A light day for me as a 4 hour flight + 2 hour time change + wanting to see my wife for a few hours this weekend means I left early.
Before I get started I wanted to say a few words about Portland:
It’s a great city. The train took us from the airport straight to the convention center (and our hotel which was 2 blocks away). Then we found out the train is free in the downtown area. So we had super easy access to bars/food/good times. Also the city, while being big enough to support an ecosystem of coolness is small enough to avoid being overwhelming.
Keynote – The Rails Way with Jamis Buck and Michael Koziarski:
General format of this talk was here’s a submission we got for inclusion into Rails core and here is what’s wrong with it. Oddly enough they called the people out by name – the ones who had the bad code. Not sure how I’d feel about being outed like that. [Correction: Koz informs me that people had submitted their code to The Rails Way (not core) and were asking to have their code ‘publicly refactored’ – I totally missed that] Mostly I thought their advice about how to DRY up you code, but not at the expense of readability, was pretty good. I was distracted by the fact that the guy sitting in front of me had obviously slept on a chocolate bar. Did he not know that pieces of chocolate were sticking to his back? Or not care? Perhaps I should have told him.
JRuby on Rails with Charles Nutter and Thomas Enebo:
Well this was the topic of the moment and the presentation was pretty packed even though it was the last day of the conference and they had given a longer version of this talk as a tutorial. Their answer for why would you want to run Ruby on the JVM?
- Full access to Java’s Unicode support – which is way better than Ruby’s
- System threads instead of Ruby’s green threads
- All of Java’s libraries are available
- A Rails War file can be dropped into any app server – so its way more deploy friendly for Java shops
- It’s faster than Ruby’s implementation
Not a bad set of reasons. What’s the downside? Well not all gems work – if they have C in ‘em they need to be ported. So no RMagick for you.
They ended the session by creating an app from scratch, turning it into a War file, and deploying it using Glassfish (an open source app server from Sun) using a JDBC driver.
All in all Rails Conf was good stuff. I want to thank the presenters and organizers for all their hard work.
Oh hey, if you run into Josh Cronemeyer get him to tell you about his late night experiences with the cross-dressing, freakazoid, marching band at a bar called Dante’s late Saturday night. Its a good story. Better yet, get him to blog about it. I think he has pictures.