A simple menubar

Jul 20, 2009

Recently I have been trying to prototype an application and have needed a way to set the navigation bar during the initial development. So, here is a simple menubar I use while I am building apps.

In my rails app lib/eightsquarestudio/menu_bar_builder.rb

module EightSquareStudio::MenuBarBuilder 
  def self.controller_list(skip_routes=[])
    list = ActionController::Routing.possible_controllers 
    skip_routes.concat(%w( rails/info rails_info application)).each do |item|
    return list

module ApplicationHelper 
  def menubar_builder(controller, *skip_routes, &block)       
    result = []
    block ||= lambda do |c|
      link_to_unless(controller.controller_name == c, c.singularize, {:controller => c}) do |name|
        link_to(name, {:controller => c}, {:class => 'current'})
    EightSquareStudio::MenuBarBuilder.controller_list(skip_routes).each do |c|
      result << block.call(c)
    return "<div class='tab'>#{result.join("</div><div class='tab'>")}</div>" 

If I get a chance I will wrap it into a plugin. If you have any comments or suggestions. Please email me mail at eightsquarestudio dot com

Posted by Thomas Cowell

Tags: rails

Is Cloud Computing Something New?

Jul 13, 2009

I have been looking a bit at cloud computing and I am seeing it as an evolution of the current internet. Here are my thoughts on what ‘cloud computing’ is and is not with relationship to web design and development

Wikipedia defines: Cloud computing is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualised resources are provided as a service over the Internet. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure in the “cloud” that supports them.

Here are a list of misinterpretations and the corrections

  1. The cloud is a new technology.
    • The cloud is not new technology although new technology will appear as part of the move to the cloud
    • There is a strong emphasis on networking together existing technologies
    • The web is the foundation to cloud computing
  2. Cloud Computing will completely change the internet.
    • No, cloud computing is going to change the delivery accessibility and integration of the internet.
    • This of cloud computing as a means of making to experience of the internet closer to the experience of desktop computing. What I mean is the distance in mouse clicks between various ‘applications’ and ‘resources’ that are regularly used.
  3. Cloud Computing means we don’t have to have our own server hardware.
    • You still need hardware somewhere, whether you have to support it yourselves, depends on your application.
    • Larger apps on fixed servers that have redundancy for heavy load/failure in the cloud is an excellent solution
  4. Cloud Computing will replace the web
    • Definitely not. Cloud computing is an augmentation and enhancement of the web. It is the move from fixed expensive hardware to virtualised cost effective solutions.

The best way to view cloud computing is that it is an evolutionary enhancement of existing technologies, improving performance, reliability and accessibility. Some technology will pass away, but that is part of the natural evolution of technology. Cloud computing offers exciting new opportunities to expand the web in an efficient and environmentally responsible manner.

Posted by

Tags: technology