Rebase: good for reorganizing commits, squashing down changesets, and repairing dentures.

vanity is an experiment driven development framework for Ruby on Rails that uses A/B Testing to maximize how people interact with your site. The simple case is testing out switching out two different page layouts to see which drives more signups. Set up and track metrics such as referrals or acquisitions, and then check it out in the built in dashboard using Redis. It’s also quite easy to extend and bring in other services, such as Google Analytics. Get started split testing your app here.

Notably New Projects

ptex is a high-quality, production ready texture-mapping system created by Walt Disney Animation Studios. This C++ library has just recently been released here on GitHub, after being used extensively in BOLT and integrated into Pixar’s RenderMan. There’s plenty of documentation about the file formats, API, and papers on the new texture mapping procedures used in the library on the project’s website. You can also see ptex in action with a high-resolution model of a T-Rex here on YouTube or check out some sample projects.

couch-crawler is a search engine that’s built on top of CouchDB and uses couch-lucene to index data. Created in an experiment to index work intranet pages, the neat part about this project is that there’s no web tier between the browser and CouchDB. Couch serves up static HTML/CSS, and AJAX calls hit Couch directly and then the UI is built up with the help of mustache.js. The spider uses Python along with httplib2 and Beautiful Soup to extract data. I’d love to see this apply to more than just corporate intranets, because knocking out a whole layer of glue code is a really neat idea.

gitcharts is a small C# app that generates a graph for lines of code in a given git repository over time, and supports multiple projects in one repository. This would be really cool to see applied as a service built on top of GitHub API …hint hint!

base64ize is a small JavaScript-based site that applies base64 to any file you drag onto it, courtesy of some new APIs in Firefox 3.6. This is just a fun hack, but definitely worth a bookmark if you’re doing this often to images or data while testing. Also, the author’s blog post shows off a part of the Mozilla developer world I haven’t seen before: If you’re interested in the bleeding edge of Firefox development, keep an eye on that site to see some of the recent developments coming out from that community.

Open-Quark is a framework for functional programming that’s heavily inspired by Haskell, built on top of the JVM, and was just recently pushed to GitHub. Its Wikipedia article describes the framework’s underlying language, CAL, as “a strongly typed, lazily evaluated functional language, supporting algebraic functions and data types with parametric polymorphism and type inferencing”. Code samples of the language and how it interops with the JVM are available, along with plenty of resources and videos to get started using it with your applications.