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Article  |  Studio

Yoga on Planet Argon

22 Jan 2015

Anyone who has used a computer keyboard as their primary tool of the trade knows the aches and pains that come with it; the achey wrists, tight forearms, stiff shoulders, maybe even some lower back pain from sitting in that “ergonomic” desk chair. Or perhaps you are more familiar with the 3pm slump? The time of day when you begin to start looking for a cookie or search for a comfy spot to take a nap.

At Planet Argon, we’re no strangers to these aches, pains and nap-attacks. That’s why we’ve started combatting it with yoga twice a week. In the afternoons, we stand up and spend about 20 minutes creating space in our joints and between our bones, stretching our muscles and breathing deeply. Every one of us has different aches, different levels of flexibility and varying experience with yoga but we all benefit from the simple action of getting up and moving around.

Some of our regular moves include:

These are some simple moves that, done with regularity, can heal and even prevent those pains and give a jolt of energy without grabbing a cookie or a quick slumber. We can do all of these without a yoga mat and it doesn’t even require you to wear stretchy pants (though you can if you want, we won’t judge).

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Article  |  Work

Japanese Snacks Anyone?

25 Nov 2014

Our team is pleased to start working with Skoshbox, a monthly box subscription service of Japanese sweet and savory snacks. They are a “a taste of japan at your doorstep”. They also have an online shop where users can buy their favorite snacks from their favorite boxes.

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Article  |  Development

The Results of the 2014 Rails Hosting Survey are in!

31 Jul 2014

We are proud to announce that we have released the results for the 2014 Ruby on Rails Hosting Survey! This year was an interesting challenge for us because we decided to display the results from previous years along with this year’s data.

How did we do that, you may ask? Charts! If a question was asked in a previous year, the viewer may switch the active color of the chart to highlight the data for that specific year. Neat-o!

We’ve made comments about what has changed throughout the years, but we want you to play around with the data and compare.

Thank you to everyone who participated this year!

Take a look at the Ruby on Rails Hosting Survey 2014.

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Article  |  Development

Fixing Wordpress URLs When Using Rack

27 Mar 2014

Tip to fix WordPress URLs

In my last article I detailed how to run PHP through a Rack server. This works fairly well until you try to sign into the Wordpress admin section.

The problem is that Wordpress stores site URLs in the database and it will use these for some redirections. Luckily, with a few Rake tasks you can painlessly override them.

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Article  |  Development

Wordpress and PHP on Rack

26 Mar 2014

We work primarily in Ruby on Rails, but every once and a while a client will need us to fix a critical bug in an existing PHP/Wordpress app that is slated to be deprecated.

We use Pow on our development machines. This is great for developing Rails applications but it does't play so well with other stacks that require port 80 to run.

There are some instructions out on the web that show you how to use Apache in conjunction with Pow so that both apps can be served simultaneously. This seemed like a little too much overhead, so I started poking around for a solution.

Did you know that PHP comes with an embedded web server? Yup, it's built in as of PHP 5.4 and OS X Mavericks comes with it pre-installed. If you're looking for a newer version, you can install 5.5 using homebrew-php.

Now that we don't need Apache to run PHP, we'll need something to proxy requests back to our embedded server. For this, I used Rack.

I setup a simple Gemfile with the following gems:

gem 'rack'
gem 'rack-legacy'

Then it's time to create our rackup file. Create a file titled config.ru and add the following:

require 'rubygems'
require 'bundler'

Bundler.setup

require 'rack'
require 'rack-legacy'

use Rack::ShowExceptions
use Rack::Legacy::Index
use Rack::Legacy::Php
run Rack::File.new Dir.getwd

That's it! Place this file into the root of your PHP project and you should be able to call rackup from the terminal to start the Rack server. By default this will be at http://0.0.0.0:9292.

There is one caveat though. At this time, Rack Legacy, will only respond to requests if it thinks that it's a valid PHP file.

From the Rack Legacy library this is called before a request is proxied:

def valid? path
    return false unless path =~ /\.php/

    path = path[1..-1] if path =~ /^\//
    path = path.split('.php', 2)[0] + '.php'
    path = ::File.expand_path path, @public_dir
    ::File.file? path
end

In our case this wasn't working for us because of the way that pretty URLs were being handled by Wordpress. In order to get around that, I monkey-patched Rack Legacy to simply pass all requests back to PHP.

Here is what I added to the config.ru file to make this happen:

class Rack::Legacy::Php
    def valid? path
        return true
    end
end

With that change, the Wordpress site was working as expected.

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Article  |  Development

CKEditor and Word Counts

4 Mar 2014

Tip to add word counts to CKEditor

In a project we’re currently working on, we created a form builder that could publish complex forms that include features such as:

  • Logic that can be applied to different fields, sections and pages
  • Configurable validations
  • Word counts by field, section or complete form
  • Option to allow some textareas to have WYSIWYG content

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Article  |  UX

It's the small things...HipChat's HEX swatches

4 Mar 2014

Several months ago, our team left Campfire and entered HipChat for all internal conversations project, team, or cute kitten related. There are a few great things about using HipChat, but one of my favorite’s as a designer is this; adding a swatch of any HEX code. This feature not only provides my teammate with the code to add for a color, but also provides more context when we are collaborating. It’s a small thing, but sometimes, the small things just make life a little better.

What are the small things you like about the tools you use?

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Article  |  Studio

Lessons from Planet Argon Junior Developers

27 Feb 2014

Planet Argon hired two Epicodus graduates as junior Ruby on Rails developers: Abby Smalls and Ana Tighe. I took some time to sit down with them and see how things are going so far. It was great talking to them about their experiences starting as junior developers here. We touched on some interesting points, including company culture, favorite apps, music, and some insights for people interested in development.

Abby Smalls and Ana Tighe

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Article  |  Work

Javelin Security Launches

24 Feb 2014

We are excited to announce the launch of Javelin Security, a computer security service that simulates real-world attacks on a company’s security infrastructure, designed to reveal the weaknesses and provide the tools to strengthen it.

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