Program on my iPad?! - Day 3, Session 3

TL;DR: have you ever programmed on your phone or iPad? I haven’t but now I totally want to.

I thought this session was plus/minus (sorry Charles Wood! I still love Ruby Rogues!). My main issue with the talk is that he showed this awesome demo of actually being able to pull up the command line on your phone or iPad in order to actually program but didn’t really go into how one would accomplish this.

Charles talked about the toolbox he uses to get his development machine in the cloud. Primarily, he uses SSH, Digital Ocean, tmux, emacs, Github, and Chef. First, the SSH is configured and public/private keys are created. You can create one key for each machine or a single key for all your machines. He discussed Digital Ocean as the server he uses.

Second, he prefers to use TMux. I’ve heard a lot about tmux for pairing and how it’s a great tool when you want to pair with someone (I’ve yet to use it). For this case, however, he also liked it because you can pick up where you left off instead of having to restart something or get back to where you left off. Additionally, you can do multiple or split screens which is useful.

I didn’t write down any notes about emacs, github or chef since I have a bit of a background on those (if you ever want a great presentation on chef, hit up Nathen Harvey… he did a 10 minute “what is devops and what is chef” talk for Rails Girls a few months ago that was so amazing).

I jotted down a few notes about security, since that seems like an important issue when you’re using a phone or ipad to log into your development environment. These security suggestions included turning off the root ssh, using public/private only, having a firewall, using something like proXPN (a tunneling service) and using sudo.

The main question I had after this session was “ok, but now how do I actually get this working?!” He did a good job explaining the tools, some of which I was familiar with, others not as much and while all the tools at the end sound great. I’m still not quite so sure how they all get pulled together to let me program on my iPad. After the session, I spoke with Conrad a little bit about this and he pulled things up on his phone (which again, was really cool) and I think I understand overall how I would go about doing this. It mainly has to do with setting up the SSH and a server and I think everything else stems mostly from that. The basic steps are to 1. set up or have access to a server. 2. Install with a package manager onto the server. 3. Ssh into the server. 4. Then you have an ssh client for iPhone, like prompt, which is a terminal emulator for ssh. (I’m a little unclear on that last part, so if you do want to get into this, I’d suggest taking the basic tools listed above and then doing some additional research on the actual setup).
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