Lone Star Ruby Conf Second Day (morning edition)

While checking out at the hotel I ran into Coby from confreaks.com They are recording the conference so you'll be able to see the talks online sometime soon. They're not cheap, but their videos are very good (they capture the output of the presenters computer and display it side by side with video of the presentation -- you seriously need to check out their site), and they offer a discount if the conference is willing to CreativeCommons license the talks.

Starting off the morning was "Ruby: A Year of Innovation" with Gregg Pollack & Jason Seifer. They had a lot to cover so it went pretty fast. I tried to keep up as best I could.

Jason Seifer was up first:
  • HPricot - awesome for scraping websites
  • Juggernaut - server push with rails -- keeps a connection open
  • Ambition - write your SQL statements in Ruby
  • Prawn - Ruby based PDF generation
  • Capistrano
  • Ruby VMs
  • roo - spreadsheets Excel, google docs
  • Dtrace and Ruby -- memory stack live
  • Skynet - map reduce for Ruby
  • Data Fabric - easily shard your db with rails
  • Merb - the non-opinionated framework
  • Mack - Framework
  • Sinatra - good for restful
  • Webby - good for static websites
  • Shoes - dsl for gui apps
  • Hackety Hack - coding for kids

Gregg Pollack took over and talked about:
  • Redmine - Trac replacement in Rails
  • Pool Party - cloud computing config and maintenance in Ruby
  • Rad - robot control
  • Adhearsion - Voip
  • Rack - if you have a Ruby process you want to run on Mongrel, Thin, or whatever you just write one handler for Rack.
  • Phusion Passenger - servers up anything that supports Rack (including Rails)
  • Github - source control where you can see what others have done with your code and merge it back in without the modifier having to submit a patch (as they often forget)
  • make_resourceful and resource_controller - are two ways to puts resource handling in your controller
  • Starling - lightweight reliable message passing
  • EventMachine - Executes processes in one thread instead of trying to slice everything up. Works great for short tasks.
  • NeverBlock - can run SQL in parallel
  • Screencasts - Railscasts, PeepCode, PragProgrammers, EnvyCast

"Using jQuery with Ruby Web Frameworks" with Yehuda Katz

Yehuda used screwunit (a BDD javascript test framework) to BDD an implementation of a live updater in JQuery (which is an alternate Javascript framework). He had trouble with getting his tests to fail (some sort of caching problem). That's rough in front of a 100 people. JQuery and screwunit look interesting, but I found it hard to focus on what he was doing ignore the difficulties of getting specs to pass. He finished his presentation with a declaration that you should never attempt to do a live coding presentation.

I thought it might be nice to step out of my comfort zone and take a look at "Resource-Driven Web Development With Waves" presented by Dan Yoder. Alternate title: "When Functional Programming Meets HTTP"

So, why use waves? Well, you can have more control over your app, use functional programming, and be very RESTful. Waves has Functor as much of its processing. It helps matching requests to response actions. You can have some pretty spare code that defines a bunch of restful paths.

Things that don't fit anyone else:
  • I heard that there's such a thing as Chicken Fried Bacon. Where the hell has this been all my life?
  • Joe O'Brien's wife likes to say "Holy wow"
  • It was freezing in the conference center and 97 degrees outside. This is very Texas.
  • There was this clearing throat guy who would loudly clear his throat during every presentation. It totally caught me off guard when I was talking as I thought I had just said something terribly stupid. After my talk I noticed all the other presenters had the same reaction.
  • Where are all the ThoughtWorkers? I saw lots of ex-ThoughtWorkers but no current ones. All the cool kids must have gone to Rails Conf Europe, I suppose.
And now for Lunch. Which is Chicken fried Chicken.


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