects, the lightwindow was implemented to maximize or enlarge the thumbnail photo. And then on, simple pagination to update the images/thumbnail in the album one by one. Both are working fine, but as and when we navigate to second page and all further inside pages the enlarge link doesn't seem to work as expected. Instead maximizing the image in pop-up it redirected and opened the image in browser window.

Though the parameters, function calls and all other required setup is same still this did not work.

No surprise!!

Digging little deep into the way how Light Window works, an object is instantiated at the time of page loading.

function lightwindowInit() {

myLightWindow = new lightwindow();


And all the pop-up's would be simple effects that will be derived. Here is the catche, since we are doing ajax pagination which does not do any page reload so also the lightwindow function is not called second time.

Quick fix: To initate the object.

Be it in rails or in any other frameworks to use the combination effects we need to make sure the function is triggered.

same goes with other 'box' approaches (lightbox, modalbox, redbox...). For lightbox it's initLightbox(), just dig in to find out the function in respective javascript libraries and then enjoy both pop-up and ajax pagination effects.

Monday, June 22

Recruitment Pains -1

Note: Expressed here are my personal views and experience.

All these five years I never felt that recruitment was such a pain. I am not referring to freshers but to the so called experience guys 2+. Was trying to help my friend in getting a good Ruby on Rails resource. Though this was not the first time, and I have done even at all my previous companies but I should say it's a totally, shockingly new experience.
  • I heard that in telephonic interviews people try to fool the interviewers under the wrong names or even speaking on behalf of someone else. Observed the same with one of the candidates from Karnataka, India.

  • Another great gem who claims to be working for a budding company from past 2.5 years, but the truth is he started working only couple of months back and he was trying to fool us.

  • Another beautiful one I can't even think of something like this. A guy claimed to be 1.9 yrs experience in Ruby on Rails went through the couple of rounds of interview and was not bad. So we offered him the position so irresponsible was he, didn't even respond back. So withdrew the offer.

  • One of the coolest one, which you got to hear... Another aspirant(friend of above mentioned guy) sent us the same application and claimed it to be done by him entirely.

In the whole process what I failed to understand was, why can't people be genuine to themselves. What were such candidates trying to prove?
Can they perform same way, even they were offered the job?
Why do they create wrong impressions and ultimately they will be in trouble by not performing?
I can list many more... but what's the use.

But I would like to stretch out and help other Ruby on Rails recruiters by sharing away their names. Hoping to save others time and money.

Saturday, April 18

toghq: extensible open source social networking platform

It was couple of back in January, I decided to write  on the RoR based social networking applications.  And I had taken the widely accepted bunch of apps and made a nice and useful doc out of it here.  I have been getting pretty good response on this post @ Scribd & slideshare.

  To continue with my exploration, from couple of weeks I was playing with toghq.  A beautiful one and easy to extend.  I thought I would share my thoughts on this.  

  The beauty of toghq is in it's extendability and agility.  Tog, contains set of plug-ins that are very easy to integrate and easy to use.  One such plug-in's that impressed me that I would talk today is tog_picto.

top_picto, is the photo management plug-in with tog.  What impressed me is:
1. Easy to manage
2. Photoset creation, manage, delete
3. simple drag drop to create/delete photosets
4. multiple image uploads
5. taggable, commentable, rateable...
6. mulitsized photos

Thanks to Haritha, for her help with screenshots.

Thursday, March 5

Web Accessibility principles

I was going through my juniors work on Ruby on Rails. I was helping them to build some interesting web applications. And then the discussions lead to design, usability and accessibility of the application. As they don't have enough exposure on web applications, I quoted few articles and books to say UI is as important as functionality. Of which, I highlighted the "Ten Principles for Web Accessibility" from "Pragmatic Design & Accessible Web Sites" by Jeremy J. Sydik.
  1. Avoid making assumptions about the the physical, mental, and sensory abilities of your users whenever possible.
  2. Your users’ technologies are capable of sending and receiving text.
    That’s about all you’ll ever be able to assume.
  3. Users’ time and technology belong to them, not to us. You should
    never take control of either without a really good reason.
  4. Provide good text alternatives for any non-text content.
  5. Use widely available technologies to reach your audience.
  6. Use clear language to communicate your message.
  7. Make your sites usable, searchable, and navigable.
  8. Design your content for semantic meaning and maintain separation between content and presentation.
  9. Progressively enhance your basic content by adding extra features. Allow it to degrade gracefully for users who can’t or don’t wish to use them.
  10. As you encounter new web technologies, apply these same principles when making them accessible.

Link to Book:

Monday, March 2

"memcached" "libmemcached" gem installation for rails app

It's been so hectic with the installations on ubuntu.

sudo apt-get install memcached

then I realised that "libmemcached" also needed. Got the latest tar and installed.

then went on to install the "memcached" gem.

Unfortunately, this did not go as expected but raised lots of issues!

rlibmemcached_wrap.c: In function ‘_wrap_MemcachedSt_next_distribution_rebuild_set’:
rlibmemcached_wrap.c:5835: error: ‘struct memcached_st’ has no member named ‘next_distribution_rebuild’
rlibmemcached_wrap.c: In function ‘_wrap_MemcachedSt_next_distribution_rebuild_get’:
rlibmemcached_wrap.c:5858: error: ‘struct memcached_st’ has no member named ‘next_distribution_rebuild’
rlibmemcached_wrap.c: In function ‘Init_rlibmemcached’:
rlibmemcached_wrap.c:11380: error: ‘MEMCACHED_SERVER_MARKED_DEAD’ undeclared (first use in this function)
rlibmemcached_wrap.c:11380: error: (Each undeclared identifier is reported only once
rlibmemcached_wrap.c:11380: error: for each function it appears in.)
rlibmemcached_wrap.c:11411: error: ‘MEMCACHED_BEHAVIOR_AUTO_EJECT_HOSTS’ undeclared (first use in this function)
make: *** [rlibmemcached_wrap.o] Error 1

After googling across and friends suggestions, could solve the problem. The problem seems to be with the latest versions of the libmemcached and also gem memcached. I cleaned up the mess and repeated the trial with the following combination.

memcache-client (1.6.3);
memcached (0.13);
libmemcached (0.25.14);

and things are back to normal :)
Hope this would save somebody's time!


Monday, January 26

Twitter based Applications

It's been quite a while I wrote about Twitter, in the context of micro-blogging and Ruby on Rails applications.

I thought it's worth to maintain a separate blogs, to collect the fast releasing applications based on "Twitter".

I welcome your suggestions to list the applications.  Mail across the twitter app that you are using/noticed.

Friday, January 23

RoR based Social Networking apps compared

Ruby on Rails and Social networking are probably few that took limelight when WEB2.0 bug was bit! You hear/find/discuss... everywhere on these, and I thought it would be good idea to club the both and do a comparison withing social networking Applications based on Ruby on Rails.

RoR Based Social Networking Apps Compared