nunojob:~ dscape/08$ echo The Black Sheep

Posts tagged ‘screencast’

Rails::ActiveRecord XQuery && DB2::Mac

Most rails developers use OS-X. Mostly because rails is built-in the latest release (Leopard) and TextMate offers a great IDE to use with Rails. Some could argue that it also works nicely on Windows but I really believe that Rails ain’t done to be used on a Windows Platform. Many articles and interviews with rails creator DHH second this statement. Rails is easy to develop in OS X and deploy in a Linux distro of your choice.

In my most recent screen-cast I explored an interesting technique of taking advantage of rails RESTful design and DB2 pureXML features to easily create a web-service that could query a relational databases with XML support (like DB2). As you must know DB2 Express-C is distributed freely and offers no limitation to home users/small companies. So it would be awesome to expand ActiveRecord to support xml elements, if a schema was provided to the database.

I’m aware that a pure xml database stategy would be a bad approach but there are situations when it simply makes sense. And in those situations one would profit greatly of two things wich are missing.

  • XML Support for ActiveRecord – in construction?
  • DB2 for Mac – will this ever exist?

Antonio Cangiano is creating a plugin that revolves around this concepts, but in a DB2 centered perspective. In my opinion it would be best if the rails plugin worked not only for DB2 but for any database adapter with XML support – as long as such is provided.

Let me give you a sample. Imagine that you have a database model for translating you rails application. It could be something like:


  • ID, int

Imagine that the xml file is

<language isoname="pt-PT">
  <bye>Até a próxima!</bye>

If this makes sense in your application then you could easily do something like register your model to observe (see observer design pattern) the session[‘language’] for changes and, if it’s changed, it would get all the XML for that language – it would fall back to default if such was not available – and create the hash with the values. The problem with this approach – besides making no sense for the internationalization problem! – is that in the observer model you would have to:

Language.find :first

And fetch the whole xml and then process it. If the XML document has 10MB, it would take some time. With XQuery support on ActiveRecord we could simply

Language.find :first, 
  :xcondition => ["//language[@isoname==?]", 

Or, if we simply wanted to say hello in many languages – like flickr in their first page – we could simply

Language.find :first, :xcondition => '//hello'

There are just two problems that prevent rails developers from being able to do this kind of things. And those are the lack of XQuery abilities in ActiveRecord and the fact that Mac developers cannot use DB2.


Howto: Change folder icon in Leopard

Copy the icon you want to use (PNG), browse to the folder you want to change the icon.

Now select it and press command + I. Now select the folder and press command + V to paste the icon.

Jing is useless

I mean 57 views and my screen-cast is off line? File format sucks, they don’t support resizing the video (so it’s a 1280×800 movie!!!), and as they impose SWF file format – which is damn hard to convert as it’s not suitable for video by the way – I had to use the website. Some sites are not recommended for children. Well, is not recomended for anyone. It’s that bad.

The first time I needed to show the screen-cast to someone the bandwidth had already been exceeded. How can TechSmith make a industry leader like camtasia and then a flop like this?

Either way Skitch seems fun so I’ll be skitch-casting for now on!

This is my first one.

[EDIT: I have Skitch invites. Just drop a line in the comments if you want one]

Screencast app for Mac OS X Leopard

I’m looking for the best screencast software (sound recording is a must have) to run on my MacBook.

So far I found the following software:

From what I have read so far it seems iShowU gathers most of the preferences. But when a app is prefixed by an i mac users seem to love it immediately.

Anyone tried any of these products? What are your thoughts on them? Which one would you advice me to use?

[EDIT: Currently I have tested most of these products and I’m using iShowU and KeyCastr]