Author Archives: jrochkind

Google Scholar is 10 years old

An article by Steven Levy about the guy who founded the service, and it’s history: Making the world’s problem solvers 10% more efficient: Ten years after a Google engineer empowered researchers with Scholar, he can’t bear to leave it “Information … Continue reading

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Catching HTTP OPTIONS /* request in a Rails app

Apache sometimes seems to send an HTTP “OPTIONS /*” request to Rails apps deployed under Apache Passenger.  (Or is it “OPTIONS *”? Not entirely sure). With User-Agent of “Apache/2.2.3 (CentOS) (internal dummy connection)”. Apache does doc that this happens sometimes, although … Continue reading

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Umlaut News: 4.0 and two new installations

Umlaut is, well, now I’m going to call it a known-item discovery layer, usually but not neccesarily serving as a front-end to SFX. Umlaut 4.0.0 has been released This release is mostly back-end upgrades, including:  Support for Rails 4.x (Rails 3.2 … Continue reading

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Non-digested asset names in Rails 4: Your Options

Rails 4 removes the ability to produce non-digest-named assets in addition to digest-named-assets. (ie ‘application.js’ in addition to ‘application-810e09b66b226e9982f63c48d8b7b366.css’). There are a variety of ways to work around this by extending asset compilation. After researching and considering them all, I chose … Continue reading

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first rule of responding to support tickets

note to self: Always, always, always, start with “thank you for reporting this problem.” 1. Because it’s true, we need the problem reports to know about problems, and too often people are scared to report problems because of past bad experiences, … Continue reading

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Rubyists, don’t forget about the dir glob!

If you are writing configuration to take a pattern to match against files in a file system… You probably want Dir.globs, not regexes.  Dir.glob is in the stdlib. Dir.glob’s unix-shell-style patterns are less expressive than regexes, but probably expressive enough … Continue reading

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Umlaut 4.0 beta

Umlaut is an open source specific-item discovery layer, often used on top of SFX, and based on Rails. Umlaut 4.0.0.beta2 is out! (Yeah, don’t ask about beta1 :) ). This release is mostly back-end upgrades, including: Support for Rails 4.x … Continue reading

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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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