My Blog

Passing on knowledge about software development and related technologies.

A Great Markdown Editor

In today's open-source communities (and more in the corporate environments every day) markdown languages are becoming the mainstream for blogs, web content, presentation tools, and documentation. What is markdown? Basically, it is a formatting language that is very simple allowing content creators to focus on the content, not the programming. Most modern blog platforms support markdown in some shape or form and most template engines use markdown also.

Markdown Editors

There are many choices when it comes to markdown editors. There are web-based editor... Continue reading

What is Foreman and when should I use it?

Many times when writing complex ruby applications or using frameworks (like Rails, Sinatra, or others) you end up having several processes that have to be running during development to allow it to run such as web services, message queues, or some other type of process. Foreman allows you to manage these different processes under one management gem. Foreman uses a file called Procfile.

Getting Started

First, let's setup the Procfile. A Procfile is a list that contains a name to identify the process and the command used by the system to run it. Foreman ... Continue reading

Speak Up!

My favorite projects are when I get to find a solution to small problems for clients and solve them quickly for them. I had a client that needed some Text To Speech (TTS) capabilities on a small Linux system in their shipping department. Easy enough right? After a little research, I found a really simple open-source code example of TTS that someone had posted that would work on Windows, Linux, and a Mac and written in Ruby.

While this post is old, I have updated the example code to work with Ruby 2.7. I did a bit of refactoring and customizing ended up with a pretty cool little ... Continue reading

Ruby and the Traveling Salesman Problem (Help me Neural Net!)

On a recent project, we had the task of solving a physical routing problem in a large warehouse, also known as The Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP). The TSP, in a nutshell, is this: Given a list of physical locations (cities, addresses, etc) and the distances between each pair of them, what is the shortest possible route that visits each location exactly once and returns to the starting location?

Sounds simple for our complex brains to plot this out, but not so simple for a computer program. Enter Artificial Intelligence, specifically Genetics Algorithms in Ruby using the AI4R ge... Continue reading

My Thoughts about the RubyMine IDE

First let me note that I am in no way associated with JetBrains (the developers of RubyMine), just a loyal customer. As a long-time developer on many platforms, I have always thought Visual Studio was the most mature and well-thought-out IDE (Integrated Development Environment) out "in the wild". Many products have tried to copy its success across many different platforms but none has impressed me as much as RubyMine has since I started writing Ruby and Rails applications.

What makes RubyMine so special? Well lots of things, but most of all it helps you to be PRODUCTIVE... Continue reading

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