Tag: Software

How REST Can Relieve Your (Lack of) Documentation Guilt

A couple of months ago we hired a contractor to write a reporting interface for our high volume monitoring system. Our system exposes all of it’s data in RESTful web services, and his job has been to take that data and allow users to create reports based on it. This morning a couple of my

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Tag: Software

When To Use Exceptions

Marty Alchin recently posted about the “evils” of returning None (or nil or null depending on your language of choice). I think he has it basically right. Sure there are situations where returning nil1 is appropriate, but they are pretty rare. For example, if a method actually does what the client asked and there is

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Tag: Software

ActiveRecord race conditions

Ara Howard has discovered that the ActiveRecord validation mechanism does not ensure data integrity.1 Validations feel a bit like database constraints but it turns out they are really only useful for producing human friendly error messages. This is because the assertions they define are tested by reading from the database before the changes are written

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Tag: Software

Tag: Software

Tag: Software

Tag: Software

Tag: Software

Tag: Software

Hypermedia as the Engine of Application State

One of the least well understood core tenets of the REST architectural style is that “hypermedia is the engine of application state”. Which basically means that responses from the server will be documents that include URIs to everything you can do next. For example, if GET a blog post the response document will have URIs

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Tag: Software