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Follow-ups from my RailsConf talk

First, thanks to everyone who came – especially those who laughed at all the right spots. If I didn’t get to your question, I’m here through Thursday afternoon.

There were a couple of questions during the talk and lots after the talk about how to deal with remote pairs. Since it’s RailsConf and most folks are on MacOS, came up.

Chad Woolley, King Remote Pivot, wrote up a great detailed discussion of his setup back in December. It should have answers to your tool & equipment questions.

The key element is the Full Screen mode in In Full Screen mode the remote Mac just becomes a terminal on the host machine – which means keystrokes like CMD-TAB, CMD-Space and a few others go over the wire instead of to your local box.

But Apple killed this feature as of 10.5.5 – but you can get it back! Follow the instructions at this post at MacWorld – use the second, more complex method – to hack on your bundle to restore the awesomeness.

Once you’ve got the new app, replace the current so you are always awesome:

sudo mv /System/Library/CoreServices/Screen /System/Library/CoreServices/Lame Screen

sudo cp Awesome Screen /System/Library/CoreServices/Screen

Then, run these two commands from Terminal:

defaults write ShowBonjourBrowser_Debug 1

'NSToolbar Configuration ControlToolbar' -dict-add 'TB Item Identifiers'  '(Scale,Control,Share,Curtain,Capture,FullScreen,GetClipboard,SendClipboard,Quality)'

We keep a copy of this app around which we renamed to, so we don’t lose the feature on subsequent Software Updates.

One last thing: Quicksilver doesn’t index into the /System directory by default, but you can change that as well:

  • Go to QuickSilver preferences
  • Go to Catalog (top right)
  • Go to Custom (bottom left)
  • Hit the plus (system bar) to add a new location
  • Pick File & Folder scanner
  • Navigate to /System/Library/CoreServices

Now you can launch ScreenSharing via QS. Enjoy!

  • Rémi Gagnon

    Hi Davis,

    I was at your RailsConf talk. Very interesting. I’m working in a big insurance company in Canada, we are using rails and we strive to be agile, which is not easy to implement at all in the context here.

    One question I have since a while is about documentation. in one of your slide you say ‘Get stories done’ I very curious to know how you manage this? Is there any analysts writing down all the stories in “MS word” with the client?

    Are you using Rspec? How do you transfer this stories (if its the case) to rspec?

    Thank you in advance.

  • Davis W. Frank

    @Remi –

    First, for Story tracking, we use [Pivotal Tracker](, our agile project management tool that I mentioned/promoted at the talk. We coach our clients to write their own stories in Tracker.

    As long as you have strong ownership of the stories outside the dev team – one person writing effective stories, accepting/rejecting them in a timely manner, and interacting with your dev team – then I don’t think it matters whether this person is a Product Manager, Business Analyst, or whatever. Just make sure you keep small feedback loops and your dev team cranking at a fairly constant rate.

    We strongly encourage minimizing documentation that’s external to Tracker. Sometime it’s necessary, but that’s a bigger discussion that can be had in blog comments.

    As for my “Get Stories Done” meme, that’s for breaking down what the customer wants into actionable engineering tasks – the things that I, as a coder, can do to turn a high-level story into code-able chunks. We do that on index cards or sometimes as zero-cost chores in Tracker, depending on the project.

    If you want to tie user acceptance tests to actual code, I suggest you look at [Cucumber]( Some Pivotal projects are using it with RSpec and love it, but I’ve not had first-hand experience.

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