Chris Blunt

Hi, I'm Chris.

I'm a software developer and consultant based in Plymouth, UK. This site is a collection of tutorials, thoughts and things I've learned in code, life and running my business.

Today, I help people and organisations who use Ruby on Rails. I enjoy learning and experimenting with tools and technologies, as well as the art of business. This means I'm often dabbling with new languages and frameworks, and posting what I learn. My now page describes what currently has my attention.

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Rails: Rendering Dynamic SVG Images in respond_to

SVG is a vector image described in XML. This post shows how to to render SVG images inline with Rails. Continue reading →

Posted in rails, howto, programming.

Android: Consuming a Remote JSON API with Volley

Update 12 September, 2017: This continues to be one of my most popular posts, but the code was outdated. This updated version includes instructions for modern versions of Android, Android Studio, and dependencies such as Volley. Continue reading →

Posted in howto, programming, android.

Android: Getting Started with Volley

Volley is a library developed by Google for fast, easy networking in Android. It wraps up a lot of boiler plate code that you would normally have to code yourself when connecting to servers, queuing requests, handling errors, caching, etc. Continue reading →

Posted in howto, programming, android.

Android: Using Gradle

On a couple of Android projects I’m working on, I’ve switched to using the new Gradle Build system. The idea of storing the entire build configuration in one place is great. Continue reading →

Posted in howto, programming, android.

Android: Getting Started with Databases and ContentProviders Part 1

Clone the code from GitHub Continue reading →

Posted in howto, programming, android.

Rails 3: Storing Model Metadata Attributes with ActiveRecord::Store

I recently discovered the excellent ActiveRecord store method whilst researching the best-practice for storing optional, flexible metadata against a record. store lets you keep simple key/value data into a single text column on your model. Continue reading →

Posted in programming, tips, activerecord.

Welcoming 2013 - Goals for the New Year

2012 was the year I said farewell to my twenties, celebrated the birth of our beautiful baby daughter, and started to see some real growth in my business. Whilst blog posts were evidently sparse, it has been an absolutely incredible year, both personally and professionally. So much has happened that the past 12 months seem to have flown by. Continue reading →

Posted in business, personal.

Running Plymouth Half Marathon - Let's Raise £1k for Macmillan Cancer Support

Last year, I successfully completed my first Plymouth Half Marathon and raised for local charity Jeremiah’s Journey. Continue reading →

Posted in personal, charity, plymouth.

Testing Rendered Views with RSpec2, Capybara and Rails 3.

While view tests are brittle, easily breaking when the design of a page changes, they are undoubtedly handy for checking the important parts of a page are rendered. I usually check for page titles, model attributes/tables or forms, and footer element, and so on. Continue reading →

Posted in howto, programming, android.

Moving to Posterous

Update April 2012: Well that was short-lived. I’ve moved back to Wordpress after Posterous sold to Twitter. Opinion seems to be that Posterous may not be around in the future, so I’ve switched back to self-hosting this blog. Posterous had some great advantages (see below), but its main benefit of posting by email still didn’t improve the frequency of my posts. Continue reading →

Posted in personal.