Monthly Archives: May 2007

Automated CRUD Plugins BOF tonight at 8:30pm

We’ll be gathering together all the Rails folks who want better scaffolding, like Dave Thomas said he wanted last year, tonight at the Automated CRUD Plugins BOF – scaffolding and beyond. It’s at 8:30PM over in Room C122.

Lance and Rich from ActiveScaffold will be there. Matthew and I will be representing Streamlined. Hopefully we’ll have representative from Hobo, AutoAdmin, and Scaffolding Extensions. Anyone else who wants to contribute is welcome too. See you there!

RailsConf 2007 at the halfway point

RailsConf 2007 is going well. I found the RailsConf slides that are available already at http://wiki.oreillynet.com/wiki/railsconf2007/index.cgi?PresentationSlides. I hope that all the speakers get their slides up on the web at some point.

A few highlights so far:

memcached presentation by defunkt with gratituous shots of burgers and lots of code. I love burgers, but I love code even more.

Joey “the Accordion Guy” DeVilla and Chad “Ukelele” Fowler rockin’ the house with “Newb” (sung to the tune of “Creep”.) I wrote down the lyrics as best as I could if anyone wants me to post them up.

Avi Bryant reminding us during his keynote last night that Smalltalk is the past and future of Ruby. More on this later. I like that the planning committee provided a different viewpoint at a keynote. Sorta like when Dave Thomas gave his Ruby for Java Programmers presentation at the Java-oriented No Fluff Just Stuff conferences.

Matthew Bass had a presentation on his creation of Teascript, which was like Being a MicroISV / Indie Developer with Ruby on Rails. Not so much code, but shows that you can build and deploy a niche web app and the steps you need to take.

Uncle Bob and Jarkko Laine had a pair of presentations that covered the process side of things so you end up with Clean Code and good Ruby on Rails code with continuous builds.

Ze Frank: “What’s up with having a keynote at 8:30pm at night? Did you shift all the conference hours to be programmers hours? What’s going to happen at 9pm? Mountain Dew break?” Ze was hilarious – probably the funniest guy I’ve seen at a keynote ever.

JRuby 1.0 coming at end of May

Sitting through the Sun keynote at RailsConf. Tim Bray is up and speaking and making it clear that Sun likes Ruby. Which is a good thing, but I guess we haven’t seen so much commercial sponsorship in the Ruby world that it seems somewhat strange, but good.

I think it’d be great if Sun put a lot of resources into creating a world-class Ruby VM. They have some good experience in that space with Java. Of course, maybe they’re killing two birds with one stone with JRuby.

Charles Nutter came up on stage and announced a few things about JRuby:

The 1.0 release candidate 2 is out now.

JRuby 1.0 is coming out at the end of the month.

You can get a t-shirt in exchange for submitting a patch.

Oh, also Tim took a poll and it seems like 1/2 the audience works for a startup, 1/2 for an existing company, and 1/3 for a consulting company. Yea it all adds up to 1 1/3rd, but the question was a little fuzzy. For some reason I thought it’d be consultants mostly, then existing companies, and then startups. But I guess we’re in a new kind of world here, one that Paul Graham loves and has predicted.

Need to get a Sprint or Verizon wireless broadband card

Any thoughts on which one to get? I’d like to have a more consistent Net connection when I travel. The hotel where I’m staying at, the connection was awesome on tutorial Wednesday, slowing down and hiccupy on Thursday, and stone dead on Friday. We’ll see what its like this weekend, but I think there’s some sort of inverse correlation between the network reliability and the # of RailsConf attendees playing World of Warcraft, so I’m not optimistic. Well at least the wireless at the conference itself is pretty stable.

I’m currently leaning towards the new Sprint card that goes into my MacBook Pro’s ExpressCard slot, the Merlin EX720. Anyone love/hate this card + service?

9 Things that DHH likes about Rails 2.0

  1. Breakpoints are back. Wait, actually there’s a real debugger in there?!
  2. HTTP Performance has improved. Any JavaScript and CSS that uses the *_include_tag with :cache => true will be bundled and gzipped up, so the browser will make less connections and fetch less data across the wire. Also spreading assets around to different servers will be easier to parallelize the browser downloads.
  3. ActiveRecord Query caching. If there’s no inserts, updates, or deletes (which would invalidate the cache) it will just return the next selects out of its cache. You use ActiveRecord::Base.cache do/end, though I guess this will be the default soon.
  4. Splitting out rendering and response type for template names. This adds conventions for the template names which help Rails figure out which one to use for a given response.
  5. config/environment.rb is now modularized
  6. DRYer migrations – fields are now grouped by type (I guess we lose the order, but don’t think that really mattered.)
  7. HTTP Authentication is baked in now. You can use authenticate_or_request_with_http_basic in a before_filter. (Also just authenticate_with_http_basic and request_with_http_basic.)
  8. Assume MIT license.
  9. Spring cleaning. I think the Rails Core actually means it when they deprecate things (as opposed to Java which sort of just warns you forever.)

