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The Buckblog

assorted ramblings by Jamis Buck

The Cat's Out of the Bag

7 January 2005 — 2-minute read

David Heinemeier Hansson announced today on his blog the launch of several new features to Basecamp. He also was generous in his praise of my contributions to this latest upgrade, both on his blog, and on the Ruby on Rails weblog. So, the proverbial cat is out of the proverbial bag: I’ve been moonlighting for 37signals for the last month.

It has been a lot of fun to work with David and the rest of the 37signals crew, not least because it has all been in Ruby! It has also proven to be an excellent means of stretching my “rails muscles”, and helping me to learn much more about the innards of that fantastic web framework.

It has been challenging. Adding the time-zone support, especially was educational. I learned, first of all, that time zones have a pretty far-reaching impact on an application, and as Jason Fried mentioned in the upgrade announcement, “Note to everyone who wants to build a web-app: Build time zones into your product from the start.” But all in all, it works pretty well.

The other feature I helped with was adding SFTP support. This has helped fix a few bugs in the Net::SFTP, and also identified several areas that need work… hopefully there will be a new release of both Net::SSH and Net::SFTP in the near future.

And in spite of David’s glowing words about me, I have to say that he is the wizard here. Just reading the Basecamp code, and learning the ins and ous of Rails and its components, has revealed to me (as it has to others) his genius.

Oh, and I’m going to have an opportunity to meet David (again) and the rest of the 37signals crew later this month, at the Building of Basecamp workshop in Seattle. I’m looking forward to it!

Lastly, and unrelated to anything else: I’ve moved my blog to a new host (TextDrive) and there are a few wrinkles that I need to iron out. Feel free to drop me a line if you find anything acting strangely.