A couple of weekends ago I was about to begin a large amount of re-factoring of our Ruby on Rails app (more on that to follow) to move it from a functional wireframe of the app to the final polished first version that users can use without cursing us. However I'd knocked together the wireframe version fairly quickly and had not taken time out to put down some decent test coverage, yes I know, and doing the amount of re-factoring I was planning without having any tests to verify that I haven't broken anything isn't a good idea.
So I undertook to get our test coverage up to scratch, I got ZenTest to ensure that the tests get run for every saved modification, which is a great help during development. But this exposed me to something which I had already started to notice but which hadn't become a real issue yet, Ruby on Windows is slower than a 1-legged dog down the dog track. ZenTest was taking 20 seconds or more to even notice a file had changed and then took even longer to begin the test. Combined with Ruby using 100% CPU most of the time this really dented my productivity and I had to do something. Luckily all that spare time I had while I was waiting for the tests to run every time I pressed save meant I could look into resolving the problem.
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