What I Use

This page serves two purposes:
  1. Gives credit to the authors of some of the tools that allow me to do what I do. Many thanks to everyone involved in writing these great libraries!
  2. Provides a place for me to easily to get to the documentation for the tools that I use.


A language that compiles to CSS, Sass is a powerful and elegant way to create stylesheets.

Compass is a framework for Sass. Compass allows you to write clean, semantic HTML and put all your styling in the stylesheet where it should be, while retaining the benefits from a framework.

I use Compass for all new projects and whenever I can. Compass and Sass are so amazing, I rarely write plain CSS for free anymore.

Ruby and Rails:

A fantastic user authentication library by Ben Johnson

A Ruby library that connects ActiveRecord to the Sphinx full-text search engine.

A templating language that allows the safe use of powerful design templates in a Ruby applications.

Provides a simple API to a vast number of payment gateways for financial transactions and credit card processing.

A powerful role-based authorization solution.

Upload files, be happy while doing it. Thanks thoughtbot.

Syntax highlighting for code in HTML.

Looks like memcached to rails apps, but includes the ability to expire caches based on substring key matching. It uses the Tokyo Cabinet Key-Value store database library (more info on that here).


"CoffeeScript is a little language that compiles into JavaScript. Underneath all of those embarrassing braces and semicolons, JavaScript has always had a gorgeous object model at its heart. CoffeeScript is an attempt to expose the good parts of JavaScript in a simple way."

As with CSS and Sass, I rarely write plain JavaScript for free anymore.

Backbone is a light-weight MVC framework for JavaScript-heavy applications. It's a fantastic way to organize your code and provide better structure to even simple applications.

Great chainable utilities for JavaScript collections, arrays, functions, and objects.

Improving the life of web developers since 2006, jQuery makes surfing the HTML DOM as fun as surfing in Hawaii — well, for me at least, I bet I'd fall down a lot if I tried...

My tool of choice for those zoomy lightbox displays that all the cool kids are using these days.

A great tool tip plugin for jQuery.

In-place editing with jQuery.

A full-featured autocomplete jQuery plugin.

Expands a textarea downward automatically as you type in it.


A great UNIX tool for anyone who manages a server. Process goes down, Monit brings it back to life.