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noelrap — 57 posts

The initial beta of Rails 4 Test Prescriptions by Noel Rappin from Pragmatic is now on sale.

Rails 4 Test Prescriptions is a comprehensive guide to how tests can help you design and write better Rails applications. In this completely revised edition, you’ll learn why testing works and how to test effectively using Rails 4, Minitest 5, and RSpec 3, as well as popular testing libraries such as factory_girl, Capybara and Cucumber.
I just released the first 30-40 pages of Trust-Driven Development, an ebook about making your projects run awesomely, and becoming better at the profession of software development.

These chapters including the five-second estimation process, running iterations and iteration meetings, and managing stories.

If you are estimating in hours, and if that seems painful, this book can help. If your planning meetings are terrible slogs, this book can help. If you have wrist pain, see a doctor, this book won't help with that.

You can get the book at

My book, Master Space and Time with JavaScript is now feature-complete. It covers JavaScript, Backbone, and Ember using a Rails project as the back end.

You can get it at

A short screencast on debugging and handling failing tests at See more in the XI to Eye series at
What do you do when you are stuck in a TDD process? How do you decide where to start when testing? How can you pick what to text next? Watch:
Do you want to watch a discussion/rant on code readability with a Ruby slant? Sure you do -- it’s this week's short video in the XI to Eye series.
Book 4 of Master Space and Time With JavaScript: Ember, is now available at

This book covers the Ember.js library, using a sample application with a Rails back end and an Ember front end.

More details on the initial release at
Book 3 of Master Space and Time With JavaScript is now available in beta at This book covers Backbone.js, and shows an example of creating a Backbone project integrated with a Rails back end. The beta is about half-complete.
A new ebook on JavaScript that might be of interest to Rails programmers, details at
Rails Test Prescriptions is out of beta, and will start shipping in the next day or so. It's a comprehensive guide to testing Rails applications, covering Test-Driven Development from both a theoretical perspective (why to test) and from a practical perspective (how to test effectively). It covers the core Rails testing tools and procedures for Rails 2 and Rails 3, and introduces popular add-ons, including RSpec, Shoulda, Cucumber, Factory Girl, and Rcov. Thanks to all of you that have been supportive!
Text and Mate
A bunch of hopefully useful TextMate features and tips for Rubyists.
Rails Test Prescriptions is now being printed, with an expected ship date of Feb 17th. More details at the railsrx blog.
Beta 7 of Rails Test Prescriptions by Noel Rappin is now available from the Pragmatic Press. This version includes a new chapter on RSpec.
Rails Test Prescriptions Beta 6 is now available from Pragmatic. The book is also available for pre-order from Amazon.

Beta 6 contains a new chapter on Shoulda and testing with contexts and single-assertion tests. Enjoy!
WindyCityRails 2010 is Saturday, September 11 at the Westin River North in Chicago. The speaker schedule, featuring six talks and two tutorial sessions, has just been announced.
The fourth beta of Rails Test Prescriptions from Pragmatic is available at their site. Check out the the associated blog for updates and related content including a recent discussion of pair programming.
The first beta of Rails Test Prescriptions by Noel Rappin is available from Pragmatic. Follow the book's progress and keep up with related stuff at Thanks!
Longish example of real tests from Cucumber to controller and model tests from Noel Rappin of Pathfinder and Rails Prescriptions: Read Part One and Part Two
A new version of the book Rails Test Prescriptions is now available. The biggest new addition is a section on Rcov and coverage testing, but there are numerous smaller tweaks to the book. Purchase the book or, if you've already purchased it, download the update.
Some thoughts on good testing style on the Agile Ajax blog from the author of Rails Test Prescriptions.
The Rails Testing Practices Interviews are back, brought to you by Rails Prescriptions. This time, it's Mike Gunderloy, author of the new Rails Rescue Handbook. Read the interview. You can buy Rails Rescue Handbook or Rails Test Prescriptions. Read past interviews in the series.
A comparison of mock object packages from Pathfinder Development and Rails Prescriptions.
A quick guide to the syntax and features of four fixture replacement/factory tools.
I've been getting a lot of questions about the basics of Rails testing. Here are some answers.
If you have purchased Rails Test Prescriptions, and want to be able to get updates for the book, look here to see how it's done.

