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Bill Kirtley
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When developing a web application that sends email, sometimes you want to be careful about *who* it can send to. Rails makes it easy to send no email, but you may want messages to go to yourself and colleagues, without accidentally sending to your entire customer base. Introducing safety_mailer. It... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2012 at ActBlueTechBlog
# The Simplest Possible Web Application, with sinatra and heroku # Here's one take on building the simplest possible web application with [sinatra](, and deploying it with [heroku]( A web application is a program that lives somewhere on the internet, responding to http requests presented to it. I set out... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2011 at ActBlueTechBlog
Our release process at ActBlue: git + github + jenkins + capistrano + peer code review => _almost_ continuous deployment. The software group here at ActBlue has been refining our process, and we've got a pretty good rhythm down. Now seems like a good time to share it. Usually one... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2011 at ActBlueTechBlog
I had a nice vacation recently, and took a bunch of pictures with an _actual camera_. OK, not the old chemical kind, but one that didn't have a cellphone inside. It has some nice features for taking pictures, a real lens that really zooms, and the battery lasts much longer,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2011 at Bill Kirtley's blog
ActBlue is the leading source of online funds for the Democratic Party and an innovator in the field of grassroots politics. We build tools that are used by hundreds of thousands of people to change the country everyday. We're an established player (eight years strong!) gearing up to make a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2011 at ActBlueTechBlog
Hanging around [Netroots Nation]( we are seeing a lot of [QR codes]( on posters, stickers, slide decks, business cards, even T-shirts. These are those strange square black and white boxes. They're a two dimensional bar code, which can hold different kinds of information, but in this context they're being used... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2011 at ActBlueTechBlog
A simple rack middleware that will set the process title as reported by 'ps' and 'top' to the URL the process is working on. Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2011 at ActBlueTechBlog
ActiveRecord uniqueness validation is nice, but you're always open to race conditions, where two application instances (mongrels, passengers, dynos, ...) process the same request at the same time. They both look to see if there is a match, both see there is none, then both write identical copies of the record. If you care about your data integrity, _you need to ensure it at the database level._ This project demonstrates how and why to have a uniqueness constraint that does the right thing when some columns can be null. Code for this project is [on github.]( Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2011 at ActBlueTechBlog
I kind of doubt this is my first typepad post, but at least it's the first to this blog. Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2011 at Bill Kirtley's blog
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May 27, 2011