Thursday, December 10, 2009

validates_uniqueness_of issue resolved

Recently I had an issue when Rails validation validates_uniqueness_of did not work on one of my table columns. When I looked at the Rails logs, the query to check if the value supplied in form exists was using empty string in the where clause. Then I looked at the validation code in ActiveRecord and it turned out that the column had type of text in the database and this validation skips columns of type text. Actually I never meant this column to be type text and even the migration showed it of type string (not sure why this happened) which should have mapped this column to varchar. But once I changed the type of column to varchar(255), everything worked fine. I was using JRuby, Rails 2.3.2 and Sqlite3 database on windows XP. Hope it helps somebody else.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Product review of Balsamiq Mockups

Balsamic Review

Recently I came across Balsamiq Mockup which is a Adobe AIR based application to create mockups. I recently used it to create multiple mockups for a website that I am working on. Here is a brief review of that effort.

Here are some of the features that I really like about this tool.

  • left - top to bottom (e.g. all labels/input fields in a form
  • middle - useful for adding multiple items at the same level horizontally (e.g. a label and input textbox in a form)

Variety of elements
  • Amazing number of UI elements that can be added to mockups. They are nicely grouped into logical categories like containers, buttons, layout etc.

Customization of elements
  • Each element provides all possible kind of customization that might be needed for it.
  • I really liked the customization to move elements forward or backwards when they overlap. Very useful when using containers.

Grouping of elements
  • It is very easy to group a number of elements by just clicking the mouse and dragging it to cover multiple elements. They can now be easily moved around as a group. This makes it very easy to change their positioning

Overall it is a great tool to rapidly develop a User Interface prototype. I am in the process using it in conjuction with Napkee which builds upon Balsamiq bmml (xml output of balsamiq mockup) and generates stylized html or Adobe flex output. I think the two of them combined make a compelling case for a web developer with limited UI skills to reapidly develop UI mockups. But in itself Balsamiq is great to develop quick prototypes in an agile manner.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Bridging the gap to Rails

There has been a new initiative in the Rails world "To create an inclusive and friendly Ruby on Rails community". Check out I may contribute to it in coming times.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

RubyNation coming up

RubyNation, the DC area Ruby related conference is coming up again this summer from June12 to June 13, 2009. Check out for more details.