If you haven't purchased Rails Test Prescriptions yet now is a great time.

Also, now follow updates on the book at twitter @railsrx.
Both the paid and free versions of Rails Test Prescriptions have been updated. The paid version: is now available on This version has two and a half new sections:
  * A really long section on acceptance testing with Cucumber.
  * A less long section on using Autotest to run your tests.
  * Half a section - really an extended rant or two - on testing style.
The free version is available at the Rails Prescriptions site and includes the Cucumber section from the paid version. The free version is now 80+ pages of how to test in Rails. The blog post at has more details on the update.
What makes code great? Just wondering.
Longish post on using Cucumber for acceptance testing. A Cucumber example, and some thoughts about how to make Cucumber work best.
The initial, beta release of the book Rails Test Prescriptions is now on sale. [Buy The Book Link]. [More Info on Content Link]. [Link To Free Getting Started With Rails Testing PDF].
How to keep Rails, plugins, and gems up to date.
Rack on Rails
It's Only Rack On Rails But I Like It
The Testing Practice Interviews
Interviews on Rails Testing Practices. So far, we've got Noel Rappin, Geoffrey Grosenbach, Gregg Pollack, Ryan Bates, James Golick, and Chad Fowler.
I'm pleased to announce that the getting started guide, conveniently titled "Getting Started With Rails Testing" is now available for download at the Rails Prescriptions site. It starts with an empty Rails application and walks through the first couple of feature additions, adding tests for controllers, models, views, and basic security. Download, read, enjoy, tell all your friends, let me know what you think.
What do you do when your query logic is more complicated then ActiveRecord? Here are some ideas.
Rails Test Book Design
Anybody want to comment on the design of a Rails testing book?
Read The Source, Luke: A Reader's Guide To Browsing Rails Source
Rails Prescriptions For Testing
Noel Rappin, author of Professional Ruby on Rails, is announcing Rails Test Prescriptions: Keeping your application healthy, a book available in January 2009 in DRM-free PDF format. What would make a Rails Testing book worth your time and money? Let me know at or at Get Satsifaction. See the announcement and follow the blog.
Ruby Style Guide
The Ruby and Rails style guide has been promoted from the Pathfinder blog to a permanent web page. Please comment to improve the quality and quantity of suggestions.
More Ruby Style
More Ruby Style: If you can stand more Ruby style discussion, here's a follow up to last week's post on the subject.
First steps toward a Ruby style guide.
Generate test coverage data one file at a time using a walk-through test coverage task.
Roles and Security
Some tips on using roles and security
Get your staging site up on Morph quick and for free. Here's an example.
Here's a method for integrating HTML design prototypes into your Rails development environment.
Basic drag and drop in Rails using jQuery, or Why is Drag and Drop like a Nutty Bar?
Should schema.rb be included in your source control?. The answer may surprise you. Or it may not, who am I to know?
Part 3 of Developing iPhone applications using Ruby on Rails has been posted. It covers panels, forms, and capturing when the user turns the phone. Also see Part 1 and Part 2.
In this extended example, several types of JavaScript interaction are shown using jQuery as the JavaScript toolkit within a Rails project.
Project Website
One of the frustrations of trying to learn any programming tool is the lack of well-described real-world examples of how to use the tool in practice. Although open source tools make the underpinnings of successful software more explicit, documentation that combines a real example with a description and rationale of the choices made is still rare.

And so: Project Website, an attempt to provide such an example on a small, real-world site. Check out Part Zero and Part One
Part 2 of the article Developing iPhone applications using Ruby on Rails is available. This article discusses the rails_iui plugin.
A complete look at using blocks in helpers in Rails.
More Named Scope Awesomeness including integrating scopes with existing finder methods and using scopes for advanced search.
Named Scopes
Named scopes are awesome. Enough said?
Win a free book
Win a free copy of the book Professional Ruby on Rails. (Yes, we tried this a couple of weeks ago. It didn't quite work, and we're trying again).
Noel Rappin is giving away free copies of the book Professional Ruby on Rails, both at RailsConf and via the web. Details here.
More HTML and Markup
A follow up on issues of HTML and markup, including an implementation of a simple HTML tag generator: HTML + Code Markup: Threat or Menace, Part Two
ERb and HTML -- looking for a better way here