Using a private Git remote to backup WIP.

Always have a remote backup on hand

November 14, 2013

When working on a large feature locally, there is always a conflict between pushing work-in-progress changes (WIP), so that they are backed up somewhere, and no longer only on your local machine (which will break down or get stolen the day before you are due to launch), and keeping everything to yourself so that you can rebase locally and . . .

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Infrastructure as a disposable service

Hot-swapping infrastructure services on-the-fly.

November 14, 2013

Earlier this week we had what could have been a catastrophic infrastructure failure - our ElasticSearch cluster went offline. Given that this powers the core functional element of our entire business, this was not a good thing to wake up to.

As I started investigating what had gone wrong, I could practically hear the sniggers from . . .

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Pip Production Perils

Be very wary of using the pip '-e' flag in production!

October 27, 2013

As a Django app, running on Heroku, we lean on pip for our package management. One of pip's install options is the '--editable' flag, which allows you to install a package direct from a source repo.

Each time we deploy to Heroku, the platform runs the following command:

pip install -r requirements.txt

This . . .

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We've moved

Welcome to the new home of the YJ tech blog.

October 10, 2013

Welcome to Silvrback, the new home of the YJ tech blog.

Being a geeky bunch, having a blog on Tumblr or Wordpress was never really going to cut it for the YJ tech blog. My original requirements were very simple:

  • Write in Markdown
  • Store in git.

I didn't really want the hassle of picking a theme, or . . .

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Pushing Heroku release changelog to Gist

September 26, 2013

We publish our changelog on the site, which we extract from Heroku's release API, and push to GitHub's Gist API. Here's how we do it.

I've written a couple of posts already about our deployment process, and its creeping automation. The final step has always been updating the changelog, which we publish on the site.

. . .

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Using tuples (& dicts) in Django templates

September 25, 2013

UPDATE

Demonstrating the power of the web, and the great benefit to be had in publishing something even if it's not perfect, no sooner had I hit the send button than @stevejalim (of this parish) revealed to me that if you use a dict instead of a tuple, you can access the value by name, rather than index.
Thank you Steve.

. . .

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In praise of inline CSS

September 24, 2013

Inline CSS style attributes get a bad press - but sometimes they can be A Good Thing.

If you have read anything about CSS in the last five years, you will know that inline CSS styles are A Bad Thing. Some claim that the existence of inline styles demonstrates bad programming. CSS should be in included static files, which can be . . .

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