June 2010 Meeting
The June meeting will be on Monday the 14th of June, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Our hosts Skills Matter will be providing the space, at their offices on Goswell Road; The Skills Matter eXchange. It's a great space with plenty of room for the group, but you still need to register to let Skills Matter know you are coming.
"My First Ruby"
It's a mailing list with a web front-end. The web stuff is pre-rails and I think it's interesting in terms of "look how far we've come". Seriously, if you've never done web development without a higher-level framework like rails you'll be amazed. (For anyone who's heard of it, it uses NARF).
I can pretty much guarantee that my first ruby code is worse than your first ruby code. So for any newbies in the room, it should come as welcome relief that even apparent old-hands like myself have written terrible code (and it truly is terrible code), made terrible design decisions, and done both without the safety net of TDD. Of course, hopefully in the talk I'll point out why, if writing this again, I would use TDD. At the end I hope this talk will make people feel less embarrassed about showing off code of their own at future events; I'll be setting a base-level of awfulness.
This bit of software was written in a weekend and has been in "production" for 7 years 11 months (according to the date I filled in for "when I first started using Ruby" on my Working With Rails profile) and it's been remarkably stable and unchanged for those 7 years. I've no real evidence for this, but it's a scientific fact that it's the longest running piece of ruby software in the world… wouldn't you like to see inside it?
A video of Murray's talk is available on the Skills Matter site.
UNIX: Rediscovering the wheel
John Leach kindly offered to do a version of this talk (previously given at Conferencia Rails 2009 and Scottish Ruby Conference 2010). Originally scheduled for our may meeting, he's going to give it this month instead. This is the abstract from his talk at Conferencia Rails:
"Those who don't understand UNIX are condemned to reinvent it, poorly."
We in the Ruby Community seem to have a habit of re-inventing things. Sometimes this is for good reason, but in some cases we don't know we're even doing it! We're wasting valuable time that could be spent learning Erlang!
UNIX-like operating systems have been around for decades and lots of problems have come and gone in that time. I'm going to talk about some of the tools available that can be used to solve common Ruby and Rails deployment and development problems.
A video of John's talk is available on the Skills Matter site.
As per usual there will be some time at the start of the meeting for anyone in the group to get up and let us know about anything you think is relevant to the group. Recently it's just been recruitment announcements, which are great, but it'd be even better if people mentioned some other news items; maybe you've just released a top-notch gem, or read a thought-provoking article you want to let people know about, or there's some event you've spotted that you think rubyists would be interested in. It's really up to you what you say, just keep it short because we don't want to eat into the time for the scheduled talks.
The meeting usually finishes at around 8pm, but that's not the end of the evening. We can be found at around 8:05pm jostling for service at The Slaughtered Lamb. If you're not going to make it to the main meeting, you really should come along to the pub for a quick drink and a bit of a blather.
Skills Matter prefer that you register your attendance with them if you are coming to the meeting. On a few exceptional occasions we've had to turn away people who haven't registered, but this has only been at extremely popular meetings, and has yet to happen at the new venue on Goswell Road. It's better to be safe than sorry though, and it is polite (don't forget MINASWAN), so please do register.
There's also an upcoming event for those of us that love online calendaring, but this is not a place to indicate attendance in a meaningful way for Skills Matter.
Posted by Murray Steele on May 25, 2010