Well we’re 3/4ths of the way through MountainWest RubyConf. It has been a pretty interesting conference so far. Yesterday was jam-packed from 9AM-9PM (with breaks for lunch and dinner – we are human after all.) Today we are doing the same and the afternoon sessions are about to start. I was pretty lax about blogging about RubyConf which was a mistake:
I learn more when I write about what I’ve learned.
Its sort of the same process where you learn more when you teach something to someone else. Except you’re not teaching directly to someone and that someone may be your future self. It may be insane to talk to yourself but googling and then finding a past post that is relevant makes you glad you wrote that down.
Here’s what’s happened on Day 1 of MountainWest RubyConf:
Evan Phoenix gave a talk mostly on how to properly manage an open source project with Rubinius as the example. The key here is encouraging community involvement. Rubinius for the uninitiated is a Ruby VM in the style of the original Smalltalk VM that will prune to the absolute minimum the amount of code that is NOT Ruby. In comparison, MRI which is the default Ruby implementation has a lot of C in the “kernel” portion of the VM.
Watch the video of Evan’s talk.
Ezra gave a good talk about Merb. It seems to me that Merb is emerging as an important counterpart to Rails. In addition, there are other application servers that are also coming up to complement Mongrel, like Evented Mongrel and Tiny. The basic justification to use something like Evented Mongrel + Merb is when you have consistent, short-lived (1-2 seconds) requests like for a webservice. I think that Merb is also still popularly used to handle file uploads in Rails applications.
Two funny yet valid quotes from Ezra I think also illustrates the need for Merb (vs just building out everything in Rails): “Throwing more servers at the problem only goes so far…” and “Premature Optimization is the root of all hosting bills.”
Watch the video of Ezra’s talk.
One interesting note is that EngineYard who is a sponsor of MountainWest RubyConf employs both Evan and Ezra and helps to fund their projects.
Ok… afternoon talks starting – more later.
Update: I added links so you can watch both of these talks in streaming video courtesy of Confreaks.