AV EcoSystem Review Task Switching

19 Oct 2017

task switching

They say that task-switching is very inefficient and that while we think we’re multi-tasking we’re actually just doing one task after another and not achieving productive focus on any. Ironically I seem to be task switching all day long, and sometimes that’s all about managing motivation. Yesterday I couldn’t decide between making a middleman landing page for the AV main site and investigating the performance issues we have with the site on Heroku. So I started off on both …


On the middleman side I think the key things I need to check are:

  1. deployment to github pages
  2. CSS pipeline

while for heroku performance it’s just reading docs. I pull the docs up on my big monitor. I install loader.io on the staging site, but find it is already installed. Although it hasn’t ever been used by the look of it …

getting started tips from loader.io

and so I set up an initial load test:

intial load test form

but I can’t seem to test against our custom endpoint - I send a help request for that. In the meantime I have to get a static file served on staging in order to start the load test … so I get a pull request in for that. I check that it works locally, but I’ll need that to pass CI to get it onto staging. I could force it up there, but it gives me a reasonable excuse to task switch and check the middleman items. If I recall correctly we used a middleman-gh-pages plugin for the static nonprofit site in order to get middleman on github pages, but I wonder if that will work with the latest version of middleman?

MiddleManGHPages hasn’t been updated in a couple of years and there is also now MiddleManDeploy which has been more recently updated and has more stars. A 2017 blog mentions successfully using middleman-gh-pages and it is working for us on the static site with a middleman 4.1.7. Stick with what I know? Try something new? The following code in the README of middleman-deploy makes me want to try it:

# Rakefile
namespace :deploy do
  def deploy(env)
    puts "Deploying to #{env}"
    system "TARGET=#{env} bundle exec middleman deploy"

  task :staging do
    deploy :staging

  task :production do
    deploy :production
$ rake deploy:staging
$ rake deploy:production

I like having staging and production endpoints - something I’ve been missing in the static nonprofit site. In the meantime the pull request for the loaderio static page passed, so I pull that in and will need to wait for it to deply to develop before I can then move it on to staging for testing (or I test on develop …), back to middleman deploy I find I need to upgrade to a newer version of middleman-deploy to get things working:


but so the current README is out of date and the PR that fixes this has been hanging around for a year … then there’s another issue to fix:


and then build and deploy both work, and I would appear to have successfully deployed to:


although I’d feel better if the middleman-deploy 2.0 gem was out of alpha … and I notice that the default middleman site assets are not loading on gh-pages. Something to multi-task on tomorrow as I start the load tests … :-)

by Sam Joseph