Caesar Says: A Roman Numeral Calculator

A couple days ago, I set out to create a Roman numeral calculator.  I wrote this gem, and made this sample app.  Have fun!


Screen shot 2013-02-14 at 6.41.03 PM

QuackyCharts now drawing line graphs.

A few months ago, I released a gem called quacky-charts, which could be used to draw pie charts in Rails apps.  Last night, I added a feature which allows you to draw line graphs.  The graphs are still pretty ugly, but the basic features are in place.  Improving their appearance should be pretty easy from here.  More importantly, I made a site for documentation.  Check it out at

StreetCred working example… kinda

After fiddling with StreetCred (a gem to handle Facebook credit integration) for a few weeks, I have a basic version available, as well as a working example at, with some disclaimers.

Right now, the callback response is static.  The next feature I will need to add is the ability to specify product information.  For now, however, the example will stand as a proof of concept.

Revisiting streetcred

A few months ago I posted about the difficulties integrating Facebook credits with Rails applications, and suggested that a gem could potentially be used to simplify the callback action.  Right now, I am working on just that!  I’m working on this gem, which I call streetcred (at  My goal for this project is to create a simple ‘handler’ object which can be initialized in the callback action.  This handler, out of the box, will correctly respond to multiple requests from the Facebook Credits Dialogue with simple Lorem Ipsum type content.  This content will be easily configurable.  

So far, it’s just some specs and basic gemspec stuff.  We’ll see how it goes… 

Learning the Ropes of Jasmine

I’ve been trying to learn about client-side testing, and have started learning about Jasmine.  I started working on an example, which is on my github at  I haven’t written any specs… yet.

Adding Bar Graphs to quacky-charts

This week, I’m going to try to add some new kinds of graphs to quacky-charts.  I think I’m going to start with bar graphs, using Rickshaw.js.  I already have a little JS base to work from here:  Now, it’s just time to coffeescriptize it, and get the server-side generators and builders up!

quacky-charts, one week in

Last week, I published a very basic version of quacky-charts, a gem that I’ve been working on.  The goal of quacky-charts is to give Rails developers the ability to build pie charts using client-side tools (D3, for now), and configure them using a simple, Ruby syntax.  My plan for quacky-charts is to make it work well for pie charts, and then try to add some additional chart and graph types once I’m comfortable with the pie chart builder.  In the past week, I’ve accomplished some goals, including:

  • some basic RSpec tests
  • CoffeeScript D3 initialization drawing charts from data configured in the controller
  • clean configuration syntax

Next week, I’m going to work on some additional features.  Ideally, I’d like to get some sort of client-side testing framework in place.


Introducing quacky-charts, a gem to add D3 pie charts to Rails apps

I just started a new open-source project at The goal is to provide a powerful, easy-to-use (and customize) tool for Rails developers to quickly add graphs to their apps. I know, there are a lot of tools out there already. However, I’ve found that most of the best tools (D3, Rickshaw.js) are JavaScript tools. I want to abstract these tools to move the configuration to Ruby. It will be perfect for Rails developers who don’t have the time or experience to configure these tools on the client-side.

Although the basic functionality is already there, it’s still VERY much a work in progress. So far, it only draws pie charts with random data. That will change very soon. Here are some things I want to achieve as soon as possible:

  • the ability to configure data from the controller, and have the chart draw itself based on that data
  • rspec testing
  • additional graph types

Stay tuned for updates!

Simple D3 Pie Chart Example

All the D3 pie chart examples out there are pretty complicated and crowded with features you probably don’t want.  Here’s an example of one that’s pretty basic:  I’m still working to make it simpler.

It’s based on this example:

Just for Fun: A Rails 3 Boilerplate with HAML, Mongoid, and Twitter Bootstrap

Lately, I’ve been exploring some tools that make life easier for Rails developers.  I decided to make a boilerplate app that has a few of my favorite tools installed and ready to go.  Specifically, this app has HAML, Mongoid, and Twitter Bootstrap.  With these tools included, it is easy to develop powerful, beautiful Rails 3 apps.

In the future, I’d like to edit this boilerplate to include some additional tools.  Eventually, I’d like to write a post, explaining how I installed these tools.  For now, here’s the code: