Blake Williams

I'm a Ruby on Rails & Ember.js developer living in Boston Massachusetts.
I also have a thing for Wing Chun and Elixir.

Playing with Elixir and Erlang

Posted February 26th, 2014

I've always been interested in playing with functional programming in my spare time. I've tried out a few different flavors such as Clojure, Erlang, Haskell, and OCaml but never really found myself sticking to one or really getting to know any of them really well. Lately I've been playing with Elixir and Erlang together and have fallen in love with them.

Continuously Becoming More Productive

Posted February 9th, 2014

As a developer I'm always trying to improve myself, my code, and my process. I'm always trying new things and keeping an open mind to see if it has a place in my process or can help make my life easier.

Testing Ember with Jasmine 2.0

Posted February 9th, 2014

Testing can be hard and Ember doesn't exactly have the greatest resources for testing. QUnit is the "official" testing framework for Ember.js apps and it has the most resources dedicated to it which can make using something like Jasmine a bit harder.

Double Click to Edit View in Ember

Posted August 2nd, 2013

When writing my current Ember app I wanted a view where you can double click to edit an element and it will replace the current item with a textfield. Instead of writing multiple views to handle this double click to edit feature, I wanted to write a reusable view that I can bind a value to and forget about.

How I organize my SCSS with Bourbon and Neat.

Posted July 25th, 2013

I read Thoughtbot's Style Sheet Swag quite a while ago but never really tried to implement it until a recent side project. As it turns out, this is much cleaner than using the asset pipeline.

Developing Gems with TDD and Minitest: Part 3

Posted June 28th, 2013

Part 2 left off with our project having a post class that is able to parse YAML Front Matter from our Markdown files, and then process the Markdown as well. Now we need a way to have templates for our Posts as well as writing the files to our site directory.

My Vim Setup With a Hint of Workflow

Posted June 25th, 2013

Everyone has their favorite text editor and their own workflow to go along with it. In this post I'm going to go over how I use Vim and what my workflow consists of when working on a Rails project. It can be interesting to look into how others work with their tools and compare it to your own workflow.

Developing Gems with TDD and Minitest: Part 2

Posted May 10th, 2013

In part 1 we set up our gem and a few dependencies and got our testing environment ready as well. Now it's time to actually start writing our gem. We'll start off with our Post class which when given a path will read the file, parse the YAML Front Matter and render our Markdown content.

Developing Gems with TDD and Minitest: Part 1

Posted May 1st, 2013

If you've ever used Ruby you'd know that Gems are fundamental to any Ruby project. Despite Gems being so important it can be intimidating to write your own gem let alone how you should test them. This will take us through writing and testing a very basic static blog generator.

Wrapping a jQuery plugin with Ember.js Views

Posted April 12th, 2013

Whenever I'm working with Ember I often find myself wanting the functionality that a jQuery plugin provides. It may not be obvious, but we can wrap jQuery plugins inside of Ember views and use these plugins just like any other Ember view.

System Wide Install With rbenv

Posted January 17th, 2013

This post is going to cover installing rbenv 0.4.0 system wide and is largely taken from the old rbenv wiki page titled "Shared Install of rbenv" which was been taken down at some point.

A Brief Introduction to Backbone

Posted November 3rd, 2012

Backbone.js is about 5kb of awesome that will give your application a basic structure and set of tools that allow you to build client side MVC applications that pulls data from RESTful JSON API's and then displays and modifies that data based on user events. This is a basic introduction to some core concepts that will help you get started with Backbone.

I Love Percent Syntax and So Should You

Posted October 22nd, 2012

As a Rails developer I sometimes deal with a lot of strings in various ways and it's a huge pain when the strings require interpolation contain a lot of double quotes. Instead of escaping all of those double quotes you should use percent syntax. Ruby percent syntax gets past this by allowing you to use nearly any character as the delimiter for your string and works with non-interpolated strings, interpolated strings, regular expressions, arrays, and even shell commands.