Blockwalk for Beto: Enter to win my Technical Time

Today I have an unusual proposition for you. I’m spending a bunch of time to try to get Beto elected to Texas Senate, so I’ve not been able to write as much technical content. Rather than slow down on my door knocking, I’m looking to pick up the pace, and I want you to do it with me. Starting today, I’m offering anyone who phone banks or “block walks” (knocks on doors) the opportunity to win some of my technical time. Here’s how it’s going to work.

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Cache Invalidation Complexity: Rails 5.2 and Dalli Cache Store

Rails applications that use ActiveRecord objects in their cache may experience an issue where the entries cannot be invalidated if all of these conditions are true:

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Pair With Me: Rubocop Cop that Detects Duplicate Array Allocations

You might know rubocop as the linter that helps enforce your code styles, but did you know you can use it to make your code faster? In this post, we’ll look at static performance analysis and then at the end there’s a video of me live coding a PR that introduces a new performance cop to rubocop.

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Rails Asset Pipeline Directory Traversal Vulnerability (CVE-2018-3760)

All previously released versions of Sprockets, the software that powers the Rails asset pipeline, contain a directory traversal vulnerability. This vulnerability has been assigned CVE-2018-3760.

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Rails 5.2 Active Storage: Previews, Poppler, and Solving Licensing Pitfalls

Rails 5.2 was just released last month with a major new feature: Active Storage. Active Storage provides file uploads and attachments for Active Record models with a variety of backing services (like AWS S3). While libraries like Paperclip exist to do similar work, this is the first time that such a feature has been shipped with Rails. At Heroku, we consider cloud storage a best practice, so we’ve ensured that it works on our platform. In this post, we’ll share how we prepared for the release of Rails 5.2, and how you can deploy an app today using the new Active Storage functionality.

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How to Implement a Ruby Hash like Grammar in Parslet

Before you can understand how to build a parser using parslet, you need to understand why you might want to. In my case I have a library called rundoc it allows anyone to write documentation that can be “run”. For example, someone might write docs that had this:

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git push baby products

When it comes to life events, there’s none that require quite as much “gear” as having a new baby. I recently had my second kid and it’s given me some time to think about the products that truly bring me joy versus those that are merely necessary. There’s plenty of baby product recommendation lists out there, this one is mine.

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Get your SVGs out of your HTML

After this holiday season many of us would like to lose a little weight, page weight that is. In my app CodeTriage I make extensive use of SVG elements for images, the logo, and icons. Until recently, I’ve been rendering the SVG elements directly in the HTML. This was the easiest thing to do. As you might guess by my intro sentence, I’ve been working on decreasing page weight by removing SVG elements from the HTML. How well did it work? Before making changes the homepage was 14kb (77kb unzipped). After the change, the homepage is 6kb (30kb unzipped). That’s a 57% reduction in “over the wire” bytes per page load. What exactly did I do, and what were the trade-offs I made to get to a smaller page? Let’s look at how I was previously using SVG.

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Say No to Randos (in Your Database)

When I used my first ORM, I wondered “why didn’t they include a random() method?” It seemed like such an easy thing to add. While there are many reasons you may want to pull a record out of your database at random, you shouldn’t be using SQL’s ORDER BY RANDOM() unless you’ll only be randomizing a limited number of records. In this post, we’ll examine how such a simple looking SQL operator can cause a lot of performance pain, and a few different techniques we can use to fix it.

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Self Hosted Config: Introducing the Sprockets manifest.js

Have you ever felt like a framework was getting in the way instead of helping you go faster? Maybe you’re stuck on some simple task that would be easy to do manually, but your framework is making you jump through configuration hoops. I end up getting lost in a sea of documentation (or no documentation), and the search for that one magical config key takes just a tad bit too long. It’s a productivity sink, and worse than the time delay it adds to my frustration throughout the day. When I hit ETOOMUCHFRUSTRATION, then I’m definitely fighting the framework. One way to alleviate this configuration fatigue is by making configuration consistent and composable. That’s what Sprocket’s new “manifest.js” seeks to do.

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