Running Rails and MySQL on OS X 10.4 (Tiger)

Working through the "Depot" example in the widely praised book "Agile Web Development with Rails", I encountered a well known problem with Ruby and MySQL on OS X 10.4 (Tiger), identified in the footnotes of the book on p. 53:

"Unless, perhaps, you’re running OS X 10.4. It seems as if Tiger has broken Ruby’s
standard MySQL library. If you see the error 'Before updating scaffolding from new DB schema, try creating a table for your model (Product)', it may well be because Ruby (and hence Rails) can’t get to the database. To fix Apple’s bad install, you’re going to need to reinstall Ruby’s MySQL library, which means running the script on page 21 to repair the Ruby installation, and then reinstalling the mysql gem."

The book's advice did not work for me. But Tony Arnold's advice did work. I needed to install the Xcode Tools from the OS X 10.4 Developer Tools CD. This provides the GCC 4.0 "C" compiler needed to build a working Ruby MySQL binding from source.

My working configuration:
MacOS X 10.4.2
ruby 1.8.2 (2004-12-25) [powerpc-darwin8.0]
Rails 0.14.3 (updated from Tony Arnold's Rails distribution for OS X Tiger)
mysql-ruby-2.7 binding compiled from source using GCC 4.0

I converged on Tony Arnold's information only after wading through much other material surfaced through Web searches. The information on the RubyOnRails site covering this same topic struck me as more complex to digest. I can not confirm whether that material works, but the commentary reveals some confusion among developers. Hopefully, recording my successful experience here will save others some time.


Business Card Art

Robert Scoble's business card
Originally uploaded by lyndon.

Robert Scoble presented his tres-hip business card earlier this morning at the Laszlo offices in San Mateo. With Robert's permission, I've posted it on Flickr. The impressive design by Hugh Macleod reminds me of the work of the esteemed Saul Steinberg, which I hope Hugh will accept as a high compliment!


Laszlo Mail goes public

Originally uploaded by lyndon.

Laszlomail is a grand example of what OpenLaszlo makes possible. It's now available for the world to try out, in the spirit of a living laboratory.

Interesting reading material is available at the Laszlomail blog.



Design, Markets, Customer Knowledge

Lessons from Sea Ranch, California

Gualala Beach driftwood

Sea Ranch coastline

Maynard and Lyndon

Gehry cube stools

Sea Ranch book cover

Tree House exterior

Tree House interior

I recently discovered for the first time the many charms of Gualala and the nearby Sea Ranch on the Northern California coast. I found much to my liking, including Maynard Lyndon's Placewares, Joel Crockett's Four-eyed Frog Books, the 'lusty, zaftig soulful food' of Pangaea, the charming Tree House and of course, the Sea Ranch's wonderful synthesis of the built and natural environments.

This beautiful region also brought to mind the tension between 'good design' and 'market appeal'. In both software and residential architecture, what the design professions deem good may only be recognized and appreciated by sufficiently knowledgeable end users. Hence superior ideas risk addressing a smaller market.

For example, among the digerati, Yahoo's Flickr is recognized as an outstanding example of Web 2.0 software design. But in order to deliver Flickr's immense power and flexibility as an online photo-sharing service, the UI design dispenses with old, restrictive metaphors, such as albums, in favor of new metaphors which presume greater familiarity with the abstractions of the Web. For those less familiar with the Web, Flickr requires greater effort to understand and use than earlier online photo sharing services.

Similarly, in the architecture profession, the Sea Ranch is heralded as an exceptional example of modern architecture and planning, melding people and the environment in an enlightened manner. To do so, the Sea Ranch allocates much of its land area to permanent, communally-owned open space and imposes strict planning guidelines for continued development. But the Sea Ranch approach to the built environment only appeals to home buyers who perceive the value of relatively esoteric ideas understood by few beyond the design professions.

In comparison to the built environment, the Web fortunately enjoys the advantage of greater maleability and rapid iteration. Thus both designer and end-user may quickly experiment, learn and evolve together. While good novel ideas in architecture may require decades or generations for the real estate market to digest, similarly beneficial ideas in software may only take months or years for the software market to embrace. In either case, progress requires a well-informed market in a position to understand the value of the latest advances.

Tags: ,