Jabberwocky

Railsconf Europe Day 1

Posted in conference, rails by elisehuard on September 12, 2008

In Berlin they know what summer means, and how to taper off softly to winter. The day started sunny with a hint of freshness.

So i started off towards the Railsconf in a pretty good mood, despite the early hour. I ended up subscribing to the tutorials, because i’ve been told last night (at the Bratwurst on Rails) that they were worth it.

My morning tutorial was about hacking the Rails internals by two people of the company Intridea. About showing how you can minutely twist the default rails magic to make your life easier. Pradeep Elunkamaran in the first half was fairly interesting – except that it was a bit fast, especially since (gasp) i hadn’t had my coffee yet (and hadn’t eaten since lunch the day before).

The second half was by Michael Bleigh, who’s given us subdomain-fu and uberkit (didn’t know the last one). This was more applied, and more focused towards getting a result (without knowing all the details underneath). Different point of view.

Lunch was pleasantly spent with the belgian delegation: 4 of OpenMinds, Alain Ravet, and 2 guys of belighted (and me). And two start-up founders from resp. Germany and Austria.

I started the afternoon at a presentation about deploying and monitoring rails by people from Peritor, which was woefully basic. They started off by describing all the most common server setups, and then talking about capistrano. I gave up hoping when it appeared the level wouldn’t exponentially increase.

So i skipped talks to one by Thoughtworks people about meta-programming in Ruby. Pat Farley made a good job of taking something that could have been endlessly dull (Ruby C internals) and making it bearable, grabbing our attention with humor here and there.

After dinner break, there was a panel discussion by DHH, Jeremy Kemper and Michael Koziarsky.. All being Rails core people, there was not much debate, so it became a Q&A session. About future of web apps according to them, if other test frameworks were going to creep in (no), what they thought about the other frameworks (cute but not Rails) … not many surprises there, in other words.

Rejectconf took place at a bar a couple of kilometers away, and was one of the best parts of the day. The formula was that everyone had maximum 5 minutes to talk about a related subject, however wacky

Best_of: a ‘make_spec_better’ plugin that passes all specs, whatever happens. An application by leethal, who apparently gets pretty frustrated on IRC, to be able to tell people how exactly they fit the term ‘retard’ (unable to google etc). Braid was presented as the piston for git by a young dutch guy (whose name i didn’t catch, but surely will find again).

Geoffrey Grosenbach talked about Zshell – a bit surreal to actually see the guy after listening to his disembodied voice in a few Peepcode tutorials. He then was nice (and brave) enough to lend his Macbook air to increasingly drunk presenters.

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