Thomas R Koll has been looking at Rails CMS solutions recently. He's going to present to us a quick review of the current crop of players: Radiant CMS, Mephisto, Goldberg and possibly others. The rest of his talk will focus on how easy it is to integrate existing sites / code into these CMS solutions based on 2 example websites that he'll integrate the CMS's into during the talk.
Ruby 1.9 is scheduled for release around Christmas 2007 and Murray Steele decided to take a look at the development version to see what was new and exciting with this latest version of the language we all know and love. Murray's talk will draw on his findings and explain to us some of these new features and also cover the changes between ruby 1.8 and ruby 1.9.
The Crown Tavern is only a hop, skip and jump away from the Skills Matter offices and we congregate here after the talks for a drink and a chat. If you don't think you can make it for the 6:30 kick-off of the main presentation part of the evening, just come along to the pub for the socialising.
Please register with Skills Matter if you are planning to come. They need us to register so they make sure we get the most appropriately sized room, but they can only accommodate a larger than usual meeting (more than 80 folk) if they get enough notice to book a bigger room, so register now rather than later. There's also an upcoming event for those of us that love online calendaring.
Matthew Wilson has been working on an application that has delved further and further into true 'web application' territory, and away (to some extent) from the standard RESTful one-page-per-resource object-graph-browsing application structure favoured by DHH. In order to achieve this he decided that what was needed was a widget-based UI framework that sat atop Rails. As well as showing off the resulting framework, Matthew's talk is going to focus on the experience he had in building an architecture on top of Rails.
Matt Patterson is going to give us a whistle-stop tour of Apple's Open Scripting Architecture, which is normally hooked into through Applescript. He's then going to tell us how to get to it through Ruby and why we should care. In a final flourish, the talk will be topped off with a practical sample application munging entries in the system address book right before our very eyes.
Once the last question has been asked of our weary speakers we head to The Crown Tavern, a charming little pub located just moments from the Skills Matter office. We're a friendly bunch, so if you don't think you can make it for the talk-based part of the meeting then just pop along to the pub and say "Hi".
Ian White has developed a rails plugin called resources_controller which he's going to show off to us. It answers the problems that many rails developers have noticed with the new RESTful approach; RESTful controllers are mostly boiler-plate code - repeated over and over.
Netbeans - The open source Ruby IDE written in coughJavacough#
DJ Walker-Morgan was lined up to do a demo of Netbeans as a ruby development platform at the LRUG BoF session at the No Fluff Just Stuff Exchange. Unfortunately, timing constraints meant he didn't get to give it so we've invited him to run it at this month's LRUG meeting instead.
His talk will be heavily demo-based, so he can show off the features that Netbeans provides to the ruby developer. He'll be covering the latest release 6.0 Beta 1 which has a boat-load of new ruby/jruby/rails support.
Post-talks The Crown Tavern, conveniently located just round the corner from the Skills Matter offices, becomes our home for the rest of the evening. There's usually a lot of good discussions here, so if you don't think you can make it for the presentations then just come along to the pub, you're more than welcome.
Stephen Bartholomew was going to give a talk last month but kindly stepped aside to let Jay Phillips, who was only in the country for a few weeks, do a talk. This month however, there'll be no such chivalry and Stephen is determined to talk to us about his gem StaticMatic and the technologies that it uses.
StaticMatic is a gem for building static websites and it uses the love it or hate it alternate templating language Haml & Sass. The gem is perfect for… well, as Stephen says:
CMS is overrated. A lot of the time, clients want us to do what we do
best - well designed pages with structured, accessible and maintainable
markup & styling.
CMSs are often sufficient for this, but sometimes they can be restrictive
and more cumbersome than just working with good ol' source code. At the
same time we want our code to be structured, DRY and flexible.
Tom Armitage hates crappy websites, more so when he actually wants access to the content they provide. In an effort to save his sanity he's been playing about with some ruby libraries, and he's going to tell us all about it in a talk he's titled "Turning the web on its head: Screen-scraping with Hpricot, DIY-API, and conversational interfaces". He's going to cover:
After all this we move on from the Skills Matter office to The Crown Tavern just round the corner. Here we sup from the selection of fine beers and wines on offer and continue the discussions. If you can't make it to the presentations then feel free to come along just for this bit.
Jay Phillips fresh (or massively jet-lagged) from Ruby Hoedown is going to talk to us about Adhearsion. The talk he'll give will be a distilled version of his Hoedown talk, titled Next-Gen VoIP Development with Ruby and Adhearsion. The gist from the Hoedown site is:
Adhearsion's creator Jay Phillips will discuss Ruby's work in VoIP and how
even complete telephony novices can powerfully develop their own VoIP system
with Asterisk and Adhearsion using pure-Ruby for all application logic.
Attendees will see Jay develop a sophisticated Adhearsion application that
integrates and handles calls from the public telephone network and integrates
with a Rails application. Adding a voice component to a web application is
much easier than you think!
The Crown Tavern just round the corner from the Skills Matter office is where we'll retire to don smoking jackets, grab our pipes and recline in high backed leather armchairs making extravagant wagers about circumnavigating the globe. If that sounds like your kind of thing, but you can't make the presentations, come along just for this bit.
First up we have James Mead with a talk called "An Introduction To Mocking In Ruby". This talk will explain what mocking is and why you might want to use it in your tests. James is the author of Mocha, a mocking library for ruby, and this talk will also cover how to get started with mocking in Mocha.
