RubyConf 2011 schedule

Thursday 29th September 2011

  • Welcome

    At 9:00am to 9:15am, Thursday 29th September

  • Keynote: Ruby Everywhere

    by Yukihiro Matsumoto

    Keynote by Matz

    At 9:15am to 10:25am, Thursday 29th September

    Coverage video

  • Big Data Enterprisy Analytics App and Ruby

    by Amit Kumar

    The enterprise is a closed ecosystem with its own rules. Internet is all about openness and freedom. Solving the `Big Data` problem for an Enterprise requires:

    1) Maintain large amounts of structured and unstructured data
    2) Complying with internal technical standards and enterprisy architectural guidelines
    3) Local as well as global enterprise regulations etc.

    I would like to share how Ruby helped in building a scalable Analytic application. The application uses OLAP Cubes and deals with data slicing/dicing.

    At 10:25am to 11:15am, Thursday 29th September

    Coverage video

  • Persisting Relations Across Time and Space

    by Piotr Szotkowski

    Entities and their relations are the backbone of many Ruby applications – from trivial, one-off commandline utilities to full-blown social network websites. The good old relational databases, while showing extreme abilities in both adaptation and survival, are no longer the obvious choice for persistence – and sometimes obviously not an ideal one.

    This talk discusses various entity/relation modelling approaches and different persistence techniques – from rigid schemas in suits to collections of hippie free-form documents; from good old (transactional!) PStore through join-table-happy RDBMSes and muscle-flexing NoSQL hools to (social!) graph databases, waiting patiently for broader recognition and prime time.

    Quite a few interesting Ruby libraries for gluing all this together are also pondered upon – from world-class champions like Active Record or ARel to less known gems like Candy and Ambition.

    At 10:25am to 11:15am, Thursday 29th September

    Coverage video

  • Writing Solid Ruby Code

    by Jim Weirich

    Do you always seem to be fixing bugs in your software project? Are you spending more time fixing defects that actually implementing new behavior? If so, this talk is for you.

    In the mid-90s, Steve Maquire wrote a book that strongly effected the way I developed software. Primarily writing in C and C++ in those years, the struggle to deliver bug free software was especially a challenge. In the book "Writing Solid Code", Steve gives sage advice on the problems of developing large software projects and the challenges that go with making sure your softare actual does what you think it should.

    Although as Ruby developers we are no longer using C to deliver our large projects, the challenge of writing solid, reliable code is still before us. Based on Maquire's advice and my own years of Ruby experience, this talk will show developers tools, techniques and practices that they can use to improve their software and begin writing solid code.

    At 10:25am to 11:15am, Thursday 29th September

    Coverage video

  • Blueprint: configuration management for busy people

    by Richard Crowley

    Configuration management shouldn't be a luxury. It should be a right available to teams of every size and skill because it makes you confident when you deploy and calm when you scale up. Until now, however, the tools have been focused on the exotic possibilities seen at enormous scale in sprawling organizations.

    Blueprint is different. Blueprint reverse engineers servers to understand how they're configured and makes it painless to push the configuration to your coworkers and to production. It understands system packages, gems, config files, source installations, and more.

    In this talk we'll discuss the architecture of the Blueprint tools, their use and how they fit into most workflows, their limitations and how users address them, and some of the tools being built on top of Blueprint to manage many servers at once.

    At 11:15am to 12:00pm, Thursday 29th September

    Coverage video

  • Exceptional Ruby

    by Avdi Grimm

    You know how to raise and rescue exceptions. But do you know how they work, and how how to structure a robust error handling strategy for your app?

    This talk starts with a technical deep dive into Ruby's exception facility, covering features, tricks, and gotchas you never knew about. You'll learn how to retry failed operations; how to override "raise" for fun and profit; and advanced techniques for matching exceptions in rescue clauses.

    From there, we'll move on to patterns and guidelines for structuring a robust, failure-resilient codebase. We'll look at strategies for avoiding failure cascades; how to characterize and verify the exception-safety of critical methods; and alternatives to raising exceptions for when "fail fast" isn't the right answer. Finally, you'll learn about the three exception classes every app needs.

