Software and Other Stuff

31 Oct 2010

Ruby conferences in Brazil and Uruguay

This year I could attend both rubyconf Brazil and Uruguay. Both conferences had great talks and summarizing everything would be overkill, so I'll instead post some brief notes.

My Notes

Brazil Opening

Fabio Akita's talk was great in motivating the audience to be more participative in open source projects as a way of continuously improving as developers.

Client side development

Yehuda Katz talked about focusing on the client side of web applications. Using Ajax techniques is a start but ajax still generates a lot of latency waiting for server responses. In order to have a better client side experience techniques like buffered DOM manipulation, object bindings and event loops on the client side, can help to do as much work on the client as possible.

Rails 3.1

José Valim talked about some great features that will be packaged on rails 3.1, as better asset packaging (in line with the functionality provided by the sprockets gems), making rails serve the stylesheets and javascript and use sass, and general improvements on a lot of areas (new ActiveRecord's identity map, better generators, etc.).


Both Evan Phoenix in Brazil and Brian Ford in Uruguay described great features packed on of rubinius. Some of the impressive features are the integrated console and the profiler (both triggable by command line, no additional gems required). They also talked about the modularity and extensibility of the tools bundled in the rubinius environment, made evident by the possibility to implement 3rd party languages (like the fancy programming language).


Charles Nutter showcased some cool demos on jruby, including live coding a swt GUI from irb, using the VisualVM profiler to profile some code, running a multithreaded java environment from the command line using the trinidad gem, and a 3D game. He also showed a demo of the mirah programming language, which has a syntax similar to ruby's but contains type annotations and can produce either java code or jvm bytecode.


Blaine Cook talked about webfinger, a solution to provide users with an identity on the web in such a way they becomes the owners of it (as opposed as tying the identity on the web to any given service, like twitter, facebook or linkedin profile names). Slides here.

Ruby 1.9.x fibers

Aaron Patterson gave a talk about scheduling, fibers and coroutines.


Jim Weirich gave a talk about OOP and the SOLID principles.


Scott Chacon gave a tutorial for git, starting from the fundamentals and the differences with other VCS like rcs or svn.


Federico Brubacher talked about clojure, a very nice functional programming language for the jvm, and a great alternative to scala as it is a much more simple language.

ActiveRecord and Identity Maps

Emilio Tagua talked the addition of an Identity Map to ActiveRecord to shield great memory and performance savings.

Programming patterns

Ignacio Facello talked about patterns for Ruby.


Santiago Pastorino talked about metaprogramming ruby techniques.


Tim Bray gave a 30 minutes long advertisement on android, quickly dismissing ruby as a viable development option while it was on it. Despite that, android is a great platform to develop mobile applications.

Uruguay Keynote

Evan Henshaw-Plath (@rabble) closed the Uruguay conference with a great keynote where he talked about the characteristics of the ruby community.

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