In Chrome 121+ the now supported spec-compliant scrollbar properties override the non-standard `-webkit-scrollbar-*` styles

Up until Chrome 120, scrollbars could only be styled using the various -webkit-scrollbar-* pseudo elements, e.g. to make the scrollbars have no arrows, be rounded, or with additional margin towards their container.

Starting with version 121, Chrome now also supports the spec-compliant properties scrollbar-width and scrollbar-color.
These allow less styling. You may only specify the track and thumb colors, and a non-specific width like auto, thin, or none.

Heads up: You should always use "current_window.resize_to" to resize the browser window in tests

I recently noticed a new kind of flaky tests on the slow free tier GitHub Action runners: Integration tests were running on smaller screen sizes than specified in the device metrics. The root cause was the use of Selenium's page.driver.resize_window_to methods, which by design does not block until the resizing process has settled:

We discussed this issue again recent...

Use <input type="number"> for numeric form fields

Any form fields where users enter numbers should be an <input type="number">.

Numeric inputs have several benefits over <input type="text">:

  • On mobile or tablet devices, number fields show a special virtual keyboard that shows mostly digit buttons.
  • Decimal values will be formatted using the user's language settings.
    For example, German users will see 1,23 for <input type="number" value="1.23">.
  • Values in the JavaScript API or when submitting forms to the server will always use a point as decimal separator (i.e. "1.23" eve...

Configuring Git with .gitconfig

Basic configuration

Please keep this config simple. It should be a starting point for new developers learning Git.

  name = Your Name
  email =

  sort = -committerdate
   ui = auto
[color "branch"]
  current = yellow reverse
  local = yellow
  remote = green
[color "diff"]
  whitespace = white reverse
  meta = blue reverse
  frag = blue reverse
  old = red
  new = green
[color "status"]
  added = green
  changed = yellow
  untracked = cyan
  singlekey = true # Do not requir...

Where to keep project files that should not go to Git

Sometimes you have a file that is related to a project, while not actually being part of it. You'd like to keep them around, but others won't need them – e.g. some notes, a log, or a database dump.

Sure, you have a project directory – but all of it is tracked by Git. A project's tmp/ directory is usually not tracked, but by definition it is not a good place to keep things.

An excluded directory for related files

I suggest you keep your related files in a related-files/ directory within your project(s).

To keep this directory u...

How to configure Selenium WebDriver to not automatically close alerts or other browser dialogs


We recommend configuring Selenium's unhandled prompt behavior to "ignore".

When running tests in a real browser, we use Selenium. Each browser is controlled by a specific driver, e.g. Selenium::WebDriver::Chrome for Chrome.

There is one quirk to all drivers (at least those following the W3C webdriver spec) that can be impractical:
When any user prompt (like an alert) is encountered when trying to perform an action, they will [dismiss the dialog by default](https://w3c....

Better numeric inputs in desktop browsers

You want to use <input type="number"> fields in your applications.
However, your desktop users may encounter some weird quirks:

  1. Aside from allowing only digits and decimal separators, an "e" is also allowed (to allow scientific notation like "1e3").
    • Non-technical users will be confused by this.
    • Your server needs to understand that syntax. If it converts only digits (e.g. to_i in Ruby) you'll end up with wrong values (like 1 instead o...

Concurrency issues with find-as-you-type boxes

Find-as-you-type boxes are usually built by observing changes in a text field, and querying the server via AJAX for search results or suggestions when the field has changed.

A common problem with this implementation is that there is no guarantee that AJAX responses are evaluated in the same order as the original requests. The effect for the user is that the search results are flashing back and forth while the user is typing the query, and when the user has stopped typing the last results don't always match the final query.


Best practices: Writing a Rails script (and how to test it)

A Rails script lives in lib/scripts and is run with bin/rails runner lib/scripts/.... They are a simple tool to perform some one-time actions on your Rails application. A Rails script has a few advantages over pasting some prepared code into a Rails console:

  • Version control
  • Part of the repository, so you can build on previous scripts for a similar task
  • You can have tests (see below)

Although not part of the application, your script is code and should adhere to the common quality standards (e.g. no spaghetti code). However, a script...

Accessing JavaScript objects from Capybara/Selenium

When testing JavaScript functionality in Selenium (E2E), you may need to access a class or function inside of a evaluate_script block in one of your steps. Capybara may only access definitions that are attached to the browser (over the window object that acts as the base). That means that once you are exporting your definition(s) in Webpacker, these won't be available in your tests (and neither in the dev console). The following principles/concepts also apply to Sprockets.