    At 11:15am to 12:00pm, Thursday 29th September

    Coverage video

  • Why You Don't Get Mock Objects

    by Gregory Moeck

    Although the Ruby community has embraced TDD like no other community ever has, we have always looked at mock objects with disdain, and perhaps even a little hatred. I've heard conference speakers call them "Wastes of time", "Scams", and even "Testing Heresies". Why would anyone have ever developed these pieces of junk?

    In reality though many in the agile community have embraced mock objects within their testing cycles because they have found using these fake objects improves the design of their systems. But why not Rubyists? Most Rubyists don't get mock objects because they don't understand their history or their creators intent. They try to fit them into their current workflow without understanding them, and find them unhelpful and stupid. After all, almost all of the good literature on the subject is written in Java, and we know how frustrating it is to read Java when your used to Ruby.

    As such, this talk will attempt to demonstrate in Ruby the usefulness of mock objects, and how to use them to improve the design of your system.

    Specifically the following will be covered:

    • Why do we need mock objects (Following the 'Tell, Don't Ask Principle')
    • Why you should only mock objects you own
    • Why you shouldn't use mocks to test boundary objects like external API calls
    • Why you should mock roles, not Objects
    • Why you should only mock your immediate neighbors
    • Why listening to your unit tests will tell you about design problems in your code

    At 11:15am to 12:00pm, Thursday 29th September

  • "Algorithms" is Not a Four-Letter Word

    by Jamis Buck

    Why does the word "algorithms" convey such a sense of musty dustiness? It doesn't have to! Implementing algorithms can be a fantastic way to grow your craft, practice programming idioms and patters, learn new programming languages, and just generally have a good time! Come learn how to generate, navigate, and solve MAZES in a variety of ways. Be prepared to drink from a firehose as I walk (run?) through eleven maze generation algorithms and several ways to solve mazes, in just 45 minutes! You'll never think of algorithms the same way again.

    At 1:15pm to 2:10pm, Thursday 29th September

  • Parallel worlds of CRuby's GC

    by Narihiro Nakamura

    CRuby adopts Mark Sweep GC Algorithm now.

    In my presentation, I talk about Parallel Mark Algorithm for CRuby's GC that improves Mark.

    Parallel mark divides a mark phase into a plurality of threads and it parallely execute.
    Recentlly, 8 core computers are not rare.

    In such an enviroment, GC will be speed up, if it distribute tasks to each core.

    I'll talk the parallel mark algorithm and implemention, result of benchmark.

    At 1:15pm to 2:10pm, Thursday 29th September

    Coverage video

  • So You Think You Can Code: Part Deux

    by Aaron Patterson, John Barnette, Evan Phoenix, Yosef Mendelssohn and Ben Bleything

    The Fabulous Five are back! Last year we blew your mind. This year we will blow your heart. Join us as we put on our robes and wizard hats and enchant you with witty banter, amusing anecdotes and live Q&A. We'll cover topics ranging from "best ruby interpreter" to "best ruby interpretive dance". Featuring Aaron "The Kissing Bandit" Patterson, Ben "It's Bleything, not Bleything!" Bleything, Yosef "Totally Great" Mendelssohn, Jon "The Bear Brogrammer" Barnette, and Evan "Totes Not Creepy" Phoenix. Moderated by Rein Henrichs.

    At 1:15pm to 2:10pm, Thursday 29th September

    Coverage video

  • Advanced EventMachine

    by Jonathan Weiss

    We use EventMachine heavily in production. It is handling uploads to S3, managing thousands of messages a second or distributing agent workload.

    This taught us a load about EventMachine and some weired corner-cases. I want to about such advanced EventMachine topics and shared some use-cases and experiences from the trenches.

    At 2:10pm to 3:05pm, Thursday 29th September

    Coverage video

  • Evented Telephony Application Design with Adhearsion

    by Ben Klang

    Adhearsion is a new way to write voice-enabled applications. It's not just an API or library -- it's a fully-featured framework, the first of its kind, designed for maximal code reuse and intuitiveness. Building on ideas learned from existing Ruby web development frameworks, Adhearsion brings test-driven development, ActiveRecord models and the full power of the Ruby language to the world of telephone applications.

    This talk covers Adhearsion’s powerful eventing interfaces for call control. Rather than handling each call session in a linear (and often blocking) sequence, we can react to events as they happen during the call, such as code reacting to the active speaker in a multi-channel conference, handling mid-call DTMF keypresses or manipulating state as calls are set up and torn down.

