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JB Steadman

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LABS
javascriptTests.bind(reality)

Javascript tests are good, but manually-maintained HTML fixtures are painful. It's time consuming to keep fixture markup in sync with the actual markup produced by your app. Despite best efforts, deviations arise, leading to bugs and false positives in tests.

For the past few months on Mavenlink, we've been pre-generating real-life fixture markup and making it available in our javascript tests. Results have been positive.

LABS
more page dynamics, less client logic

Ajaxed pages frequently need to update many parts of the page within ajax callbacks. Here I'll outline how we use jQuery and Rails do this on Mavenlink. Our approach encodes behavior declaratively in markup and minimizes client-side logic.

LABS
Standup 01/22/09 – take care with update_attribute() and new records

ActiveRecord's update_attribute() method is useful for setting a single attribute value while bypassing validation.

You may not know, however, that when invoked on a new record, update_attribute() saves the record, including all the fields, and bypassing validation for all fields.

This can lead to some unwelcome surprises. For example, acts_as_list uses update_attribute(), so if you're using acts_as_list, watch out for unexpected, unvalidated saves when using new records within the list.

Thanks to Adam Milligan for the heads-up.