Hybrid Invitations Powered By Rails 3.2 and Ruby 1.9.3

ruby 1.9.3Since the push to Rails 3.1.3 I’ve actually upgraded mightyvites.com to use Rails 3.2.3 and Ruby 1.9.3. This was an easy move forward with little to write home about. The upgrade was significant, however, because Ruby 1.9.3 is noticeably faster than 1.9.2 and Rails 3.2.3 has a much better development environment. It only reloads classes that have changed plus it has query explains. Check out the release notes to read about all the goodness. I certainly thought this upgrade was worth it.

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Ruby On Rails 3.1: Upgrading To The Asset Pipeline

rails3 asset pipelineShortly after making the big leap from Rails 2.2.2 to 3.0.10 Rails 3.1 came out. Feeling defeated in my quest to have mightyvites.com on the latest stable release I started down the path of upgrading to 3.1.3. Replacing 3.0.10 with 3.1.3 was actually simple: just change the rails version in my Gemfile and “bundle update rails”. After that it was trivial to get my tests running without error and essentially be upgraded.  However, that wasn’t the goal. Rails 3.1 is all about the asset pipeline and I wanted the concatenation, minification, and cache busting that it brings to the table.
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A Nginx Maintenance Configuration That Works

nginx maintenanceWe use the lightening fast Nginx web server to handle our mightyvites.com requests. Like most sites we need to go offline once in awhile to deploy new code, address server issues, etc. When we take the main site down we start a single-page website that gives the obligatory “down for maintenance” message. Recently I updated the configuration file for this maintenance site so that it worked properly. By properly I mean all incoming requests get the maintenance page and are returned a HTTP 503 “Service Unavailable.”

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Upgrade To Rails 3.0.10 And Ruby 1.9.2 Reviewed

ruby on rails 3 upgradeOver a year ago (!) I announced my intention to upgrade mightyvites.com from Ruby 1.8.7 and Rails 2.2.2 to Ruby 1.9.2 and Rails 3. Took me long enough but I’m now finally following up on the issue.

No, it didn’t take me a year to do the upgrade. Shortly after I wrote that post I took a full time Rails job. Then my business got busy with paying customers. Then I got engaged and a few months later married. There were a lot of distractions which kept throwing me off my Ruby On Rails upgrade plans. I did do it though. In fact I completed two Rails upgrades this summer. One for mightyvites.com and one for my employer. In both cases I transitioned webapps from Rails 2.x to Rails 3.0.10 and introduced Ruby 1.9.2. Doing so was definitely worth it. Rails 3 feels so much more mature than previous releases. The upgrade, however, was not easy. Below are the issues I had to deal with to make it happen.
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Ruby On Rails Transactional Email Using MailChimp And SendGrid

mailchimp sendgridSince launch mightyvites.com has sent email through Gmail using very basic HTML/ERB templates. There have been no graphics, little styling, and zero email client testing. In other words our emails have sucked and looked very unprofessional. Why? Because those are the last things you worry about when you’re trying to push out the door a product that you’re not sure anyone will buy. Once your site has users, however, these are the bells and whistles you need to put time into.

Recently the time came for me to spruce up the emails mightyvites.com sends. I wanted slick-looking HTML that looks good in all email clients, makes it to users’ inboxes, is multipart, and can be tracked. In addition the email templates should be easy for non-geeks to edit. That way they can be changed often and not always by me.
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