James Slocum


A random collection of thoughts on a variety of topics

“jamesslocum.com is online!”


After a year of “under construction” status on my website, I finally decided to sit down and write a new page. Web development has always been interesting to me, but not my strongest skill by a long shot! I have no eye for design, and I find JavaScript to be a mess, however server side programming comes easy to me. So to begin I had to choose a web stack. In college I would have gone with Apache and Tomcat since back then I was Java programmer, but I only have 256 Mb of ram to work with on my VPS so those are too bloated for my simple needs. I settled on Sinatra and Thin. I was leery at first when it came to Thin, but after some research I found that it would be the best fit. It’s small (memory wise), fast, and easy to configure. Sinatra is a great Ruby web DSL that makes building dynamic web applications as easy as writing a script. I used Sinatra routes to handle the requests and generate the dynamic data and hand it off to the views. For the views I decided to use erb files as they reminded me of my old days of writing jsp files and lowered the learning curve.

Now that I had the web stack in place, I was back to my initial problem of not being a very good front end designer. Twitter bootstrap to the rescue! Twitter bootstrap is an awesome collection of css and JavaScript files that make front end development super easy. I read their documentation and looked at some of their samples, and developed what I think is a nice site. As of this post you should be able to see the new site up and running. What is really amazing about this is how quickly I was able to get this from scratch to on-line! Only 2 days of development time! The whole process was such a breeze and I have the different technologies I chose to work with to thank for that!

Check out some of these projects for yourself!

Sinatra - http://www.sinatrarb.com/

Thin - http://code.macournoyer.com/thin/

Twitter Bootstrap - http://twitter.github.com/bootstrap/index.html

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