Benjamin Curtis

Speculations on Web Development

BundleWatcher: Watching Your Gems

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My weekend project this weekend was BundleWatcher, a tool that does just one thing: watches the gems in your Gemfile for updates. Once you upload your Gemfile.lock file, BundleWatcher will keep track of updates to the gems upon which your project depends, and you can use the atom feed for your bundle to know when updates have happened.

I built this to scratch my own itch. While provides a way to subscribe to gem updates and an RSS feed to track those updates, I wanted a way to track updates for each of my projects, project by project. Now instead of just knowing that the inherited_resources gem got updated, I can see which of my projects might need an update because that gem got updated.

BundleWatcher uses the (fantastic) API provided by to keep track of gem updates, so as long as you depend on gems that are listed there, you’ll be good to go.

Chef Tips

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One of the best things that came out of using EngineYard Cloud was learning about Chef. Chef has changed my world when it comes to managing servers, and I now wouldn’t do any amount of system administration without the kind of automation and scriptability Chef provides. Here are a couple of tips on the reasons for and the benefits of using Chef.

Jekyll: Pagination, Archives, and Excerpts

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I recently converted this blog to jekyll — I figured since I had to move my slicehost slices elsewhere anyway, I might as well ditch wordpress and play with something new. It’s been a bit of adventure getting the site rendered by jekyll to match the URL structure I had in place with wordpress, so I thought I’d share some of the code I found and wrote to make it work.

Pricing Experiment Follow Up

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Thanks so much to those of you who helped me with my pricing experiment. I feel it was a success, with a lot of great feedback.

Before I launched the survey I had a price in mind, but I wanted to see what the prevailing opinion would be on what the price should be without being influenced by that info. I was pleasantly surprised to find that many of those who responded were willing to pay more than the amount I had in mind, which makes me feel good about the value of the products I offer via Rails Kits.

The OAuth Kit has now been priced and released, but I’ll leave the survey open a little longer to let a few more folks get the coupon. :)