Vladi Gleba

I create things for the internet.

Provisioning a Rails Server Using Chef, Part 1: Introduction to Chef Solo

published in Chef Series, Phindee, Server Provisioning Comments

About a month ago, I was in the middle of upgrading the server running Phindee using the harmless (or so I thought) apt-get upgrade. All appeared to be going well. But when I visited the app in the browser, staring back at me was the infamous “We’re sorry, but something went wrong” page. I hit the logs, and luckily, it turned out to be a minor problem that was fixable without too much downtime.

Deploying Rails Apps, Part 6: Writing Capistrano Tasks

published in Deployment, Deployment Series, Phindee Comments

It’s been a long time coming, but we finally reached the point where we can deploy our app to our VPS and have it be available on the internet for viewing. We configured Capistrano in the previous post, and now we’ll actually use it for the deploy. Just like in the previous posts, I’ll be going over how I have things setup for Phindee to help illustrate the concepts.

Deploying Rails Apps, Part 1: Securing the Server

published in Deployment, Deployment Series, Phindee, Security Comments

Setting up a Rails server from scratch can be a daunting task. I remember my first attempt; it was a multi-day process full of frustration, things not working, me not understanding why, and a whole lot of googling. In an effort to make this experience less painful for those new to Rails, I’d like to share the process I went through to deploy Phindee to a VPS (Virtual Private Server).

Testing Ruby on Rails Apps

published in Phindee, Testing Comments

I started learning Ruby on Rails over a year ago, and as most beginners, I chose the popular Ruby on Rails Tutorial as my initial guide. Because there was so much new material to absorb, I decided to skip the sections about testing (and I’m glad I did or my head would’ve exploded). When I finished the book, I decided to build a Rails app called Phindee in order to solidify what I had just learned. I never went back to learn about testing, however. Now over a year later, I did just that and was finally able to write a solid test suite for the app.

DataMapper: An Alternative to Active Record

published in Databases, Ruby Comments

I recently finished working on a Ruby script that needed to store a small amount of data in a database. Having previously worked with Active Record, I loved the idea of an Object Relational Mapper written in Ruby; it makes manipulating data easy and keeps your code organized. Active Record, however, was definitely an overkill for such a small project. I needed something simple, lightweight, and easy to set up.

Using @font-face With Ruby on Rails

published in Design, Phindee Comments

When I was working on Phindee, I struggled with adding custom fonts; the asset pipeline had just been released, and it changed how one worked with assets. Perhaps there are others out there struggling with the same thing, which is why I’d like to share what I did and hopefully save some time for a few.

Using MapBox With Ruby on Rails

published in Maps, Phindee Comments

Last week I wrote about Phindee, a Ruby on Rails app I made to make it easy to discover happy hours in downtown Portland. I quickly mentioned that Phindee’s mapping functionality is provided by the MapBox JavaScript API, but did not go into any more detail for brevity reasons. I still think it’s an important topic to talk about because I remember having a hard time finding tutorials about integrating MapBox with Ruby on Rails, specifically.

Ways to Define a Grid System

published in Design Comments

I started blogging last week. And ever since publishing that first post, I’ve been trying to find a suitable design for my blog. I looked at many different blog designs for inspiration, and one of my favorites was Whitney Hess’ Pleasure and Pain blog. I don’t know why, but the design just resonates with me. It feels right.

I’m Diving In

published in Thoughts Comments

Starting a blog is something I wanted to do for a few years now, but I worried too much about not having enough time or things to write about, so I always put it off. But this weekend that all changed.