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My name is Wayne Robinson and I'm a web applications developer from Queensland, Australia. In August 2005 I discovered Ruby on Rails and instantly fell in love. From that point forward, Ruby on Rails has been my language of choice for new projects however, I still use PHP to maintain some legacy applications.


API Developer of the Year - Xero

A big thank you to the guys at Xero for awarding me API Developer of the Year for my work on Xeroizer.

I have been a big fan of Xero and its community for a couple of years now and it's great to be able to give back where I can. 

Head over to their full blog annoucement where I give a sneak peak on a new product I have on the horizon.


Xeroizer now installable with gem

A minor update to the Xeroizer library, it is now installable with plain-old rubygems.

To install the latest alpha release:

gem install xeroizer

Please feel free to try it out and provide feedback through github.


Xeorizer Updated to Xero API V2.06

Well, that was quicker than I expected. 

Xeroizer has now been updated to support the Xero API V2.06 including:

  • Manual journal create/update/view (can only create draft invoices for now)
  • Inventory items create/update/view
  • Invoice line items can now be specified with the item_code which uses defaults for the item from Xero
  • PDF versions of invoices and credit notes can be retrieved with the Invoice#pdf([filename]) method
  • Payments can now have a reference specified on creation.

As always, remember this library is still only alpha-quality, so please make sure to test, test, test.



Xero API Release V2.06

Today Xero released some extra functionality to their API including JSON responses, manual journal entry, items and PDF invoices.

Of great interest to me is the ability to download PDF invoices directly from Xero which are formatted according to the chosen branding theme. This functionality will greatly decrease the time to market of my new application (still in stealth) by a few weeks and has me very excited.

My ruby library (Xeroizer) will be updated to work with these new features within the next week or so. Keep a watch on the project to keep up-to-date as changes are made and feel free to submit pull-requests for desired functionality. I usually respond within 24 hours.


Sport - what are we doing to our children?

I was recently going through some of my old paperwork and I pulled out my copies of the QCS tests I took to assist in classifying my overall position when graduating high school back in 1999. I read through these tests I came across my final draft for the Writing Task.

For this task I was presented with a three-page spread of stimulus material and in two hours I had to write a 600 word document in almost any form. In this stimulus material I saw some sporting activities and some comments on tribal societies (if I ever set up my scanner I may add a copy of this stimulus material here in the future).

During school I was always the math and computer guy and writing was definitely not my strong suit. However, I feel I managed to put together a fairly decent argumentative magazine article on the topic of sport and it's relevance in today's society in this pressure-packed two hours of exam fun! It's a topic I still mostly believe in, although I intentionally made this article inflammatory to attempt to polarise and entertain the marker enough so that they may overlook the odd grammatical or spelling error.

So, without further ado, I give you the two-hour ramblings of a 17 year old some 12 years ago (with all original spelling and grammatical errors included as faithfully as possible, although I hope I made some more corrections when transcribing the final version). Oh I wish I got to come back to this a couple of days later an edit it before handing it in however, I guess everyone was in the same situation.

Sport - what are we doing to our children? 

Sport, oh what an incredibly productive activity. From birth we teach our children that the only true heroes in our society are those who participate in sport. It is the sporting events that bring the crowds, sporting heroes who gain incredible amounts of money in sponsorship and children who are forced to believe that to be famous and well-liked they must be good at sport.

What is this fascination we have about sport? Most people argue that we participate in these activities to stay fit and healthy. This is a long way from the truth. Take Gridiron for example. This game consists of very big, heavily padded men who run around a field for three hours (remembering this is a sixty minute game) tackling other men. Is this what we call keeping fit? Is this really what we want to be teaching our children? Aparently so, as parents are usually the ones who push their children into playing these sports.

From birth, the male child is continuously pressed into participating in some for of team sport. This decision is usually made by the child's father and is usually in the form of a sport the father enjoys watching. The parents often take a more active roll in the game than the children themselves: screaming from the sidelines, arguing with the referees and generally pushing their children until they have nothing more to give. This ritual of making a child do something the parent wants them to do is very damaging for the child's developing personality. Rebellious behaviour only occurs because the children finally realise that they don't have to do everything their parents want them to do anymore. They gain control over their own life.

However, this is not where this cycle ends. The rebellious child turns into an adult and, after a few short years, they have a child. Because these new parents choose to forget the reasons for their rebellious stage, the cycle of pressuring their children into playing sport continues.

This ritual like behaviour of parents pressuring their children into believing sport is the only way to win their love stems from tribal times. Earlier in history men, predominately, were the group responsible for catching the meat. They had to be fit, just in order to survive so, they made sure their children were fit also. They made them participate in 'manly' activities to build muscle and fitness so some day they could be the hunters. As humans found less and less need for hunting our food, sport became a popular past-time. Instead of hunting, games were created to expel the extra energy no longer used in hunting and thus leisure-time sport was invented.

Now, in the present, even though we know it is based on stupid ideas, sport is more popular than it ever was before. Almost every weekend, parents all over the world are forcing their children to arise early to go off and participate in contact sports, that have the potential to cause permanent injuries. that affect a person for life [ed: wow… what a long and convoluted start of a paragraph]. These ideas can't possibly be what we want for our future leaders to have. Surely the cycle has to be broken sometime. Why can't that time be now? Sport is destroying the ability of our society to live in peace and harmony together by keeping the aggressive behaviour of tribal men alive in present day children. 


Xeroizer ruby library

Given that Xero (cue the hyperbole about how Xero is great) has just updated their development API and they are planning to do this much more in the future, I have taken this opportunity to create my own ruby-based library for it.

This library builds off the awesome work done by Tim Connor for the first & second API releases.

My version changes things up a bit by:

  • adding Partner-application support
  • making data-access more ActiveRecord-like (although definitely not feature-complete) 
  • simplifying the definition (and redefinition as Xero continues to add to their API) of models to make keeping them up-to-date and testable easier.

I also plan on adding some features to the querying engine to make it easier to filter results whilst staying within the ruby language (and not having to drop into C#).

If you want to get started, check out the README or if you want to dive right into the code, head over to and clone a copy.

Note: This is an alpha-level version of the API. Feel free to increase functionality and test coverage and send me a GitHub pull-request for integration.


Bacon is still spam and still very interruptive

I really have let the amount of mail I receive every day that is just advertising material sneak up on me.

I made a decision a couple of weeks ago to unsubscribe from basically every one of these lists I very rarely read any of the messages and just delete them every time I receive them and I'm sick of my phone interrupting me during the day by pinging when it's just advertising material.

But there is so much of it. Years worth of accounts I have created on sites who now, in this economy, are sending marketing messages to me on time scales ranging from daily to weekly. Every day I have been unsubscribing to at least one 'newsletter' and it is usually higher than that.

Maybe I'm unusual, but having these types of marketing and even news messages mixed up with my real communication is annoying. Isn't this what RSS was created for? Why don't these companies provide RSS feeds for this information so people can keep their news items inside their news reader and allow them to keep there inboxes clear of clutter?