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Silicon Valley Ruby Conference - Day 1
Posted on: 2006-04-23

Here are choice quotes from the presenters, in a vaguely 'Projectionist' style. Since you can probably get the actual content of the presentations from other parts of the web, I'm only including the pithy quotes and funny responses - to give a feel of what it was like there.

Actually, to get the real feel of what it was like there while you read this, you should surround yourself with smart people, turn the heat up and close all the windows, and have someone randomly turn your wi-fi on and off.

Please note that these have been loosely paraphrased from my semi-legible hand-written notes and faulty memory. Any misrepresentations or errors are entirely my fault.

Adam Keys: Culture and Aesthetic of Ruby on Rails

  • Programming in Ruby makes me feel really clever - especially when I use blocks.
  • Software encodes opinions. Rails encodes DHH's opinions.
  • Rails: We ALL say poe-tay-toe.
  • Less is More: Nobody enjoys downloading a program and saying "Oh wow, 75,000 lines of code!"
  • Rails lets you avoid XML - so you save your pinkies.
  • Rails provides easy migrations for database schemas - this brings a tear to my eye.
  • Scaling a community is hard - people don't scale too well.
  • Writing WSDL files is not something a human should have to do.
  • For Ruby, Rake and Gems were 'hockey-stick enabling technologies' - I think I just coined a new term!
  • The Ruby community is really friendly. If they had some gum, they'd probably give you some.
  • Happy friendly people make happy friendly software.
  • Programming shouldn't suck.
  • Ruby is a legible language. With Ruby, you can be expressive while not being eccentric.
  • In work and life, we should strive for the absence of un-fun things.

Ryan Davis - Test Driven Design with ZenTest

  • Old Skool: Make it Run, Make it Right, Make it Fast.
  • New Skool: Make it Right, Make it Run, Make it Fast.
  • Steven Baker nailed this at Canada on Rails, so I asked to use his slides. This lets me stay DRY.

Hal Fulton - Interfacing Ruby With Oracle

  • I have more experience with mySQL but that's nothing to be proud of. My cool friends all seem to be using PostgreSQL.

Rich Kilmer - The Contract

  • This is a description of the previous project in pseudo-Java. it doesn't need to actually run - just like most Java.
  • MTASC is written in OCAML, so you never want to look at it - but it's FAST.
  • I was chatting with one of our really good open source developers in China and he said 'Oh my mom needs me.' - He's a programmer, so that could mean nothing.
  • The prototype I built was a success. The final project will take several years to be built - thankfully by somebody else - and it will probably never be used. But you know what's cool? I got their hopes up!

Chad Fowler - Rails 1.1 Language Evolution in Action

  • When Rails came out, the old guard said "It's ugly Ruby" - but now even old guard Ruby programmers are writing in Rails style.
  • In my JavaScript effects demos, I like to use shake. Shake is the Web 2.0 version of the Blink tag.
  • [Audience discussion about multi-level includes with deep joins] Audience Member 1: You could get in trouble using this, couldn't you? This may be an attractive nuisance - a friendly way to do dangerous things. Audience Member 2: That's the Ruby Way!
  • [Question: How do I find out more details about RJS?] "Well, it's poorly documented in the Rails source."

Eric Hodel - Distributed Ruby

  • One of the problems with calling objects remotely is that they may have been garbage collected between calls. This isn't that big a problem, since garbage collection doesn't happen all that often.
  • The book for dRuby has been really helpful. It has useful code samples and nice pictures - although I haven't actually read it yet, since it's in Japanese.
  • There's a very good article on dRuby in Japanese, and it's reasonably readable through the Excite translator.
  • I've been working on this for several years, and I'm learning more from this same article, since the Excite translator is improving and letting me understand more of it.

David Pollak - Metaprogramming: Building Classes on the Fly

  • The first twelve people to ask questions will get beer. Audience Member: What kind of beer? David: I have de-alcoholized beer for cheap questions.
  • I became a Java lover in 1996.
  • Now I've totally fallen in lust with Ruby. It takes me back to my Objective-C days.
  • I'm also a lawyer - so I'm used to rigid semantics in language.
  • I see a lot of religious wars over technology - vi vs. emacs, Windows vs. Linux. What's nice about Ruby is that it's a Philosophy rather than a Religion. It has ways of doing things, but if you want to use it differently, that's okay too.
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