Author Archives: jrochkind

Cleaning up the Rails backtrace cleaner; Or, The Engine Stays in the Picture!

Rails has for a while included a BacktraceCleaner that removes some lines from backtraces, and reformats others to be more readable. (There’s an ActiveSupport::BacktraceCleaner, although the one in your app by default is actually a subclass of that, which sets … Continue reading

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Cardo is a really nice free webfont

Some of the fonts on google web fonts aren’t that great. And I’m not that good at picking the good ones from the not-so-good ones on first glance either. Cardo is a really nice old-style serif font that I originally … Continue reading

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Defeating IE forced ‘compatibility mode’

We recently deployed a new version of our catalog front end (Rails, Blacklight), which is based on Bootstrap 3 CSS. Bootstrap3 supports IE10 fine, IE9 mostly, and IE8 . IE8 has no media queries out of the box, so columns will … Continue reading

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UIUC and Academic Freedom

Professor Steven Salaita was offered a job at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), as associate professor of American Indian Studies, in October 2013. He resigned his previous position at Virginia Tech, and his partner also made arrangements to … Continue reading

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Columbian student faces jail time for sharing scholarly thesis

Columbia strengthened their copyright laws were strengthened in 2006, basically at U.S. demands as part of a free trade agreement.  As a result, according to Nature News Blog,Diego Gómez Hoyos , a Columbian student, faces jail time for posting someone … Continue reading

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Google Scholar Alerts notifies me of a citation to me

So I still vainly subscribe to Google Scholar Alerts results on my name, although the service doesn’t work too well today.  Today (after retrurning from summer vacation), I found an alert in my inbox to Googlization of Libraries edited by edited by William Miller, … Continue reading

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ActiveRecord Concurrency in Rails4: Avoid leaked connections!

My past long posts about multi-threaded concurrency in Rails ActiveRecord are some of the most visited posts on this blog, so I guess I’ll add another one here; if you’re a “tl;dr” type, you should probably bail now, but past … Continue reading

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SAGE retracts 60 papers in “peer review citation ring”

A good reminder that a critical approach to scholarly literature doens’t end with “Beall’s list“, and maybe doesn’t even begin there. I still think academic libraries/librarians should consider it part of their mission to teach students (and faculty) about current issues … Continue reading

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Botnet-like attack on EZProxy server

So once last week, and then once again this week, I got reports that our EZProxy server was timing out. When it happened this week, I managed to investigate while the problem was still occuring, and noticed that the EZProxy … Continue reading

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Ascii-ization transliteration built into ruby I18n gem in Rails

A while ago, I was looking for a way in ruby to turn text with diacritics (é) and ligatures (Æ) and other such things into straight ascii (e ; AE). I found there were various gems that said they could do … Continue reading

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