Ruby Midwest 2010 Friday

17 Jul 2010

So people often ask me why I tweet so much at conferences (113 tweets today, for example). Well, usually I’m furiously typing notes into TextMate so I can blog about it later. Now, in the post twitter world, I type those thoughts into twitter and harvest them later for my wrap-up posts. That way people can follow a conf’s progress live or wait for the recap.

So Tweets will be in italics and everything else is bonus commentary.

Generally the first day of the conference went amazingly well. Hard to believe this is their first year. Wifi was plentiful, food was decent, and the space was nice. Oh and the talks were good too.

So there was a lot of confusion about the official Ruby Midwest Twitter hashtag. The badges said one thing, the welcome screen said another, and everyone else chose a third: #RubyMidwest. I eventually just went with the most popular. That’s about as much controversy there was on the first day so everything went pretty well.

Chris never got better at the guitar because he never practiced. The same applies to code. You can knock things out for years but until you work in a mindful manner you will never get better.

By which I take him to mean that lots of people throw something up on GitHub, push a gem, and provide a few lines of doc before something even works.

Some open source projects are managed really well, but it’s amazing how many we use on a regular basis that are not.

These last 2 statements are particularly applicable to metric_fu right now. There’s a bug in the way it computes Flog averages and I’m having trouble fixing it because of an undocumented “files to ignore” feature. I may have to rip it out.

Excellent point. How many gems have you deployed to production that claim to be version 0.194 or some such nonsense?

Excellent point - this totally worked for metric_fu.

Good talk - Chris is always an engaging speaker.

Yowza, kind of a rough start to the day. Had to stop tweeting for awhile just so I could focus (the horror).

Jeremy gave an intense, but good, talk. It’s had to make those deep internals of Ruby not sound dry but he did an admirable job.

What I hear from my friends who develop in JRuby is that it’s awesome in prod but slow to develop in (you’re always waiting for the JVM to start up). And the lack of C extension support often means that the gem that would totally do what you need is just not going to work.

If they can get C extensions working that would really be something. Maybe I’d have to give JRuby another look.

One of those awesome talks that points out some very cool things you could do with your open source time. Transparency is within our reach.

Another book to read. At some point. w00t?

Trucker looks pretty cool and if I had some legacy to migrate, I’d look into it.

That last line is a particularly useful bit of MySQL that will help you convert to UTF8.

He had to cut some scope to fit the deadline.

And he comes out swinging. I like it.

These are great points. Sass lets you do things you should have been able to do years ago. How did we ever live without it? Wait, my project isn’t using Sass… I need to talk to my designer.

Hey now! I’ve been busy. I’ll get around to doing a deep dive on CSS. Really.

A man of principles and conviction.

He made my feel bad. Jake no like feel bad.

There’s a lot of stiff competition out there trying to run tests in the cloud. May the best project win. Also, live coding and examples that rely on a network are to be avoided.

Another talk where I couldn’t tweet because I needed to focus. Intense and worth tracking down the video when it comes out.

Cause that guy needs more side projects. And they’re all awesome. Yes, I’m jealous.

Weird placeholder site: Go see it.

Bonus content? What a deal!

Yes it should. Well not really, but fun to talk about but not do. Like yielding 42 for no reason in complicated bit of Ruby – funny but you wouldn’t want to actually do it.

It is a pretty town and university.

I talked to John the night before and I think it was his first talk. He was a bit shaky. It didn’t help that server set up is dry, dry stuff. And, to be honest, most of the crowd doesn’t care about the topic. Sorry John but we’re coders.

Rough to be the last talk of the day. A good percentage of the crowd has bailed, lots of us would rather drive a spike through our cornea than write a Facebook app, and everyone in the room has a severe case of mental fatigue. Still he did a good job.

That was a great slide. Well played.

Clever solution. Mark strikes me a smart man fighting an insane API. And winning.

It is a great name. From Urban Dictonary:

OMGWTFBBQ: A meaningless acronym which most often stands for “Oh My God What The Fuck Barbeque.” It most likely originated on Something Awful ( It can be interpreted simply as gibberish, or used when one wants to emphasize one’s own incoherence, lack of understanding, or to mock others. It usually has an air of mockery, specifically with regard to teenagers who a lot of use three-letter acronyms.

You sorta had to be there. The rest of the lightning talks were good, but I was too tired to Tweet it up so they will be lost to the internet forever. Apologies. The BBQ was excellent, however. I can still smell sauce on my hands and I’ve washed them 3 times.

Time for bed.