    At 2:10pm to 3:05pm, Thursday 29th September

  • How Getting Buff Can Make You a Better Rubyist

    by Rob Sanheim

    Two years ago, I was about to turn 30. I was working constantly. And I was in the worst shape of my life. I weighed almost 270 pounds. My back, hands, and wrists ached constantly from repetitive stress and poor posture after working long hours. A full eight hour day or programming left me exhausted and irritable.

    I got on a plan to get in shape and lose weight, and given enough time and good habits, it worked. I lost a ton of weight and feel great. Along the way, a funny thing happened: I became much more effective as a developer, getting more done in less time. Work is more fun, my repetitive stress injury is gone, and eight hours of pair programming doesn't destroy me like it used to.

    This talk will discuss pragmatic ways to improve your health, reduce stress, and improve focus, all without a gym membership or dreadful treadmill sessions. We'll touch on modern science that demonstrates the importance of the mind/body connection, and cover some hacker friendly diet and exercise plans.

    At 2:10pm to 3:05pm, Thursday 29th September

    Coverage video

  • Code design and the science of pleasure

    by Jonas Nicklas

    As Rails programmers we talk a lot about the beauty, not only of the products we build, but the code we write. Why is this beauty important? Can we think systematically about the emotional effects of the code we are writing?

    Code is meant to be read and used, not just by machines, but perhaps even more importantly by people. How people are affected by the products they use has been studied extensively in the field of industrial design, can we apply these lessons to the code we write?

    At 3:05pm to 4:20pm, Thursday 29th September

    Coverage video

  • LocalCommunity.Build, :through => Code Retreats, Bugmashes & more

    by Prakash Murthy

    The talk will focus on <= 1 day length events that any Rubyists can organize in their locality to nurture and grow a vibrant ruby community.

    Specifically, the talk will explore in detail two such events - Code Retreat & Rails Bugmash, and will be based on my experience in organizing Code Retreats in Boulder (Feb 2011) & Fort Collins (June 2011), and Rails Bugmashes in Boulder and Bangalore (both in May 2011).

    At 3:05pm to 4:20pm, Thursday 29th September

  • Release Early and Release Often: Reducing deployment friction

    by Andy Delcambre

    At Engine Yard, we release the main AppCloud code base at least once a day, many times more often than that. Yet we still have a fairly rigorous testing and release process. We have simply automated and connected as much of the process as possible. In this talk I will discuss how we do our deployments and how it ties in with our continuous integration service, and how we automated and tied it all together.

    At 3:05pm to 4:20pm, Thursday 29th September

  • Better Than ROT13

    by Bradley Grzesiak

    We use encryption every day, from SSL to SSH to passing notes to your crush during Social Studies class. But how does it actually work? I'll avoid most of the math but cover the concepts of both symmetric and asymmetric encryption, including hashing and signing. I'll also show how to use OpenSSL from inside ruby and show off the idkfa gem, a library to securely store sensitive information into your code repositories.

    At 4:20pm to 5:15pm, Thursday 29th September

    Coverage video

  • Keeping Ruby Reasonable

    by Joshua Ballanco

    Pop quiz, hot shot! What is the value of this Ruby expression: "2 + 3"?

    What if I told you that somewhere earlier I had done this: "class Fixnum; alias :+ :*; end"? Changes everything, right?

    We're all familiar with Ruby's open classes. For many of us, they're one of the facets of Ruby that make it so much fun to work with. However, Ruby treats bindings as first class objects, and they are, similarly, open. This can lead to problems. What sorts of problems? Well, effectively, the only way to know what a Ruby program will do is to run it. Stated another way: it is impossible to reason about Ruby.

    Now, this may not seem like such a big deal for the seasoned Rubyist. So long as we're responsible in how we write our code and make sure not to do anything too crazy, we can have a pretty good idea of what any piece of code will do ahead of time. Unfortunately, compilers and runtimes can't rely on "responsible" programmers and having a "pretty good idea" of what code will do just doesn't cut it for a VM. As a result, method caches get invalidated far too often and whole classes of common optimizations do not work with Ruby.

    So, what's a programming language to do? Luckily, Ruby is not alone in facing this dilema. The Scheme community has been confronting similar issues from the very beginning, and in the R5RS and R6RS reports, they outlined a solution. This talk will take a look at what makes first-class environments and "eval" so problematic, and what lessons Ruby might learn from Scheme in how to be more reasonable.

    At 4:20pm to 5:15pm, Thursday 29th September

    Coverage video

  • Pure Ruby GUI

    by Micah Martin and Uncle Bob Martin

    Father-son-team Bob and Micah Martin open the hood on a pure ruby GUI tool they built to monitor their website, cleancoders.com. During this whimsical tour Bob and Micah will reveal how they made use of Limelight, along with a simple web service layer, to build a desktop GUI that provides vivid realtime information on usage of their site.

    At 4:20pm to 5:15pm, Thursday 29th September

    Coverage video

  • JRuby and Big Data

    by Jeremy Hinegardner

    One of the amazing things that we as Ruby developers benefit from, when using JRuby, is the existing ecosystem of Java libraries and platforms for manipulating Big Data. The most famous, and probably of the most use to rubyists is Hadoop and the Hadoop ecosystem of projects.

    This talk will touch on how we, as developers who use Ruby, may be use JRuby within a variety of Hadoop and Hadoop related projects such as HDFS, MapReduce, HBase, Hive, Zookeeper, etc.

    At 5:15pm to 6:00pm, Thursday 29th September

    Coverage video

  • Powerful (but Easy) Data Visualization with the Graph Gem

    by Aja Hammerly

    Many projects involve large datasets. While humans are master pattern matchers, trying to find patterns and issues by looking at reams of text is hard. Sometimes you just need the 30,000 foot view but creating diagrams by hand is time consuming and prone to error.

    The graph gem makes it quick and easy to create visualizations of your data. In this talk, we'll learn how to use nokogiri and graph to get data out of an XML file and into a format where you can see relationships and patterns. We'll also see how color coding and clustering can emphasize the patterns in your data. Many of the examples will come from my work with adaptive education apps.

    At 5:15pm to 6:00pm, Thursday 29th September

    Coverage video

  • Rails services in the walled garden

    by Sidu Ponnappa and Niranjan Paranjape

    In typical service oriented architectures, monolithic applications are sliced along domain verticals to create several independently evolving 'services' that can be used in combination to achieve various outcomes.

    Rails applications lend themselves to this architecture beautifully and are slowly making inroads in big organisations for this reason. One of the big problems with this approach is that analyzing and managing large quantities of data from multiple services to produce a result becomes very hard. What was originally a relatively simple task when all data sat in the same database as part of a monolithic application, becomes, when split into multiple services, a whole different beast.

    This talk will focus on our experiences building a system involving about a dozen rails based services integrated over HTTP and XML and the issues we had to deal with when working with large data sets. We will talk about:

    * Various problems we faced while building RESTful APIs which demanded asynchronous communication between two services
    * Places where this asynchronous communication was needed to be initiated by the server, essentially a push mechanism instead of pull
    * Different approaches to this solution
    ** Sharing a database using read-only 'remote models'
    ** Creating read only local caches at each consumer
    *** Propagating updates by having the producer explicitly update each consumer
    *** Propagating updates using a message queue and the pros and cons of integrating with them in Ruby

    At 5:15pm to 6:00pm, Thursday 29th September

    Coverage video

Friday 30th September 2011

  • A Mentor in the Limelight

    by Paul Pagel and Justin Martin

    Learning how to be a well versed and competent developer is a life long process, but it must begin somewhere.

    One of the toughest parts about starting a career as a developer is the massive technology stack involved in pushing anything out to the real world. Similar to learning physics, chemistry, or biology for the first time, there is a whole language you need to learn before you can achieve any sort of mastery.

    With Limelight, you can teach the fundamental principles of becoming a Software Craftsman while only using Ruby!

    We will first explore Limelight as an educational tool, and then get our hands on our keyboards and work through an example Limelight Lesson. We will actually be writing some code!

    If you have JRuby on your machine, Limelight will do the rest of the setup.

    At 9:35am to 10:25am, Friday 30th September

    Coverage video

  • MongoDB to MySQL: the How and the Why

    by Sarah Mei

    Diaspora is the crowd-funded open-source decentralized social network built on Rails. Full buzzword compliance: on by default. We have many thousands of active users and they generate a lot of social data. But after nine months of full-time development with MongoDB as our primary storage engine, a few months ago we converted it all to MySQL.

