Issue #19 - December 9, 2010
It's issue 19 of Ruby Weekly! As Don Draper recently said in Mad Men: "You might see a little advertising in this newsletter soon." It's true, but I'm sensitive to people's attitudes to advertising and you won't ever see a newsletter published by me filled with trash and sloppy graphics. If I get it wrong, though, I hope that you'll be hitting me up at
firstname.lastname@example.org! OK - on with the news:
This week's top news
Salesforce Buys Ruby Webapp Host Heroku for $212M
Salesforce.com has announced it is to acquire the popular Heroku Ruby webapp hosting service for approximately $212 million in cash. This is a big deal for the nascent Rails hosting industry and helps to validate the market as a whole. Check out the reactions from some of the Ruby community's familiar faces.
Pragmatic Programmers' 'Crafting Rails Applications' In Beta
People on Twitter have been raving about how good Jose Valim's 'Crafting Rails Applications' is so far. It's a Pragmatic Programmers-published book focused on 'expert practices for everyday Rails (3) development' and it's now available in beta with a final print release due in May 2011.
Phusion Passenger 3.0.1 Released
OK, OK, it's a point release, but it's a slow news week and Passenger is a critical piece of Ruby webapp infrastructure. The 3.0.1 release brings with it significantly faster compilation/installation, error message improvements, library upgrades, and RailsEnv and RackEnv are at last treated equally on Apache.
First Online Hackety Hack Summit this Saturday, December 11
Remember Why The Lucky Stiff? Remember his Ruby GUI app toolkit aimed at newcomers, Hackety Hack? Steve Klabnik took it over after Why left us and this weekend sees the first IRC-based Hackety Hack summit. It's on the chat.freenode.net server in #hacketyhack at 3pm EST (8pm GMT).
This week's top articles
The Architecture of ARel 2.0
Aaron Patterson talks about the architecture of ARel 2.0, the cornerstone of the latest version of ActiveRecord, in his typically highly unique and entertaining way. How are queries represented as a tree? How are the trees turned into SQL? Pick it all up here.
Virtualize This - Instant Rails in a Virtual Box
Matt Reider of Engine Yard runs through using the Vagrant VM building tool to easily set up a virtual environment running Ruby and Rails (using Engine Yard's supplied Vagrant environment) and get an application up and running in it. If having a 'Rails environment in a box' appeals to you, this is a great place to start.
David Heinemeier Hansson's RubyConf 2010 Keynote
In November, DHH gave an hour-long keynote at the RubyConf X conference where he professed his love for monkeypatching and all things Ruby. Now, Confreaks has made it available for everyone to watch.
How To Replace a $600 Piece of Software with 100 Lines of Ruby
Rob Conery, of screencast site TekPub, gives a well-written walkthrough of how he built a video conversion system to rival those he could obtain commercially.
Dynamic Inference of Static Types for Ruby [PDF]
An interesting academic paper on work being done at, among a few places, Adobe's Advanced Technology Labs on Rubydust, a tool that can dynamically infer the static types of run-time values in Ruby code. If academic papers aren't your bag, give this a miss, but it's interesting work.
Interesting new libraries and code
Summarize: Ruby Bindings for the Open Text Summarizer
Want to automatically summarize plain text into something shorter? The 'Open Text Summarizer' does a great job of it and Sean Soper has created a Ruby library that binds to the originally C-based library. It works well and is easy to install.
RDocTest: Tests from your documentation
RDocTest adds 'doctest' type functionality (popular in Python) that lets you implement basic tests in your RDoc documentation. Expressions followed by the common # => (comment hashrocket) syntax will be tested right from the docs. An interesting implementation, to be sure.
Qwandry: Open any project or library fast
Adam Sanderson, the developer of Qwandry, asks 'Why spend time trying to remember where libraries, projects, and packages are lurking when your computer can do it faster?' Qwandry is designed to make it super quick to open the source for anything in the standard library, your gems repository, and more, in your editor of choice.
Ruby Jobs of the Week
Ruby on Rails Developer [Los Angeles, CA]
Lemur Heavy Industries, an online software development company, is looking for a Los Angeles based Rails developer with experience in developing and rolling out webapps. Medical/dental/vision, flexible hours, free lunches, a dog-friendly office and regular ping-pong breaks are some of the benefits offered!
Senior Software Engineer [San Mateo, CA]
SolarCity, a solar power system and energy efficiency services company, is seeking a software engineer to develop an enterprise application aimed at designing and managing Energy Efficiency projects. The ideal candidate has experience developing web applications with Rails and has an interest in applying state of the art technology to the area of energy efficiency.