Rubyconf Wrap-Up

Posted by Nick Sieger Tue, 24 Oct 2006 22:51:55 GMT

Whew! Back home from my first RubyConf, it’s taken me a couple days to collect some parting thoughts. As you might have noticed, I was pretty busy last weekend.

First of all, what an awesome and welcoming community. It’s going to sound cliché, but there are so many intelligent and motivated people walking around that you can’t help but be inspired to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.

There were definitely some high points for me. The beauty and power of the language, even after using it for almost two years, still amazes me. Pretty much every piece of code I saw, whether in a presentation or looking over someone’s shoulder, had a clear purpose and communicated its intent better than any general-purpose machine language I have seen. The simplicity of Evan’s new Ruby-in-ruby VM, the syntax integration tricks of John’s RubyCLR project, the forthcoming RubyOSA APIs, and Geoffrey’s graphics programs, are all great testaments to Ruby’s power.

There was an implementer’s summit on Friday night, which I attended (see also coverage here and here). There are now at least 8 active implementations of Ruby (Ruby, Yarv, JRuby, Cardinal, Rubinius, MetaRuby, Ruby.NET, IronRuby), and two interop bridges (RubyCLR and RubyCocoa)! The biggest news was that there are plans to revive the Ruby testing project (formerly the Rubicon) and share as many tests as possible among the implementations.

RejectConf was a huge success, due largely to the indefatigable Adam Keys. Kevin Tew has a decent wrap-up of the talks that occurred. Charlie’s demo of NetBeans in-place refactoring feature drew a couple oohs and ahs and even one f-bomb. Heckle, in time, should be an awesome tool as well. Big thanks to zenspider for coordinating it. It’s destined to become an annual tradition. Perhaps the organizers of future RubyConfs could account for it in the budget?

On a lighter note, there were quite a few humorous moments that kept popping up. A summary may read like a list of inside jokes, so here’s some context. THAT GUY is a reference to a disclaimer in Zed’s talk about the know-it-all guy who always pipes up during your talk with skepticism. THAT GUY kept getting called out during the rest of the conference. Ani, the developer evangelist from Microsoft was pretty thick-skinned. She was heckled constantly about MS, Vista, and everything else, and still kept a smile on her face. And of course you already watched Adam’s one-act play, right?

My note-taking streak wasn’t quite perfect; I didn’t take notes Kevin’s mkmf talk nor Rich’s talk about indi, and I slept in and missed Justin’s Streamlined talk. Also, the beer was flowing for RejectConf, and despite the quality summer of code talks, I was spent. Fortunately, you can fill in the blanks by following along with Curt Hibbs and the rest of the blogosphere. Thanks for tuning in, and I hope you got something worthwhile here. See you next year!

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  1. Avatar topfunky said about 2 hours later:

    Thanks for being the un-official RubyConf scribe! It’s great to have such complete notes from the conference.

  2. Avatar Pat Eyler said about 14 hours later:

    Yes, thanks for taking such great notes. I know I cribbed from them to do some of the RubyConf review at our UtahValley.rb last night.

    See you next year! (And, I’ll probably be cribbing from your notes again for 2007.)


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