Insight Author
Ian Grant
Software Developer

Ian's Favourite Finds, June 2018

This month, Ian Grant, Software Developer, shares some of his Ruby on Rails app development finds from the past few weeks.

June 28, 2018
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Arel with Wharel

The headline here is the failures of Ruby on Rails' ORM and an overview of previous attempts to monkey-patch it into something more friendly. 

The real story though is how much can be achieved in only 31 lines of code by using some of the lesser-known, but very powerful, metaprogramming features of Ruby. 

This one's more about the journey than the destination.

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Why Crystal Is My Next Language

Crystal is a strongly-typed, compiled language with a syntax very similar to Ruby but with performance similar to C. 

It is a very young language with a huge amount of potential and there are already multiple web frameworks gunning for Rails. 

There is discussion about adding libraries/features that will facilitate building Native Extensions for Ruby Gems or even allow it to run client-side via WebAssembly (though more development is needed in Wasm to allow access to the DOM). For now the development team is focused on Windows support for the 1.0 release. This is a nice intro to the language from the perspective of a Python developer but I'll try not to hold that against him.

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Why We Moved From NoSQL MongoDB to PostgreSQL

Using NoSQL databases to improve performance and scalability when storing and indexing large bodies of inconsistently-structured data seems to be a great solution in theory but when it comes to implementation, is not always the case. 

Avi Cavale, the author of this article, knows the struggle. PostgreSQL supports JSONB but also allows you the simple pleasures of a schema, SQL and all the other advantages listed in this article.

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Totally Pwning the Tapplock Smart Lock

The Tapplock Smart Lock is by many accounts a poor lock. While some have dissected the weak materials used in its construction, others have taken advantage of how the back can be twisted off and unscrewed.

This article shows how to exploit the lack of transport encryption on the messages the Tapplock sends via Bluetooth.
 

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Titus, the Netflix container management platform, is now open source

With Google Cloud Platform launching with a focus on natively supporting containers in favour of virtual machines and Amazon launching their own container support to keep up, containers are more popular than ever. When a service as robust as Netflix adopts containers it doesn’t go unnoticed. 

Netflix have been running containers on AWS since long before Amazon began providing tools to do so and they’ve recently open-sourced their container management system: Titus.

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