The year at Scout - 2012 edition

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

If 2011 was the year of fine-tuning, 2012 was the year of major feature enhancements at Scout. Some stats on what’s been a fun year:

Feature Highlights

  • Realtime Charts – We started the year off with a bang, adding realtime capabilities to Scout’s charts.
  • Pagerduty Integration – We made it easier to feed your alerts into Pagerduty.
  • Rails Application Monitoring – A lightweight approach to finding and tracking app bottlenecks. We soft-launched this (you’ll hear more about it in 2013).
  • Webhooks – Send your alerts to an HTTP endpoint of your choice.
  • Dashboard Enhanncements – Add charts and plugin displays to a dashboard without leaving the page.
  • Javascript Charts – View your charts on iOS devices.
  • A cleaner navigation header – Our navigation header was packed-full of links (and let’s be honest, looked a little stale). No more.

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Self-funded = no compromises

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Business Bullet_white Comments Comments

Naomi Pomeroy, a Food & Wine Best New Chef, on starting an underground, self-funded restaurant:

When major chefs hear about the way I run Beast, they say, ‘You’ve created a chef’s dream restaurant, because you don’t have to compromise,’ ” she told me. “What happens when you do a million-dollar build-out is that you have to be open seven days a week, be really high end, and have a million choices, and that may not work in today’s economy.

Read more in the New Yorker.

 

Fort Collins Ruby Meetup - Getting real(time) with Ruby

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

In the Colorado Front Range area? I’ll be talking about the realtime web at the Fort Collins Ruby Meetup this Wednesday.

I’ll show how adding realtime functionality is the easy: in less than 30 minutes, we’ll build a Sinatra app that uses Pusher for realtime functionality.

UPDATED

See the demo Sinatra app, a Ruby Meetup Realtime Heckle Board on Github.

 

Heading to Rocky Mountain Ruby?

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Business Bullet_white Comments Comments

The Scout gang (including founders and co-dictators-for-life Derek and Andre) will be at Rocky Mountain Ruby Conference in beautiful Boulder, Colorado next week.

If you’re going to be there, let us know. We’d love to take our relationship beyond our support email address (if you’re ready for that).

 

Removing deadweight - cleaning up our Rails app

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Development Bullet_white Comments Comments

Every man has their breaking point when it comes to deadweight code. Andre and I hit ours recently and decided to spend all of last week focusing soley on cleaning up Scout (a Rails app). Our goals:

  • Faster tests – our tests took 8 minutes to complete. While it’s the perfect amount of time to catchup on Daily Show clips, it really tested our patience making application-wide changes.
  • Removing deadweight – unused CSS rules, database tables + columns, views, and assets. It’s good having certainty that modifying code will change something in the application.

Here’s how we went about it:

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Kestrel in Production at Papertrail

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Plugins Bullet_white Comments Comments

We’ve added prolific plugin contributor Eric Lindvall’s latest plugins to Scout: Kestrel Overall and Kestrel Queue Monitoring. Kestrel is a simple message queue built from production needs at Twitter. Being the gentleman he is, Eric shared his experiences with Kestrel at Papertrail, a hosted log aggregation service.

Why Kestrel?

As all good message queues should, it provides:

  • transactional reads to prevent losing messages if a worker crashes before finishing processing a message
  • durability to prevent losing messages if a queue server crashes or is stopped after messages have been sent to it
  • “normal” queues (only one client sees a given message) and “fanout queues” (all clients see a given message, which many messaging systems call “topics”)

We picked Kestrel because it has bounded memory usage (it has a configuration setting to specify how many queued messages should reside in RAM, generally defaulting to 128MB), it’s small (I was able to read the entire Scala codebase in a weekend), and running on the JVM (which we have experiencing with) was a plus.

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