Dr Nic

One year on the InterTubes

Dumping thoughts onto the InterTubes, aka blogging, is fun. And I’ve been doing it 1 year now.

Its also challenging.

Its like inviting people over for dinner – you have to clean up your house so they get a completely false impression of how you normally live your life.

Same with code – pasting it into blog articles or releasing projects makes you work harder to clean up code.

Same with the article – like rewriting paragraphs and sentences so they read better.


Remember the I Hired Jeff Clark site from a year ago?

I started this blog a year ago with the idea of it being an Online CV – I’d write clever things, people would comment, and employers would pick me instead of someone else.


Click through for fancy dynamic flash graph [1]

Leaving Tele2

The whole time I’ve been overseas working for Tele2 – a Swedish telephone company, developing their billing systems. No Ruby code anywhere. Lots of perl, some Java, and lots of an internal proprietary language. It hurts to work on that environment.

And today is my last day, so now I can pursue Ruby/Rails with full-time reckless abandon.

Starting with Dr Nic Academy.

What’s left to blog about?

In the last 12 mths, I think I’ve covered a fair bit of (seemingly random) ground: composite keys, magic models, javascript, radrails fixups, newgem, and lately openid.

In the future, the following stuff intrigues me, and it’d be fun to explore:

  1. Social OS – when I use flickr, I add contacts/friends/family and I add photos. When I visit your fancy new Web2.0 site, how can I import this profile information and automatically find all my friends or invite them to use your site? I envisage this built on OpenID, where every app is both an OpenID consumer (you login with OpenID) and possibly an OpenID provider (you can use your account page as a login to other apps).
  2. Mongrel handlers – sexy integration of handlers into the Rails code base, so they are automatically picked up when the mongrel servers are started. I haven’t looked into this at all, so that sentence mightn’t make any sense.
  3. Caching – nothing fancy, I just haven’t figured out how to use it yet. Anyone that used MyConfPlan during RailsConf might have guessed this.
  4. Javascript widget generator – generators get me from “idea” to “ooh that’s pretty” much faster, and avoid the “oh I can’t be bothered setting up the code base” step. I want to write a bunch of widgets for the RoR Oceania blog, to pull data from the RoR Oceania facebook API, so hopefully I can extract some base code into a generator.

As always, I’m completely happy for someone else to tackle these things first. So get cracking :)

[1] The XML for this
Maani graph is mashed from the raw feedburner API via this Ruby CGI script. If you want to use it, you need to turn on the Feedburner API first, and change the start date within the code (currently set to 1/8/2006)

That is, the data goes from feedburner XML to maani XML.

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10 Responses to “One year on the InterTubes”

  1. Matt Allen says:

    Hey Nic;

    Come see me when you need a Caching master class :)


  2. Scott Becker says:

    It’s amazing how much you’ve contributed when you weren’t even getting to use Ruby in your day job. Can’t wait to see what you produce now that you can pursue it with “full-time reckless abandon.” The ruby community will be richer for it. Congrats on the new venture!

  3. Brian Eng says:

    Congrats, Nic. On breaking free from the man… er, on the new venture. Ditto Scott on how great this is for the Ruby community.

  4. martinisoft says:

    Congratulations Dr. Nic! I can’t wait to see what you create as a full-time Rubyist.

  5. congrats! hopefully you’ll still have some time to blog ;)

  6. rberger says:

    So about the widget builder, how about something that leverages ext.js: http://extjs.com

    They have lots of nice widgets, but no real coupling to rails…

  7. Dr Nic says:

    @rberger [via] – I am thinking along the lines of widgets embeddable in HTML (like sidebars) that use <script src=”..”> to load and to fetch 3rd party data. But the code I’ve developed allows you to load up the extjs (a super lib) and/or prototype etc prior to running its own code.

  8. CV Creator says:

    Well done but make sure you can still fit in some blogging!!

  9. Online CV says:

    Looks good, thanks for the blog