pmuellr is Patrick Mueller

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ruby Hoedown, day 2

Saturday was day 2 of the Ruby Hoedown 2007. I had to leave early and so missed "Using C to Tune Your Ruby (or Rails) Application" by Jared Richardson, and the final keynote by Marcel Molina, Jr.

Nathaniel Talbott, one of the conference organizers, mentioned before one of the sessions that the sessions are being recorded, audio and video, along with the slides presented, and will be available on the web shortly. With some kind of a Creative Commons license. Wow! I wish more conferences did that. I won't dive into details on the sessions below, since the info will be available soon, verbatim.

Sessions I did attend:

  • Building Games with Ruby - Andrea O.K. Wright

    Andrea discussed a handful of gaming toolkits for Ruby. Supporting everything from MUDs to 3D. A few of the toolkits were wrappers over SDL.

  • Lightning talks

    • test/spec - Clinton Nixon - layers an RSpec-inspired interface on top of Test::Unit
    • a strategy game written in JRuby, using Swing - didn't get the presenter's name
    • methodphitamine - Jay Phillips - a more powerful alternative to Symbol#to_proc
    • Ruleby - Joe Kutner - a pure Ruby rule engine
    • tyrant - Patrick Reagan - a way to run Rails applications without each user needing a development environment
    • generating Ruby classes - Luke Kanies - dynamic code gen
    • Iron Ruby - Brian Hitney - Ruby implemented on the CLR
    • static sites with Rails - Brian Adkins - how to enable mostly static pages with Rails
    • Thoughtworks test strategies - Dan Manges - how TW designs tests for teams
    • myDecisionHelper - Tyler Start (sp?) - self-help web app

  • BOFs over lunch

    Went to Rick Denatale's "Smalltalk for Rubyists; Ruby for Smalltalkers". More the former than the latter, unfortunately for me. But still interesting and informative.

  • Does Ruby Have a Chasm to Cross? - Ken Auer

    Great talk; like Bruce Tate's keynote on Friday, referenced the book "Crossing the Chasm" (just added it to my 'wanna read' list). Ken's talk came at it from a different angle: being there, when Smalltalk was just about to 'cross the chasm', but didn't make it. Why didn't it? What can we learn from Smalltalk's tragic history?

All in all, great conference. I'll be there next year, assuming they have it again. Maybe I'll have some more Ruby under my belt by then.

Forgot to mention in the previous post that I used my Nintendo DS-Lite with the Opera browser, again, to do some lite surfing, email checking, twittering, during the conference. Very convenient.

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