Jim Weirich (author of ‘rake’, among other things), presented on tips to avoid being a Leeroy Jenkins in the Rails community. He gave some very helpful, concrete examples of things to avoid when modifying or adding behaviour in other people’s classes.
Next was the much anticipated presentation by ‘why the lucky stiff‘, author of Try Ruby, Why’s (poignant) Guide to Ruby, YAML, etc. The delightful why gave an overview of some of his characters, gave us a Sandbox demo (momentarily reduced by a technical gitch to picking up his laptop and showing us the screen), pronounced “Hpricot” out loud for the first time and shared some cute Ruby tricks. My favourite bit of the talk: “Is anyone working on Wasabi for Ruby?” (a throwaway reference to a recent flame between DHH and Joel (1, 2, 3). It got very little response, but maybe that’s why it was my favourite bit.
In the elective sessions, I learned about JRuby from Churles Nutter at Sun, and Rany Keddo described how he turned his bank job into a Rails playground,
Later In the afternoon, James Duncan Davidson (writer of Ant, Tomcat and an amazing photographer) covered why ‘The Web is a Pipe‘ on the benefits of HTTP, the need to flatten storage and memory and, interestingly, raising the issue that CPU cycles do matter because of the environmental and carbon cost of machine power.
Finally, Dave Thomas (pickaxe author) wrapped up the event, breaking the ice by pointing out that it was perhaps the Rails conference with the highest density of swearwords so far, so proposed a new Rails logo. His talk compared terrorism to FUD and listing some hints to avoid it in relation to Rails. He received a standing ovation.
- Being the (first) European Rails conference, there are plenty of European accents in the room. I’m hearing more of them today than yesterday. Perhaps they take a while to open up. Some American, though many of those are speakers.
- MySQL is named after the creator’s daughter, ‘My’ (pronounced “Mee”). I did not know that. I don’t think I’m going to start calling it “Mee SQL” though.
- Lots of the cool factor in the Rails community is about life on The Edge.
Update: DHH has done me the serious honour of using some of my photos in his recent blog post about the event.