Ruby Conf 2008 First Afternoon

06 Nov 2008

I was thinking today that most people design their talk to last 50-55 minutes but I’ve noticed that conferences have shorter and shorter times slots. 40 minutes + 5 for questions is becoming the standard. So the end slides tend to go by pretty fast.

Another thought: Print the ID badge for the conference on both sides. Exactly the same information on both sides. Fully 50% of the people at Ruby Conf have their badges turned around to the white side and when I can’t remember their names (even though we were just introduced) I can’t cheat because all I see is a stupid white rectangle. Somehow GLSEC managed to figure this out, why can’t other conferences?

JRuby: What, Why, How…Try It Now by Tom Enebo and Charlie Nutter

Why JRuby? Well the JVM is awesome. 15 quadriliion man years of work or something. 15 quadriliion Sun man years can’t be wrong, right?

They have declared that Ruby 1.8 is “done” (again) and 1.9 mode can be triggered with a flag. Full 1.9 compatibility is coming.

Was it two years ago when I first saw them talk? Yeah, I think it was at the Rails Conf 2007. So about 1.5 years ago. JRuby was pretty impressive then and it has come a long way since.

Now that Rails 2.2 is thread safe you can really take advantage of that with JRuby. They showed a ridiculous graph comparing Rails 2.2 under load with MRI and JRuby. JRuby crushed the competition like a grape.

Btw: It’s kind of amazing how many people here have the brand new Macbooks and Macbook Pros. Those things just came out, like what, a month ago?

Ruby In the Clouds by Jim Menard

Jim uses 10gen which is a different stack indeed:

10gen changed their name to MongoDB

Babble is the App server? Mongo is the DB? Javascript is server-side?

Whoa, I walked into this talk thinking it would be another putting your ruby/rails app on the EC2 cloud. This is a totally different direction.

Other Features on 10gen:
Multiple server-side programming languages including
* Python
* Ruby
* JavaScript

Multiple server environments including
* Standard 10gen

Multiple frameworks including
* Rails
* Django

Multiple deployment options including
* 10gen-provided hosting - deploy on 10gen managed infrastructure
* Run-your-own-cloud on your own infrastructure or hosting

The thing about this is that without ActiveRecord working, you’d have to code for 10gen from the start. Or face a very arduous conversion from ActiveRecord to their custom way of accessing the DB. Jim sez ActiveRecord support is coming soon.

The Big idea behind 10gen is that you could write your app and never have to worry about scaling it. Which is pretty cool.

MacRuby: Ruby for your Mac by Laurent Sansonetti

Everyone wants to develop Cocoa in Ruby. It can create awesome Mac apps. But you need to develop in Objective-C. Which is not so pretty. However, they both share some of the same concepts and ideas.

RubyCocoa exists, but it’s a bridge. So conversion is happening and that is slow and resource intensive. And each runtime has a different garbage collector!

MacRuby interprets Ruby on the Objective-C runtime. Kinda like JRuby does with the JVM.

All objects in MacRuby inherit from NSObject.

HotCocoa is a thin Ruby layer on top of Cocoa. He showed some code and it really looked like Ruby. Slick desktops apps for the Mac written in Ruby are coming for Christmas (the projected “Production Ready” date of MacRuby).

From the audience: “What about iPhone apps?”
Laurent: (said in an outrageous French accent) “I’m sorry I can not answer this question”

Time for a break – surely they’ll have low-carb treats, right? Maybe just this once?