Read my latest article: 8 things I look for in a Ruby on Rails app (posted Thu, 06 Jul 2017 17:59:00 GMT)

Rails Business Hosting Gets a Holiday

Posted by Thu, 11 May 2006 22:31:00 GMT

9 comments Latest by Justin Tue, 16 May 2006 16:47:04 GMT

We’ve finally let the cat out of the bag. We’ve been testing out things for the past few months and a public announcement is long over due. PLANET ARGON has just announced our new Rails Business Hosting packages, which start from as low as $75/month.

How does this service differ from our existing Rails hosting? Well, your accounts are placed on special island servers… and there are very few neighbors. Think about it. Standard shared hosting is like going downtown and there is traffic everywhere. Cars, street construction, help vampires... you know what I’m talking about. It works out for some people, but it can also be stressful for both you and your customers.

This is why PLANET ARGON has been working on a building better solution for those who are seeking a more relaxing and less noisy hosting environment. We’ve been hosting Rails applications for over a year… and we’re proud to have been one of the first providers in the community. Our team has learned much about Rails…heck, two of us are writing books on the subject and as a development firm who also has to deploy Rails applications for our clients, we know first hand the difficulties that are associated with deploying your application in a shared environment.

It’s probably safe for us to say, “we’ve helped deploy more Rails apps than you have.” ;-)

Rails Business Hosting

Our new Rails Business Hosting plans aim to provide better performance, uptime, scaling options, security, and deployment support. This solution is perfect for those who are launching their new Rails applications but don’t have the budget to purchase their own servers or the technical knowhow to administer a VPS. Let us do it for you and hopefully this will let you get back to doing what you do best—managing your business and building the next iteration of your product.

“All of the service and support of a shared server,” says David Gibbons, PLANET ARGON’s Lead Systems Administrator. “You’ll never have to worry about the headaches of server administration, but you still reap the benefits from being one of a select few having to share resources.”

Learn more about our Rails Business Hosting plans!

PLANET ARGON - Documentation Project, part 2

Posted by Thu, 04 May 2006 23:56:00 GMT

Let me start off by saying that our customers are awesome. That’s right. They are awesome.

A while back, I announced the PLANET ARGON Documentation Project and since then our documentation has gone through several changes and it’s being driven by several of our hosting customers.

As of today, all PLANET ARGON hosting customers will notice this when they login to their control panel.

For more information about hour rails hosting, visit

For more information about our documentation project, visit

Project Borat, an introduction

Posted by Wed, 03 May 2006 21:46:00 GMT

7 comments Latest by Joe Grossberg Wed, 07 Jun 2006 20:56:03 GMT

This is going to be really exciting and a fun challenge for our team. Over the next few months we are going to take you, our audience, deep inside the heart of a real development project. We’re going to be writing about our whole process from the moment the contract was signed until we launch the first public version of the application. As a team, we will be blogging about our various roles in the project and as we keep do our best to blog the process, we’ll be interested in hearing your thoughts on our processes and be honest about the lessons we learn ourselves.

The Project

Peat Bakke, the Project Director at PLANET ARGON and I have been talking to a new client about their new project. We’ve come to an agreement with them, which gives us permission to blog about our experiences, but cannot give details about the business plan, logic, or other secret ingredients that they have up their sleeve that will make their product successful. What we can blog about it… is our experiences and processes. Throughout the course of the project, we will refer to this project as… PROJECT BORAT. don’t ask… (see Peat’s blog for details)

The Sales Process

Each client that we sign a contract with is unique. We have yet to have the same things happen twice when it comes to signing a custom development or consulting project. We met with The Client a few weeks ago after Jeremy and I returned from Canada on Rails. While in Vancouver, one of three individuals that make up the core team of The Client had gone to CoR to learn more about the Rails community and had approached me to discuss the PLANET ARGON development process. Little did I know that the next week, I would be signing an NDA with him and his colleagues in our office in downtown Portland, Oregon. After signing the NDA, The Client outlined their great product idea and Peat and I listened in and asked them some vital questions:

  • Why Ruby on Rails for the project? (how familiar are they, what attracted them to Rails?)
  • How will the project make you money? (always an important question… and they are usually happy to discuss)
  • What is your ideal deadline for delivery of the project? (aside from the common answer of ASAP that we often hear)
  • Do you have a set budget for the project? (qualifying question to avoid any surprises)
  • How soon are you looking to make a decision? (helps us prioritize our potentials)

We talked with The Client a while longer and off they went with our business cards. Peat and I then scheduled a time to go over our meeting notes and pair on an initial estimate for the first few iterations. The first two iterations would include a specification phase, which includes pairing with the client (something we can easily suggest when they are local) to gather project requirements, paper prototyping, Use Case defining, and estimates for the first few iterations of architecting, development, documentation, testing, and delivery.

We went back and forth over a few details, scheduling, and have since signed a contract to begin the first iterations of the project.

...and this is where I direct you to read the next installment of Project Borat... with your host, Peat Bakke.

UPDATE Read my next installment, Prototypes Are Your Friends.

Continuous Integration == Communication

Posted by Tue, 02 May 2006 15:24:00 GMT

1 comment Latest by Me Tue, 02 May 2006 23:19:16 GMT

Martin Fowler has updated his Continuous Integration article.

One of the points that I appreciated reading about in this article was that when you’re working in a team, the ability to keep consistent communication. This is vital to the success of the project, just like all forms of quality communication is important during the lifespan of a project.

“Continuous Integration is all about communication, so you want to ensure that everyone can easily see the state of the system and the changes that have been made to it.”

Another point reminded me of something I recently posted about1, which was that you should always keep your project releasable… at all times.

“To help make this work, anyone involved with a software project should be able to get the latest executable and be able to run it: for demonstrations, exploratory testing, or just to see what changed this week.

Test. Before. You. Commit.

Fowler also mentions Ruby on Rails in regards to automating deployment practices yourself. :-)

In any event, read the article.

1 Agile development begins within…

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