Take back your control-space keybinding in Ubuntu w/ Cinnamon

I use Emacs and just switched to Cinnamon when upgrading to Trusty Tahr. It somehow stole the control-space keybinding, which I use in Emacs a lot; it is used for setting the current mark, so I can cut or delete a region of a buffer. This is also used for the autocomplete feature in Eclipse, which is one of the main reasons I use Eclipse.

Solution found: some built-in thing called IBus binds that for setting the input method. I like the input method I already have set up & I don’t need to change it, so here’s how to disable that: answer on askubuntu.com.



How to make Machinist and Autotest coexist

If you’ve tried to use Machinist and autotest (part of ZenTest) you have probably seen this exception that prevented you from using it:

It’s discussed in the machinist Google Group as well.

It’s because of a wacky hack that’s part of Machinist that overrides Module.name so you can do Sham.name, but ZenTest expects Module.name to do what it does normally.

I have a fix for this.
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Techniques for Exhaustively Testing a Rails App

I subscribe to dozens of tech blogs (including but not limited to Ruby and Rails), and although I’ve seen quite a lot of commentary about TDD and BDD, I’m not sold on either of them yet. TDD is interesting, but BDD seems like a waste of time. But I am completely sold on automated testing in general. I write lots and lots of tests and make sure using rcov that my tests cover all of the code.

Getting 100% coverage isn’t easy. In general it means you definitely can’t just write a single test case per method and declare victory when it passes. When the number of possible combinations of inputs (method arguments and/or mock objects) and expected outputs (return values, exceptions, and side effects) becomes large, then the potential for copy-and-paste errors in your test code becomes large, and legibility becomes an issue. This is the point at which I find the recent fascination with writing tests in a near-natural-language DSL to be a distraction. It’s orthogonal to the problem I’m dealing with, which is how to comprehensively test the code. In other words, the problem is not making a small number of tests more readable, but concisely expressing a large number of input/output combinations and a large number of different tests, and making it all readable.

I assume that there are others working on this problem too, so I’ll describe some of the things I’ve come up with, and hopefully if you have any good ideas you’ll post them in the comments section.

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Rakefile snippet to run Rails’ rake:stats in a plain old gem

I’ve been moving a bunch of utility code out of a medium sized project (>10KLOC) to make it easier to test. I started by trying to make a set of plugins, but inter-plugin dependency management is basically nonexistent, and now that Rails supports explicit Gem dependencies, I decided to make them gems.

I’m happy I chose to make them gems, but I miss some of the stuff you get in a Rails project. In particular I wanted ‘rake:stats’, so I can update my estimation spreadsheet which is now almost 9 months old. I need the stats for each gem in addition to the main Rails project, in order to compare this to prior figures from the Rails project before I split it up.

So, here is the Rakefile snippet that I added, which adds the rake:stats task into a regular gem. If you don’t have the Rails gem installed, it will fail gracefully, without breaking your whole gem. So you need not make your teeny little gem depend on all of Rails being installed on every machine where your gem needs to go. Just install Rails whereever you want to run stats, which is probably already the case on your development machine.
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