Forget Chef or Puppet – Automate with Sprinkle

Miso has a relatively standard server architecture for a medium-level traffic Rails application. We use Linode to host our application and we provision a number of VPS instances that make up our infrastructure. We have a load balancer equipped with Nginx and Varnish, we have an application server that runs our Rails application to serve dynamic requests, we have a master-slave database setup, and a cache server that has memcached and redis. Early on, we manually setup these servers by hand by installing packages, compiling libraries, tweaking configurations and installing gems. We then manually documented these steps to a company wiki which would allow us to mechanically follow the steps…
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22 Comments Filed Under: All, Engineering

Distributed Persistence for YAMLRecord

Last month we released YAMLRecord, a lightweight way to persist a small dataset into a simple YAML file which is fine if you’ve only one app server and you keep the YAML file stored locally. As pointed out by Nelson Hernandez, YAMLRecord presents a problem when you have multiple application servers because the file can no longer be stored locally on a single application server. The problem is that if a change occurs in one of theses servers, the YAML file would have to be updated on all the others or stored in a new location accessible by all the servers. To address this issue, the goal was to find a way…
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Objective-C Conventions

Writing code without conforming to some form of convention lends itself to a lot of confusion; Both for the code writer, and for someone else trying to understand your code. The pain worsens as the code base starts to increase in size, especially for a non-GC programming languages like Objective-C where memory management has to be cared for meticulously. Following a set of naming conventions for your instance variables, class names…etc. will help maintain a certain level of sanity. Here at Miso, we conform to a set of conventions that are partly derived from Apple standards, and partly from common best practices we’ve seen from other developers. Class and Variable names…
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3 Comments Filed Under: All, Engineering

Vendor – Bringing Bundler to iOS

Using and sharing iOS libraries is tragically difficult given the maturity of the framework, the number of active developers, and the size of the open source community.  Compare with Rails which has RubyGems and Bundler, it’s no surprise that Rails/Ruby has a resource like The Ruby Toolbox, while iOS development has…nothing? Are iOS developers fundamentally less collaborative than Rails developers?  When developing on Rails, if I ever find myself developing anything remotely reusable, I can almost always be certain that there is a gem for it (probably with an obnoxiously clever name). I don’t think the spirit of collaboration is lacking in the iOS developer community; rather, there are a few fundamental…
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19 Comments Filed Under: All, Engineering