Monthly Archives: October 2009

So awesome.

There are times I really enjoy using Ruby on Rails.  Recently, Fishpond started 403’ing http requests for cover images if the referrer isn’t  Sites do this so that other sites don’t steal their bandwidth.  Really, Booko should be downloading the images and serving them itself (It’s on the todo list BTW).  Since Booko had been using Fishpond image URLs to display covers, you may have noticed a bunch of missing cover images – some of them are caused by Fishpond’s new (completely reasonable) policy.

So I’ve updated the code so I don’t link to Fishpond images, but now I need to go through every product Booko’s ever seen  and update those with a Fishpond image URL.   This is laughably easy with ruby on rails. Just fire up the console and run this:

[sourcecode lang=”ruby”]
Product.find_each do |p|
if p.image_url =~ /fishpond/
puts "updating details for #{p.gtin}"

The Rails console gives you access to all the data and models of your application – and this code, just pasted in, will find links to all Fishpond images, find a replacement image, or set it to nil. Point of interest – Booko has 396,456 products in its database.  Iterating with Product.all.each would load every product into memory before hitting the each – that would probably never return. On the other hand Product.find_each loads records in batches of 1000 by default.  Pretty cool.

* Thanks to to posting about this feature.

Fun with git post-commit

While developing new features or bug fixes Booko, I usually work in branches. This makes keeping things separate easy, and means I can easily keep the current production version clean and easy to find.  But when changing branches I often have to restart the rails server and the price grabber to pickup any changes.  For example, if I’m adding a new shop in a branch, when I switch branches I want the price grabber to restart.

Turns out git makes this super easy. You just create a shell script: .git/hooks/post-checkout

That script gets called after checkout. So, mine is pretty simple:

[sourcecode language=”bash”]

./bin/fetch_price.rb 0 restart;
thin restart

There’s probably a better way to get Thin to reload itself, but this works nicely.

You can checkout all the hooks here: