Sessions at Lone Star Ruby Conference V with slides

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Friday 12th August 2011

  • A Dickens of A Keynote

    by James Edward Gray II

    Welcome Keynote

    At 9:15am to 10:00am, Friday 12th August

    Coverage slide deck

  • Consuming the Twitter Streaming API with Ruby and MongoDB

    by Jeff Linwood

    Want to build your next application off of live Twitter updates? Twitter provides a streaming API that you can filter by username, keyword, or geo-location. Using a couple of great Ruby gems, we can store tweets from the streaming API into MongoDB, a NoSQL store that's perfect for analysis.

    I'll go over the basics of the Twitter API, MongoDB, the mongo and tweetstream ruby gems, and how to bring it all together into a sample application.

    At 1:45pm to 2:30pm, Friday 12th August

    Coverage slide deck

  • Practical Metaprogramming: "Modeling Thought"

    by Steven G. Harms

    ... Or, Lessons Learned While Using Ruby's MP System to Model a 2,500 Year-Old, Dead Language

    During LSRC III's Reject Conf, I began a project to model the linguistic behavior of verbs in Classical Latin. Owing to the irregularity of human communication, modeling the provision of unambiguous answers (return values) to ambiguously asked things (flexible / incomplete method calls) might have required hundreds, if not thousands, of method definitions or static values entered in a database.

    But what if heuristics could be given to a Ruby class such that it "thought" as language learners are taught to think? What if it could be taught to be flexible in respecting the ambiguous calls given and to still give precise, correct answers back - as human language learners are capable of doing? By adopting this design paradigm, code could become leaner and more reflective of human cognitive process.

    Thankfully for Rubyists, this is not a dream, this is reality. Our programs can operate more intelligently, more heuristically, and more insightfully. We can save ourselves days of development time by integrating this next tier of metaprogramming patterns I propose to demonstrate. While I will demonstrate these patterns by modeling linguistics based on the LatinVerb library (https://github.com/sgharms/Latin...), these techniques have wider application across problem domains.

    At 1:45pm to 2:30pm, Friday 12th August

    Coverage slide deck

  • Accelerated native mobile app development with the Ti gem

    by Wynn Netherland ⚡

    Titanium mobile is fast becoming the native platform of choice for Rubyists. This talk will show you how to put your Ruby skills to use to write native apps for iOS and Android faster than you ever thought possible including:

    • The Ti gem which offers Rails-like generators for views, models, and other project items
    • CoffeeScript to write JavaScript using idioms familiar to Rubyists
    • Compass and Sass to write JavaScript stylesheets
    • Rake to compile, build, and deploy your apps

    At 2:30pm to 3:15pm, Friday 12th August

    Coverage slide deck

  • Much Ado About CoffeeScript

    by Mattt Thompson

    CoffeeScript will ship with Rails 3.1 to replace RJS as the preferred way to dynamically generate JavaScript. It's a new language that take the best parts of Ruby, Python, and others to ease the worst parts of JavaScript. More than being the new kid on the Rails block however, CoffeeScript is mind-expanding in ways that will make you remember the first time you ever gave Ruby a try. This presentation will take you through the basics of CoffeeScript, starting with a crash course in syntax, all the way to a working application.

    At 3:30pm to 4:15pm, Friday 12th August

    Coverage slide deck

  • The world runs on bad software

    by Brandon Keepers

    The world is full of poorly structured, overly verbose, untested code. But, a lot of people are doing amazing things and making insane amounts of money from bad software. As someone who might call himself a “software architect” or “craftsman”, this is difficult reality for me to accept. This talk explores the balance between pragmatism and perfection.

    Ruby, being as expressive and versatile as it is, makes it easy for newbies to write alien code that looks more like Java than anything resembling our beloved language, while those versed in "The Ruby Way" spend their days and nights obsessing over how to refactor ten lines of working code into three.

    There is a cost to writing good software. It takes time to write automated tests, refactor code, and do things right. You may miss opportunities to get your software in front of real people, get essential feedback, or even launch at all.

    I have seen and often written both abysmal software that makes me want to cry and glorious code that would make any mother proud; both were perfectly adequate for the task at hand.

    Bad software that ships is better than good software that nobody uses. Learn how to strike a balance between pragmatism and perfection.

    At 3:30pm to 4:15pm, Friday 12th August

    Coverage slide deck

  • More DSL, Less Pain

    by Evan Light

    One much loved feature of Ruby is the ease with which the object model allows for internal DSLs. However, "metaprogramming" code, in Ruby, can be hard on the eyes which written in large quantities. "Lispy", a gem by Ryan Allen, was a first step toward a generic decoupling of internal DSLs from their implementation. I forked it, took it a ways further, and used it in a significant refactoring of a gem. During this presentation, I'll demonstrate how the LISPish notion that code is data can go a long way toward easing the burden of implementing internal DSLs

    At 4:15pm to 5:00pm, Friday 12th August

    Coverage slide deck

Saturday 13th August 2011

  • Beautiful Payment Systems with OAuth

    by Tom Brown

    A simple OAuth based protocol called OpenTransact will be described.

    Payments made across financial service providers using the opentransact ruby gem will be demonstrated.

    At 8:45am to 9:30am, Saturday 13th August

    Coverage slide deck

  • Blow Up Your Views

    by Jeff Casimir

    Whether you're new to Rails or have been around few years, chances are that your views are primitive. Detonate what you know about how views are written and let's start over.

    In this session we'll discuss...
    - Why your views suck
    - Instance variables are stupid
    - Kill helpers and work with objects
    - Drawing the line between "C" and "V"
    - Treating views as API customers
    - Rethinking templating

    By the end you'll be dying to blow up your views.

    At 8:45am to 9:30am, Saturday 13th August

    Coverage slide deck

  • The Ruby Racer: Under the Hood

    by Charles Lowell

    Have you ever had to implement the same validation logic twice: once in JavaScript for the browser and once in Ruby for the server? Has there ever been a JavaScript library like handlebars.js that you'd love to use server side, but can't because well... it's in JavaScript and not Ruby? Or perhaps a time or two you've been tempted to eval() some anonymous Ruby code, but you didn't dare because it's an unspeakably dangerous thing to do?

    The solutions to these and many other problems are suddenly and elegantly within your grasp when you've got the power of a JavaScript interpreter right there with you in your ruby process.

    Sound crazy? difficult? It's easier than you might think. This talk will focus on The Ruby Racer: a gem that brings the superb V8 interpteter to Ruby. We'll see how to call JavaScript functions directly from Ruby; how to call Ruby methods directly from JavaScript; how to extend Ruby classes with JavaScript; how to extend your JavaScript objects with Ruby, and a slew of other ways of managing their interaction that will bend your mind.

    At 9:30am to 10:15am, Saturday 13th August

    Coverage slide deck

  • Google Go for Ruby Hackers

    by Eleanor McHugh

    Go is a statically-compiled systems language geared to developing scalable and type-safe applications with the light touch of a dynamic language.

    In this session we'll explore Go from a Rubyists perspective, examining the CSP-based concurrency model which has gained it wide-spread press coverage, it's inference-based approach to dynamic typing and the inheritance-free object model this supports. Where possible I'll tie these concepts back to familiar Ruby idioms.

    Along the way we'll meet gotest (Go's testing and benchmarking framework), CGO (for linking to C libraries), goinstall (the remote package installer) and Go's powerful reflection and type manipulation features.

    By the end of the session you'll be comfortable reading Go source code, have a basic feel for developing with the language and the necessary background to get started writing your own concurrent Go programs.

    At 10:30am to 11:15am, Saturday 13th August

    Coverage slide deck

  • State of the Art Telephony with Ruby

    by Ben Klang

    The past 10 years has seen a revolution in the way we make phone calls and even the way we think about a telephone. Ruby is an ideal language to create power tools for building telephony applications. In this talk we will demonstrate how Ruby is the state of the art when it comes to interacting with the telephone network. Using the open source Adhearsion framework, we will demonstrate how you can easily integrate with existing Ruby applications or migrate legacy systems. We will cover how to get started immediately using cloud-based services, as well as how to build, deploy and manage your applications in-house. Network permitting, we will finish with a live demo designed to inspire ideas for ways you can integrate telephony into your application.

    At 11:15am to 12:00pm, Saturday 13th August

  • Chronologic: you put your activity feeds in it

    by Adam Keys

    The need to maintain social activity feeds is an increasingly useful thing in a variety of software. Whether its a project management app or a social site, many kinds of software can make use of a list of events that have happened in the system, filtered for each user and listed in reverse chronological order. However, this sort of data presents many storage and privacy challenges.

    Gowalla has built Chronologic to meet all these needs. Chronologic is an application built for dealing with events, timelines, and pushing those events to the right subscribers. It is a general service for dealing with activity feeds. On top of that, it implements privacy, a flexible follow model, and the ability to fetch incremental updates to a feed.

    Chronologic is built with Ruby, Sinatra, and Cassandra. We'll show how this trio played nicely together and how it could be improved. Most importantly, we'll show how to get started with Chronologic, how to adapt it to your own application, and how to deploy it in your datacenter.

    At 1:45pm to 2:30pm, Saturday 13th August

    Coverage slide deck

  • In the Loop

    by Lourens Naudé

    The Reactor Pattern's present in a lot of production infrastructure (Nginx, Eventmachine, 0mq, Redis), yet not very well understood by developers and systems fellas alike. In this talk we'll have a look at what code is doing at a lower level and also how underlying subsystems affect your event driven services.

    Below the surface : system calls, file descriptor behavior, event loop internals and buffer management

    Evented Patterns : handler types, deferrables and half sync / half async work

    Anti patterns : on CPU time, blocking system calls and protocol gotchas

    At 1:45pm to 2:30pm, Saturday 13th August

    Coverage slide deck

  • Building Virtual Development Environments With Vagrant

    by Mike Hagedorn

    Many of us deploy to systems which are completely different from the systems we develop on, and can be difficult to set up particularly if there are a lot of moving pieces in your setup. These could be things like message queuing systems, various databases or specific versions of scripting languages such as ruby. This makes it a very time intensive process to bring new people up to speed on your projects, and to get systems set up right the first time. What if you could have a system that would launch a virtual environment, provision and run all of your systems's various components, be repeatable and fit on a thumb drive? Vagrant allows this by putting a ruby DSL on top of Oracle's VirtualBox API. It allows you to set up and provision your servers using Chef or Puppet, and to reuse those scripts on your real production environment if you want. This makes your server infrastructure version controlled just like your application code. We will go through a setup of a Vagrant instance and show how using shared folders you can develop locally, but be developing on your "local cloud", your running Vagrant instance.

    At 3:30pm to 4:15pm, Saturday 13th August

    Coverage slide deck

  • Polyglot Paralellism: A Case Study in Using Erlang and Ruby at Rackspace

    by Phil Toland

    Two years ago Rackspace had a problem: how do we backup 20K network devices, in 8 datacenters, across 3 continents, with less than a 1% failure rate -- every single day? Many solutions were tried and found wanting: a pure Perl solution, a vendor solution and then one in Ruby, none worked well enough. They not fast enough or they were not reliable enough, or they were not transparent enough when things went wrong.

    Now we all love Ruby but good Rubyists know that it is not always the best tool for the job. After re-examining the problem we decided to rewrite the application in a mixture of Erlang and Ruby. By exploiting the strengths of both -- Erlang's astonishing support for parallelism and Ruby's strengths in web development -- the problem was solved.

    In this talk we'll get down and dirty with the details: the problems we faced and how we solved them. We'll cover the application architecture, how Ruby and Erlang work together, and the Erlang approach to asynchronous operations (hint: it does not involve callbacks). So come on by and find out how you can get these two great languages to work together.

    At 3:30pm to 4:15pm, Saturday 13th August

    Coverage slide deck