RubyConf 2005 and RubyWeek
What a Ruby Week. I am on the plane back to Denver from the Ruby Conference 2005 that just finished in San Diego. On the beginning of the week I started a new part-time job working on a Ruby on Rails application. On Thursday I flew to San Diego for the conference. Later that evening, with Lee we fleshed out the latest bug of our first on-line Rails application, and put it in production. If you are a Biker and like funny shirts, check out AutumnRidersTees.com. It’s a very small on-line shirt Store. Thank you Dave Thomas for your book on Rails, it was also a nice kick-start for our application, especially the non-public/administrative side of the site. On Friday the conference started, and what a conference, about two hundreds geeks and Ruby fans, inclusive many of the key players that create Ruby, Rails, and many of the awesome frameworks we are using everyday. It’s funny to put a face on who is behind these frameworks. For more info on the speakers checkout the agenda. Matz,the creator of Ruby, and ko1, the writer of the upcoming RubyVM, presented their views on the future of Ruby. I am not sure if this comes from the Japanese culture, but the elegance, simplicity and power, that radiates from the existing and forthcoming releases, made me want to to study this country. About 15 of the attendees came from Japan. It’s interesting how the community still feels small and is so open (and fun) when attending the conference especially when you realize the potential of Ruby and the power meta programming provides by creating domain specific languages. Rails is an example of that puts that power to good use. Speaking of Rails, David Heinemeier Hannsson, provided a nice state of the union for Rails and a hands-on workshop (he worked, we watched) of the forthcoming Rails 1.0 functionality. Rails was the trigger for me to dive into Ruby, and what is coming out will impress many java shops. SwitchTower to deploy applications from a single server to large clusters. Gauge to monitor your application and see what’s going on, live, on your servers. So many other improvements that are just practical. Tom took quite some notes of that presentation. Before the Rails talks I also enjoyed an interesting talk of domain specific languages in general by Jim Weirich followed by a Karlin Fox’s talk on how to create a user oriented specification and testing languages using “english” thus allowing a non-programmer user or business analyst to express the expected behavior of the application. The amazing part is that this domain specific language is implemented using Ruby and results in runnable unit test that excerse the user interface.
A great conference and a great Ruby week.