Jon Allured

Computer Programmer, Whiskey Drinker, Comic Book Reader

Rails 3.2; Command Reuse; Fixed Position on Mobile; Ruby Metaprogramming

published Tuesday, December 20, 2011

DHH announced Rails 3.2, RC1 and highlighted a few of the cool new things that landed. What stood out to me was the bit about Active Record Store. More details please!

Jakob Nielsen reviews why command reuse or overloading a command is often confusing to users. The example about two search fields on the same page is something I've actually seen first-hand in user studies and worked very hard to eliminate at Allured.

I also found the part about confusion in Android with the home and back buttons pretty compelling. He gives the example of a magazine app that has a home button that will send you back to the app's list of issues and another home button at the system-level that takes you back to your phone's home screen.

This is exactly why I never liked Android, the best things about iOS is that when you're in an app, the whole screen is for that app and the only way out is the one and only hardware button. This design side-steps lots of confusion and lets the app be in total control of what a user sees.

PPK does a nice little roundup of position: fixed implementations, with video! I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I do know its getting better. It wasn't that long ago that you'd git a site with one of those goofy 'toolbars' that would just sit there covering up part of the screen.

I recently found out about the dynamic find_by methods from the great Matt Polito, and while reading a post by Pat Shaughnessy, I found out about the scoped_by dynamic methods.

There was more in his article about metaprogramming, for instance, I saw Enumerable#zip and didn't know what it was, so I found out: it can merge two arrays:

[:a, :b].zip([:c, :d]) # => [[:a, :c], [:b, :d]]

So that's neat. Worth a read also for his reminder about how to metaprogram so that 'future-you' wont be pissed at 'present-you'.