On writing

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Development Bullet_white Comments Comments

Ernest Hemingway via Letters of Note

I write one page of masterpiece to ninety one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.

Sounds a lot like writing code too, huh?


Polishing Charts

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

Charts got some updates today:

  • More colors available: previously, charts had just six colors and nine shades of gray available for plotting metrics. The new color scheme uses HTML standard colors, and makes it easier to follow lines on busy charts.
  • Timeframe selection on dashboards: dashboard charts now default to a 5-hour timeframe. You can easily zoom out all charts simultaneously by clicking the new links at the top. This lets you quickly broaden your view to see what’s going on, without having to navigate to a bunch of charts individually.
  • No more iFrames on dashboards: by encapsulating the chart code better, we were able to get rid of iFrames on dashboards. This makes the dashboard page much lighter on memory (a typical dashboard might be 50MB lighter), and also fixes some quirky behavior when you’re resizing a chart.
  • Nice looking URLS: chart URLs are prettier and easier to copy-paste—there are no more encoded characters in the URL.

Scout Alerts in Campfire via Hubot

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Examples, Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

Want to get Scout alerts piped into your Campfire room? You can, thanks to Scout user Gavin Stark’s Hubot script for Scout. Gavin describes the advantages for his team at Real Digital Media:

Our support staff can now see the alerts from Scout as a team. We combine this with other monitoring services that monitor ping-ability and web response speeds.

Getting Scout alerts in Campfire means we can discuss them inline and respond quickly. We’ve found the immediacy of Campfire to be an improvement over email.

Want to get your Scout alerts in Campfire? You’ll need a Hubot.

Need to set up a Hubot?

Hubot is a program that listens in on your chat room. He responds to commands and can provide notifications. Your Hubot needs to run someplace. Most people set him up on Heroku, since it’s A) really simple; B) free!

  1. follow these instructions to deploy Hubot to Heroku.
  2. once your Hubot has joined your Campfire room and responds to commands (try: hubot help), continue below to configure Scout to talk to your Hubot.

Already Got a Friendly Hubot?

Two easy steps:

  1. add the Hubot Script for Scout into your Hubot’s /scripts directory.
  2. in your Scout account, click on “Notifications,” then set the webhooks URL to http://YOUR_HUBOT_URL/hubot/scoutapp/CAMPFIRE_ROOM_NUMBER

That’s it! Try creating a Scout trigger that fires immediately to test it out.

Thanks again to Scout user Gavin Stark for writing the Hubot script, and to Hubot maintainer Tom Bell for the quick merge.



Say Hello to JavaScript Charts

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Features, Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

JavaScript charts are here, they look great, and they work on your iPad!

Scout’s basic chart functionality has remained the same, with a few enhancements:

  1. Most importantly, the charts no longer require Flash. This means you can view the charts on your iPad or modern Flash-free browser.
  2. Charts now show values in a tooltip as you mouse over them (the image above shows an example). This solves a long-standing problem with the old charts, where the legend became unreadable with many metrics.
  3. The charts feel snappier!

JavaScript charts have been a popular request on the Scout Uservoice page, and we’re pleased to release them. As always, any feedback, let us know.

A Note on dashboards with the new tooltip: in some cases the tooltip can overflow from the smallest charts on dashboards. If you encounter this issue, just enlarge your dashboard chart a bit to make room for the tooltip.



By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

In addition to email and SMS, Scout now sports a flexible new alerting option: webhooks. When a trigger generates an alert, Scout can post the alert details to a URL of your choice.

Read More →


An update to the "Simple Process Check" Plugin

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Plugins Bullet_white Comments Comments

The Simple Process Check plugin takes a comma-delimited list of process names, and alerts you if any of the named processes stop running. It’s an easy way to keep tabs on the essential processes on your server.

What’s New: Track Multiple Processes with Different Arguments

You can also check that a process exists with a certain substring included in its arguments. For example, to check for two instances of node (one with “emailer” in its args, and one with “eventLogger” in its args), set this in process_names: node/emailer,node/eventLogger.

You can mix and match pure process_names and process_name/args.

Here’s the link to the Simple Process Check plugin again.


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