RubyFringe: Day 1 Notes, Part 1

by Joey deVilla on July 20, 2008

Here’s the first of my notes from RubyFringe, the non-corporate, almost-non-sponsored, edgy Ruby-but-not-Rails conference organized by the folks at Unspace and held in Toronto (a.k.a. “Accordion City”) on July 18th – 20th, 2008. I’ve read on a lot of blogs that people have been calling it “the best Ruby conference ever” — I might go so far to say that it’s the best tech conference I’ve been to.

This first set of notes covers the following presentations:

  • Adhearsion (Jay Phillips)
  • Deployment Monoculture / Scaling Ruby Down (Dan Grigsby)
  • Rockstar Memcaching (Tobias Lutke)
  • Living on the Edge (Yehuda Katz)
  • Testing is Overrated (Luke Francl)

Adhearsion (Jay Phillips)

From the RubyFringe program booklet:

Jay Phillips will talk about what’s been changing in the Adhearsion and VoIP scene and how people with virtually no VoIP experience can use Ruby and Adhearsion to write their first application in this generally foreign world of technology. If you’re building a Rails web application, with Adhearsion you could consider leveraging voice as a new, cutting-edge feature of it. If you’re a cowboy hacker with more personal ambitions, Jay will also talk about fun hacker projects and how you can go about implementing them. The world of voice is certainly a growing market and it can’t hurt to know a little about the technology!

Deployment Monoculture / Scaling Ruby Down (Dan Grigsby)

From the RubyFringe program booklet:

Most conversations about scaling Ruby web apps are pointed in the wrong direction. Instead of talking about whether Ruby can scale up — I think we all agree it can — I’d like to see it scale down.

As an entrpreneur, I launch dozens of ideas before I pick the one to turn into a startup. The Rails-inspired approach of deploying long running instances of the runtime, one or more per app, doesn’t scale down to support even a few side-by-side applications.

Instead of reflexively arguing that EC2 is cheap enough, this talk will challenge some base assumptions, take a hint and some inspiration from Google App Engine, and suggest another angle for deploying Ruby-based web apps.

Rockstar Memcaching (Tobias Lutke)

From the RubyFringe program booklet:

Memcached is what makes the web fast. It’s also the simplest thing ever: you put a little memory aside for it, you put some keys in, you get them out at a later time.

So why the hell do all of you geniuses use it wrong? I’ll teach you how to tackle your performance issues using memcached once and for all.

Living on the Edge (Yehuda Katz)

From the Rubyfringe program booklet:

Ruby is growing up quickly, and a number of Ruby’s mainstays are falling by the wayside. I’m talking about classics like Rails, Rake, Rdoc and much much more. This talk will help you squeeze even more developer productivity out of the latest edge tools that will be the mainstays a year from now. Of course, living on the edge is a dangerous game, so I’ll cover how to sanely keep abreast of the latest and greatest without having to spend all your time keeping your tool chain up and running.

I intend to cover Merb and DataMapper (briefly, as they are rapidly reaching escape velocity from the Land of Edge), Thor, YARD, basis and Johnson. I will also cover other edge tools that are released between time of printing and Rubyfringe. Rock on!

Testing is Overrated (Luke Francl)

From the RubyFringe program booklet:

Develper-driven testing is probably the most influential software development technique of the last 10 – 15 years. There’s no question that it has improved the practice of building software. And in a dynamic language like Ruby, it’s hard to get by without it. But is it really the best way to find defects? Or is the emphasis on testing and test coverage barking up the wrong tree?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Dan Grigsby July 21, 2008 at 11:16 pm

Wow! This is an incredible level of detail. Thanks for putting in the effort to take it all down.

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