I’ve worked as a freelance Rails developer for the past 6 months.
Switching from a cushy salary to hourly work forced me to reevaluate my
finances. Developing a budget came easily to me, but tracking my
spending was annoying. I also needed a way to record my work across a
number of jobs. The convergence of these needs lead to ActiveBudget.
ActiveBudget is the software I use every day to track my spending,
income, and hours worked. It works so well for me, I wanted to share it
with the world.
Everyone has their own way of handling a budget. Iâ€™ve put together a
quick screencast to show how ActiveBudget works for me. Iâ€™ve tried my
best to make ActiveBudget applicable to everyone.
Even if ActiveBudget isnâ€™t for you, Iâ€™ve decided to release it as open
source. If youâ€™re a new Rails developer and would like to see the
insides of a production app, ActiveBudget has a lot to offer.
What can you learn from ActiveBudget? Some general concepts:
- REST design with integrated API
- Test Driven Development
- Using Flash to create graphs
- Deploying with Capistrano
And some technical pain points:
- Handling time zones
- User authentication with an API
- Securing ActiveRecord associations
- ActiveRecord migrations
- Using the RedBox lightbox
- Rendering calendars
Getting the source is easy:
svn checkout http://activebudget.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/
Iâ€™m not a designer, so it could certainly use a nice CSS treatment. Itâ€™s
also far from feature complete. I plan to add SMS text messaging and
more reporting in the future. I’m committed to making ActiveBudget well
documented, so if you find yourself having questions, let me know and
I’ll do my best to clarify.