Windy City Rails Part Two

23 Sep 2008

Yesterday, I talked about the first half of the first ever Windy City Rails conference that happened on Saturday at IIT. Tonight, I’ll pick up where I left off with my summary of the presentations I attended.

Virtualization and Elastic Servers – Yan Pritzker of CohesiveFT

The gist of this talk is that the Rails stack is not well known so why not let CohesiveFT handle deployment for you. It’s a virtualization factory, that lets you put together a custom Rails stack and they can deploy and maintain it for you for as little as 10-15 bucks a month. Also, he pointed out that virtualization is a solution for your front end guys getting a working version. Which, having tried to get many a design person’s computer up and running, I think is a pretty cool idea.

Ten Things I Hate About Web Apps by Micah Martin

Short list of things Micah hates about Web Apps:

His solution is Limelight -- A platform for writing rich ruby apps. It’s all Ruby all the way down. He showed off a simple demo of how easy it is to create apps with Limelight. Then he showed a tower defense video game his brother wrote using Limelight. It looked pretty cool, but it’s very audacious to propose a new platform.

Slight of Hand for the Ruby Man by Aaron Bedra, Relevance

I missed a bunch of this presentation ‘cause I’m a dumbass. The cool thing I did manage to see is “the-inspector” which is a gem that can tell you where some monkey patcher has redefined a method. So you can call this:

Inspector.where_is_this_defined {Klass.method_to_find(:something)}

Very cool. Check it out at:

The Morph App Space lightning talk was next.
Morph can help you deploy RoR in five minutes, it’s fully managed, and elastically scalable for $1 a day.

Rails Security by Aaron Bedra, Relevance

Aaron talked about using Tarantula to crawl your app and attack it. It’s particularly good at finding cross site scripting and sql injection attack vulnerabilities.

There are a number of solutions to preventing cross site attacks (aside from remembering to use ‘h’ everywhere):

His general recommendations for security:

Test Last Development – Noel Rappin, Pathfinder

Regular TDD is Red-Green-Refactor and yet it often goes wrong and Noel spent some time talking about typical ways in which it does.

Noel uses two coverage suites:

He does this because controllers hit models a lot so they can hide lack of model coverage in tests.

Generally, I had a great time at Windy City Rails. I think Ray Hightower and everyone involved did an amazing job pulling this together.