Say we have a StreetMap class:

// street_map.js
class S...

Git shortcut to fixup a recent commit

git --fixup is very handy to amend a change to a previous commit. You can then autosquash your commits with git rebase -i --autosquash and git will do the magic for you and bring them in the right order. However, as git --fixup wants a ref to another commit, it is quite annoying to use since you always have to look up the sha of the commit you want to amend first.

Inspired by the [shortcut to checkout recent branches with fzf](

When reading model columns during class definition, you must handle a missing/empty database

When doing some meta-programming magic and you want to do something for all attributes of a class, you may need to access connection or some of its methods (e.g. columns) during class definition.

While everything will be fine while you are working on a project that is in active development, the application will fail to boot when the database is missing or has no tables. This means that Raketasks like db:create or db:migrate fail on a freshly cloned project.

The reason is your environment.rb which is loaded for Raketasks and calls...

Bash: How to count and sort requests by IP from the access logs

Example - - [23/Jan/2024:09:00:46 +0100] "GET /monitoring/pings/ HTTP/1.1" 200 814 "-" "Ruby" - - [23/Jan/2024:09:00:46 +0100] "GET /monitoring/pings/ HTTP/1.1" 200 814 "-" "Ruby" - - [23/Jan/2024:09:00:46 +0100] "GET /monitoring/pings/ HTTP/1.1" 200 814 "-" "Ruby" - - [23/Jan/2024:09:00:46 +0100] "GET /monitoring/pings/ HTTP/1.1" 200 814 "-" "Ruby"


Count and sort the number of requests for a single IP address.

Bash Command

awk '{ print $1}' test.log | sort...

Bash: How to grep logs for a pattern and expand it to the full request


I, [2024-01-21T06:22:17.484221 #2698200]  INFO -- : [4cdad7a4-8617-4bc9-84e9-c40364eea2e4] test
I, [2024-01-21T06:22:17.484221 #2698200]  INFO -- : [4cdad7a4-8617-4bc9-84e9-c40364eea2e4] more
I, [2024-01-21T06:22:17.484221 #2698200]  INFO -- : [6e047fb3-05df-4df7-808e-efa9fcd05f87] test
I, [2024-01-21T06:22:17.484221 #2698200]  INFO -- : [6e047fb3-05df-4df7-808e-efa9fcd05f87] more
I, [2024-01-21T06:22:17.484221 #2698200]  INFO -- : [53a240c1-489e-4936-bbeb-d6f77284cf38] nope
I, [2024-01-21T06:22:17.484221 #2698200]  INFO -- ...

When loading Yaml contents in Ruby, use the :freeze argument to deep-freeze everything

Ruby methods which load from a Yaml file, like YAML.safe_load or YAML.safe_load_file, support passing freeze: true to deep-freeze the entire contents from the Yaml file.
This is available by default on Ruby 3.0 and newer. On older Rubies, you can install psych 3.2.0 or newer for :freeze support.

As an example, consider the following Yaml file:

  - hello
  - universe
    baz: "example"

We can now load it as usual, but pass freeze: true.

>> test = YAML.safe_load_file('example.yml', fre...

Creating a self-signed certificate for local HTTPS development

Your development server is usually running on an insecure HTTP connection which is perfectly fine for development.

If you need your local dev server to be accessible via HTTPS for some reason, you need both a certificate and its key. For a local hostname, you need to create those yourself.
This card explains how to do that and how to make your browser trust the certificate so it does not show warnings for your own certificate.

Easy: self-signed certificate

To just create a certificate for localhost, you can use the following command....

How to search through logs on staging or production environments

We generally use multiple application servers (at least two) and you have to search on all of them if you don't know which one handled the request you are looking for.

Rails application logs usually live in /var/www/<project-environment-name>/shared/log.
Web server logs usually live in /var/www/<project-environment-name>/log.

Searching through single logs with grep / zgrep

You can use grep in this directory to only search the latest logs or zgrep to also search older (already zipped) logs. zgrep is used just like grep ...

How to make your application assets cachable in Rails

Note: Modern Rails has two build pipelines, the asset pipeline (or "Sprockets") and Webpacker. The principles below apply for both, but the examples shown are for Sprockets.

Every page in your application uses many assets, such as images, javascripts and stylesheets. Without your intervention, the browser will request these assets again and again on every request. There is no magic in Rails that gives you automatic caching for assets. In fact, if you haven't been paying attention to this, your application is probabl...