Just back from Edinburgh this evening. Took it steady about 60mph, so used just half a tank of fuel - not bad for 400 miles (return). Had to take it easy as it was just above freezing in places and I ended up playing Star Trek. It was snowing for a time North of Penrith. When I was able I put the head lights on full-beam: warp drive!
Scotland On Rails was great - the organisation, speakers, content and company. The sessions I attended included testing, testing testing, migrating to Ruby 1.9, DSLs .... and the last session on JRuby with the announcement of version 1.1 that provoked a round of applause:
JRuby on Rails: Up And Running!I'd been really looking forward to Joe's presentation on DSLs and was not disappointed. My enthusiasm here is not because Hodges' domains makes a DSL a dead-cert, far from it; it's just that I miss playing with plasticine:
Charles Oliver Nutter and Thomas Enebo
JRuby 1.1 has been released, and is becoming the Rails platform of choice for many Rails shops. In this session, we’ll show how to start from scratch or migrate your existing Rails app to JRuby. We’ll demonstrate the various deployment options on JRuby. We’ll show how to integrate Java libraries into your app. We’ll walk through NetBeans’ Ruby and Rails support and talk about how JRuby has enabled better tools and better solutions for Ruby developers. And we’ll have a conversation with the audience about where JRuby on Rails should go from here. Be prepared to talk shop and see lots of code and demos.
Domain Specific Languages : Moulding RubyAmid the clamour that is Rails, Joe also stressed that people should focus and explore Ruby itself. Something I need to get on with. Paul Dix's talk this afternoon was fascinating in terms of scale, processing, math libraries and mention of clustering:
Ever wondered what all the fuss is about when it comes to DSL’s and Ruby? It seems to be all we hear about. This talk will peel away the onion and look at what it is about Ruby that makes it the perfect candidate for creating your own languages. I will show you, through examples, how you can create your own languages without the need for compilers and parsers. We will also cover some real world examples in areas of Banking and Medicine where DSL’s have been applied.
Collective Intelligence: Leveraging User Data to Create Intelligent Rails Applications
Take advantage of user data to create intelligent Rails applications! This talk will focus on data mining to create complex application behavior and gain insight into the patterns and habits of your users. Examples of these techniques can be seen with recommendation systems like those created by Amazon, Netflix, last.fm, and others. Additional examples include spam filtering systems for email or comment filtering provided by Akismet.
I will focus on techniques for gathering data, specific gems and plugins for performing various data mining and machine learning tasks, and performance issues like how to distribute the work to separate servers. Theory in this talk will be light and the specific algorithms will only get a mention by name. We’ll be looking at real world Ruby and Rails code examples for building recommendation, ranking, and classification systems.I wasn't the only Ruby newbie and met a few of my peers, we noticed on the first day the number of sessions on the theme of testing. Last week I'd watched Matz' February talk on Ruby 1.9 and the future which helped me out through the past two days. Last night in The Crags one of the speakers Ritchie (whose session I missed) kindly explained about his conjoint talk and the significance of JRuby, NetBeans IDE and IntelliJ. Given Richie's knowledge, experience and that closing session, I'll definitely investigate these.
That's not all I've to think about as there is Radiant a Ruby-Rails CMS. Although, I don't think I'll be letting go of Drupal, you could keep changing every week at this rate...!
There's only one conclusion - totally overwhelming: but totally worth the brain ache.
So great job & many thanks to Alan and the team, plus the luminous speakers and sponsors.