Balanced Payments - Part 1

By, Emily Ellison

I originally wrote this post on NYC Dev Shop's blog back in March. I've heard this post has helped a couple people trying to integrate their site with Balanced Payments, so I decided to re-post it on Fix It With Code.

I recently got to work with Balanced Payments for an education project, and it was a breath of fresh air after having stumbled through and Paypal. The coolest thing about Balanced Payments is their thorough documentation, and how easy they make it to test that the payment process is actually working. And if you care about more than the coding part - they also have escrow services, and don't have a holding period before you can pay out.

Getting a test account is painless. To get started, visit this page, and you've just signed up in one click. Well, almost. You've got your API key, and if you want to hold on to it longer than the life of the page you're on, remember to click 'Claim Account' in your profile...

How to Transform Checkboxes in to Buttons

By, Emily Ellison

Because I love data, I've come to love forms too. One of my concerns when building a website is how to get people to fill out my forms, so that they will graciously give me their data.

From 2009 to 2011, the prevalence of smart phones more than doubled, expanding from 18% to 44% (Nielsen - The Mobile Media Report). Because of this explosion, many companies have been scrambling to transform their website to be mobile-ready. And for the forms in your website, there is an even more basic step than resizing that you can take to prepare your website for the mobile world.

Look at your fingers. Unless you are under the age of two, your fingers are poorly designed for checkboxes. Checkboxes are frustrating to check on your phone! You have to zoom in and be precise in your tapping. And when you're just trying to get a visitor to hit the very last "I accept these terms and conditions" box to complete their form, the last thing you want is to have them...

Setting Up Rails On My Machine

By, Emily Ellison

So I've been trying to get familiar with both Ruby and Ruby on Rails before class at Code Academy starts, and I wanted to share some of the resources I've been using in case anyone else finds them helpful.

The installation of all the equipment necessary for Rails applications was a beastly task. Chapter 1 of Michael Hartl's Ruby on Rails Tutorial was where I started the installation process, by installing Git and Ruby Version Manager (RVM). Then, I tried to install Ruby 1.9.3 through RVM, but failed. Googled the error and found out that if you have Xcode on your machine1 prior to installing Ruby 1.9.3 with RVM, your computer may have a small seizure.

That's when I found the lovely website: Installing Ruby 1.9 and Rails 3 on Mac OS X. It's written in plain English and walks you through the entire installation process of GCC, Command Line Tools for Xcode (if you need it), Git, RVM, Ruby 1.9.3, SQLite3, and Rails.

If I were to do it over...