April SF Ruby Meetup notes

— April 18, 2007 at 22:09 PDT

On Monday we had our April SF Ruby Meetup. The meetup was at the offices of Obvious, makers of Twitter. After all the changes the meetup group has been through in the last year, it was nice to have a good old fashioned "here's some cool code" kind of evening. Lots of good people there, including David Black who stopped by since we was in town for the Web 2.0 Expo.

I didn't take any notes, but lets see how well my memory works without electronic assist...

Rich Morin presented Arti, a system that introspects a Rails application to present richer documentation than RDoc can on its own. Arti is still just getting started, but it's an interesting idea and shows a lot of potential.

Richard White showed us ActiveScaffold, the replacement for his end-of-lifed AjaxScaffold. This looks pretty cool, and far more usable and sensible than Streamlined. I'm about to try it out on an experimental project so I'll have more to say about it soon.

Caleb Clausen demoed a very early version of RON - Ruby Object Notation. It's a tool for reading and writing graphs of arbitrary Ruby objects, like JSON on peaceful, non-addictive steroids. The notation looked a little odd, but the idea is very cool. And it looks like it lets you dump a block and its binding so closures could be persisted. I've built similar things to this a few times and it looks to me like Caleb is doing a good job of it. I don't know when or where it will be available, sorry.

Blaine Cook showed us his MapReduce in 36 lines of Ruby hack. He's using Ruby2Ruby to ship Ruby source for a block to a remote Ruby via Rinda. Very cool.

Britt Selvitelle talked a bit about making happiness, not money. It was an unusual topic for a Ruby meetup, but not for our community. And we are in San Francisco after all.

Several books were raffled off as door prizes. Thanks to David Black for Ruby for Rails, and Andrew Lewis for Beginning Google Maps Applications with Rails and Ajax. No thanks to anyone for the PMP book! :-)

And remember, SDForum Silicon Valley Ruby Conference is this weekend at the Tech Museum in San Jose. The speaker program is awesome (if I do say so myself), there's going to be a ton of books and other prizes raffled off, and someone is going to win a free spot in the Pragmatic Rails Studio in Sunnnyvale in June. By the way, mucho thanks to Ben Curtis for hooking us up with a facebook for the conference. His ConferenceMeetup service is really sweet.

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