Monday, May 21, 2007

Rails Conf Day 2, 3, 4 (Portland, OR)

Day 2, 3, 4 of Rails Conf notes . . .

Key Note(s)
The keynote started with a mac-like commercial parody from

Some interesting stats on Ruby/Rails:
  • RubyConf 2001 had 40 attendees.
  • RubyConf 2007 had 1600 attendees.
  • 600 Rails plugins
  • 10,000 people on rubyonrails (list)
More and more ruby/rails books, in both english and other languages. Mkt. share of books on shelves has surpassed ruby/sql/python.

Tools support is growing: Netbeans, Codegear, Apt___, JetBrains IntelliJ Ruby Plugin

Rails 2.0 improvements were shared.

David Heinemeier Hansson
(one of the Rails authors) showed a Job posting requiring 3 year of Rails experience (which DHH found ironic because he didn't have 3 years).

I missed the much acclaimed evening KeyNote from Ze Frank (of 'The Show') - doh!

Sat. Keynote
Thoughtworks involvment w/Ruby/Rails (Cyndi Mitchell)
  • Lots of new projects in Rails
  • company now offering 24x7 support for Rails/Ruby Dev.
  • Rubyworks new division of Thoughtworks studios focused entirely on Rails.
Sun's involvemnt w/Ruby/Rails (Tim Bray - VP at Sun)
  • Donating hardware
  • JRuby and Netbeans

Full stack testing with Selenium and Rails
Ruby selenium in process, can test through browser, and verify database (open db connection in same process)

Clean Code (Robert Martin of Object Mentor)
Excellent presentation on TDD, incremental development and regularly running tests.

Fixtures Friend or Foe - Tom Preston-Werner ( of Chronic fame

Tom introduced FixtureScenarios which appears to address many of the complaints against fixtures in Ruby, and provide a more clear way to show intent when declaring and using fixtures in tests.

Spam I have known - Jim Weirich (author of Rake)

Jim shared several interesting techniques they tried for reducing spam on the Ruby wiki. Things like using reverse dns, roles, a tarpit database, tuning the rejection notice, show spammer their spam, show the world no spam, show google no spam...

MemCaching Rails (Chris Wensworth --

The Dark Art of Developing Plugins (James Adam --

Ruby Tooling State of the Art (Netbeans)
  • Hotkeys that use knowledge of conventions (cool!) i.e. - hot key that switches to the view for the action you are currently editing
  • Runs with native Ruby or JRuby

Data Warehousing with ActiveWarehouse

Great presentation. Mile-a-minute information. I have lots of notes on this one which I 'm choosing not to retype here at the moment.

JRuby on Rails (Charles Nutter - Sun)
  • is close to Ruby 1.8
  • is shipping with RSpec, Rake, Ruby
Things I took away....
  1. One JRuby Thread = One System Thread (since java uses native threads)
  2. Easy to call java api's from Ruby code.
  3. Unicode support in Java is better.
  4. Yes, you can use JDBC drivers. (though an adapter has to be written to handle quotes, lack of schema mgmt API [which ActiveRecord does have], and missing features in some DB's)
  5. No native extensions (except those which are already working: mongrel, Hpricot, RMagick, DB Support)
  6. Command-line performance (compared to Ruby in C). Java is generally faster, except on startup, so the CLI tools start a little slower.
  7. Goldspike can generate a war to deploy on a java app server.
  8. Glassfish is available as a Ruy gem.
Open Mic Session
  1. Masterview template/plugin -- a way to keep the ruby code from invading the html
  3. configuration library - reloads any config file changes into class instances on the fly
  4. cruisecontrolrb - instant cruisecontrol for Ruby/rails project
  5. Group discussion tool based on OpenID (
  6. devinecaroline - distributed page caching plugin
  8. The Mole plugin - live monitoring of user activity Presentator was hilarious.
  9. showed real time hits on a google map mashup

Testing and expressing intent seemed to be a common theme through a few talks. Some tools mentioned: RSpec, rcov, heckle.

Lots of jazz about Capistrano and Monit.

Local Ruby Conferences to look into:

Lots of good buzz about peepcode screencasts.

1 comment:

smrithi ghoshal said...

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