DHHNote 2007

DHH is reviewing the State of the Ruby on Rails Union:

1 million downloads of the Rails gem

hundreds of plugins (at least 600…I wonder how many generators)

10,000 people in rubyonrails-talk Google group (and several hundred in the IRC channel)

jobs looking for more experience in RoR than DHH has (reminds me of the early Java job listings)

most attendees are getting paid in some capacity to write in Rails (I looked around as we raised our hands) vs 1/2 the room at RubyConf a few years ago

lots of books (documentation is definitely key)

Now onto Rails 2.0…

It’s not a unicorn, but real. (But Rails 3.0 will be a pony.) No bomb dropping like last year (*cough* REST *cough*). On the other hand, resources will be more central to Rails 2.0.

Single models can be represented by multiple resources. It doesn’t have to be just the standard 7 actions. It can have related resources as well. This is a good improvement over the way we specify resources today in 1.2. The resource scaffold is now the default scaffold.

Next up, DHH did a quick demo of customizing a resource. Also he demoed the ActiveResource client library which works with resources remotely. Man we’ve come a long way since the Java/COBRA Orfali/Harkey book that was like a phone book that explained how to do client/server apps. I think it shows the triumph of convention over configuration.

ActionWebService has left the building. Rails is not the Switzerland of frameworks (or perhaps you could say its not the Swiss Army Knife of frameworks.) Following Dave Thomas’s suggestion from last year, Rails is slimming down the core and making more things be plug-ins and ActionWebService is now a plug-in.

Current friends of Rails: AJAX and REST. Future allies: ATOM (for feeds) and OpenID. (More from DHH in the next post…)

RailsConf is huge

We’ve got 1600 people attending this years RailsConf (as opposed to around 400 last year.) This sort of reminds me of when Eclipse got popular and the growth between the first and second EclipseCon.

Alright so Chad is up on stage welcoming everyone. He’s encouraging everyone to be good and give at http://pragmaticstudio.com/donate. The message: don’t be overprivileged programming geeks who don’t have to type all the Java syntax. lol

Now Chad is playing out some nice tunes on the ukelele while Rich is telling us about his intro to TextMate (he’s got license #8) by DHH.

Streamlined at RailsConf

My tutorials day turned into a Streamlined day. After going to most of the JRuby presentation, I ducked out to pair program some last minute Streamlined improvements with Justin Gehtland. Matthew Bass was with us too working on Streamlined to spruce it up a bit before the afternoon tutorial.

Justin invited Matthew and I to help present and so I took him up on the offer. I was supposed to go to the Rails Routing Roundup but I thought it’d be better to go the Streamlined tutorial to help out and get feedback from the community. Justin is a master presenter so there really wasn’t much to add, but I still had a lot of fun being up there and talking about Streamlined. Matthew also got up and showed some new features as well.

Oh, did I mention that I’m a Streamlined committer now? I’m waaaaaaay behind on my blogging. :) I’ve been doing some work with Relevance and all the projects I work on use Streamlined. So its gotten a lot of love lately since it helps form the foundation of those Rails projects.

We got some great feedback from the audience, which we were pretty happy about and I took a lot of notes. An open source framework like Streamlined really thrives when there’s an active community. From my perspective, what we need to do for 1.0 is to write more documentation, write more documentation, and write more documentation. Not just about the API, but also code examples, information about the team, and some more overview/history. Justin made some new screencasts but probably we could also benefit from having a long article or two as well.

You can already get the Streamlined tutorial slides. After that, please check out the Streamlined blog and the Streamlined wiki to learn more.

I’m at RailsConf 2007

I’m at RailsConf 2007 in Portland, OR – its tutorial day. I’ve been really busy with consulting lately so haven’t done much blogging. But I usually am good at blogging while at a conference. :)

Sitting in the “Your First Day with JRuby on Rails” now. As a former Javaholic and current Rails aficionado, I figured it’d be good to get the lowdown on this possible fusion of the two. Plus we all need a better Ruby VM.