    Wait...what? Most people are going the other way, dropping Mongo into a project in place of MySQL or PostgreSQL. Plus, conventional wisdom says that social data is ill-suited to a traditional data store.

    Come hear a story about a large-scale Rails project that tried it both ways. You'll see crisis and redemption, facts and figures, nerds, kittens, ponycorns, and, of course, the secret sauce.

    Hecklers will be piped to /dev/null.

    At 9:35am to 10:25am, Friday 30th September

  • Ruby Software Continuously Delivered and Exhaustively Explained

    by Brian Guthrie and Srushti Ambekallu

    The Ruby community has driven a lot of technical innovation in deployment and configuration management over the last few years, and so the idea of delivering high-quality software rapidly should be familiar to many of us. But although many of our tools are state-of-the-art, our practices could stand a bit of scrutiny. Your friendly neighborhood server admin probably isn't thrilled with running RVM or compiling gems in production, and your nervous project manager is asking why deploying constantly is such a great idea anyway. Won't you just stop coding for, like, five minutes and click around the app for a bit, just to make them feel better?

    In this talk, the maintainers of two competing continuous integration servers at two competing shops lead you on a Socratic tour of the past, present, and future of continuous delivery as seen through an Agile Ruby lens. We'll talk about the changing deployment toolchain, the difficulty of evolving code as it's deployed, and how to coach your developers, testers, and client to be "production-ready, any time."

    At 9:35am to 10:25am, Friday 30th September

    Coverage video

  • Message in a Bottle

    by The Konstantin

    What does really happen when we call a method? How do the different Ruby implementations actually figure out what code to execute? What plumbing is going on under the hood to get a speedy dispatch? In this talk we will have a look at the internals of the four major Ruby implementations - 1.8, 1.9, JRuby and Rubinius, focusing on their dispatch. From look-up tables and call site caches, to inlining and what on earth is invokedynamic? Expect C, C++, Java, and, of course, Ruby code. But fear not, all will be explained!

    At 10:25am to 11:10am, Friday 30th September

  • Services Inception with Ruby

    by Dave McCrory

    Ruby code creating services for it to then consume aka Service Metaprogramming

    A very large number of Ruby apps are deployed in hosted environments. Many of these hosted environments offer both internal and external services with APIs that your Ruby app can consume. The problem is that the use of these services often requires provisioning tasks for each service and the service must always be there or the app will fail.

    This session will show Metaprogramming Ruby code and a RubyGem for provisioning/de-provisioning, binding/unbinding, sharing configuration state, and more. This allows your application to create a Redis or MySQL instance only if needed (say on initial startup) or bind to a specific service, but only if/when it is present. This approach eliminates many of the forgotten steps during deployments and makes it easier to understand what your Ruby code really depends on because it is all encapsulated in the application’s code itself!

    At 10:25am to 11:15am, Friday 30th September

  • The Return of Shoes

    by Steve Klabnik

    It's been two years since _why the lucky stiff has departed Ruby. His work, however, carries on. Shoes was one of _why's most ambitious projects, and a tiny but scrappy team has kept Shoes alive.

    If you haven't heard of Shoes, it's a GUI toolkit for Ruby. Most of these are simply bindings to toolkits written in other languages, like QT or Tk. Shoes is native to Ruby, so it uses Ruby-only features heavily, such as blocks. Shoes also includes packaging functionality that allows you to distribute your apps on Linux, OSX, and Windows.

    In this talk, Steve will cover the basics of building applications with Shoes, the challenges of maintaining a large polyglot project with an absent inventor, and what's in store for the future of Shoes.

    At 10:25am to 11:15am, Friday 30th September

    Coverage video

  • JRuby: Polyglot Heaven

    by Thomas Enebo and Charles Nutter

    JRuby is a top-notch Ruby implementation. It’s also your gateway to polyglot heaven. Ruby can do anything, but it’s not always the best tool for the job. With JRuby, you can take advantage of other JVM languages. Build part of your application in Clojure, taking advantage of its immutability and transactional guarantees. Build another part in Scala, leveraging its flexible static type system and actor libraries like Akka. Use JavaScript via Rhino to test pages or run JS on the server alongside Rails. Use Mirah to build fast-as-Java algorithms in a Rubilicious syntax. The JVM is a haven for polyglots, and JRuby’s your ticket to ride.

    At 11:15am to 12:00pm, Friday 30th September

    Coverage video