After much demand for a talk about RSpec from LRUG members, Tom Stuart stepped up to the bat. His talk, titled "RSpec On Rails" will do exactly what it says on the tin; explain RSpec and how to use it with Rails instead of the default Test::Unit tests.
After all this we'll head to The Crown Tavern just round the corner from the Skills Matter office to test (sorry) their beers. Attendance of the main meeting is not a pre-requisite of coming to the pub, so if you can't make the main meeting it's ok to just turn up for the pub.
Tom Armitage is going to run us through a few Code Katas (actually, don't look at that link, it'll likely spoil the evening for you). There are more details to come about how the evening will be run, so watch this space.
We'll be sloping off to The Crown Tavern just round the corner from the Skills Matter office after the official meeting to continue the fun. If you can't make it to the main meeting, you are more than welcome to pop along for the beers.
Dan's had to postpone this till another meeting in the future, we're looking for something else. Stay tuned for updates.
Dan Webb is going to give a talk about OpenID. Based on this thread from the mailing list, he's probably going to cover a bit about OpenID and then delve into specifics of how to implement it in your Rails app. However, if there's something about OpenID and ruby or rails that you want to hear, then get on the mailing list and ask.
Martin Sadler jumped in at the last minute to explain how to do distributed processing in your Rails applications. The presentation will be mostly based around the great work that Martin's been doing for the Working With Rails website.
We still have a bunch of code left over from the March meeting so we're going to go over another bit of the code. We'll post the piece of code to the mailing list before hand so that people aren't seeing it for the first time during the meeting.
We did say we'd try to make these more regular, so if you have some code you would like us to go over, either because you think it needs some help, or maybe it uses some quirky bit of ruby-fu and you think other people could learn from it, then let us know.
There's been a lot of talk on the mailing list about having some kind of beginners session. Unfortunately we've not come to any kind of conclusion as to what that might be, mostly because everyone wants different things. Not to be dissuaded from helping out the "beginners" we're going to match up mentors and mentorees and give them some time at the end of the meeting to discuss amongst themselves how they want to do stuff.
If you would like to be mentored, or would like to help the community by mentoring someone, then either get on the mailing list and let us know, or contact Peter Jones who has been compiling a list of mentors and mentorees.
As usual, we'll retreat to the comforts of The Crown Tavern just round the corner from Skills Matter for a few beers and discussion after the event. If you can't make the main meeting, maybe you can come along for the beers.
Following that we'll have a REST discussion, chaired by Jonathan Leighton, about the new RESTful features that Rails 1.2 brings us. There were two long threads on the LRUG mailing list that sparked this off, so you should read them for an idea of what we might cover.
If we have enough time, we may do another installment of code-review at some point in the evening. At our last meeting we didn't get round to covering all the code, and people seemed really positive about making this a regular feature. We'll try to post the code we're going to cover onto the mailing list before hand, so we can get straight to the reviewing without having to explain it first.
As part of Monday's meeting Tom Ward is going to help lead a code review. We'll look at some sections of ruby, and open the floor for comments, questions and constructive criticism. Hopefully it will get everyone thinking, and help share knowledge across the group. For it to work though, what we need is code!
Here are some examples of things we're looking for:
Ruby Newbie code. Maybe we can help make it more idiomatic
Ruby patterns you use every day. Share them with the group
Code you know smells bad, but just can't put your finger on why. Let us help!
Code you're sure is the best ever. Let us tear it apart!
Anything else you think would be good to discuss
So, if you've got some code you'd like to subject to our collective wisdom, send it to Tom Ward as soon as you can. He'll try and run it like Question time, collating the submissions and pacing them so we don't just spend 60 minutes moaning about bits of rails.
Let's make the first LRUG with crowd-sourced content a success!
We've got Richard Livsey lined up to tell us how he's been Saving The World With Rails
Richard will discuss his experience with Ruby and Rails and what he has found whilst developing a suite of
applications to prepare for and respond to disasters. Specifically, he will look at how Ruby helped him and
CitySafe rapidly prototype an application to model liquid gas spills, some of the plug-ins they have developed.
He will also touch upon building RESTful applications in Rails.
Unfortunately Paolo was unable to make it for this meeting due to illness, however, he did make it for the April meeting instead.
As a warm up to Richard's talk we've got Paolo Donà, over from Padova in Italy, asking us Do we really need a plugin for tabbed navigation?
Paolo will show us the tabnav plugin, and discuss its implementation. This plugin raises a few questions on
how we deal with view components. Is it ok to have configurable and ready-to-use widgets instead of rails
helpers? How should those widgets be configured? Is it ok to write a specific DSL for each widget? This
presentation raises many questions, and Paolo will give us his point of view and try to stimulate a
discussion around it.
If you're coming, make sure to register with Skills Matter on their registration page so they have a handle on numbers. For calendaring fans there's an upcoming event too. You'll still need to register with Skills Matter even if you say you are attending on upcoming, because there's nothing more fun than telling the internet something twice.
The January 20007 meeting is going to depart from the normal presentation format and we're going to have a pub quiz instead. We'll do the usual 'what's been going on in the London Ruby community round-up' before quizzing. So if anyone managed to pull themselves away from crying into their turkey over 'The Snowman' and get some exciting new projects off the ground then this'll be the time to let us know!
Date and time will be as usual; 2nd Monday of the month (8th of January, 2007), with kick-off at around 6:30pm for the London Ruby community round-up, with the quiz starting at about 7:00. The location is The Old Crown on New Oxford Street.
We'll be in the 2nd floor function room at The Old Crown. There will be a bar menu available all night, providing tapas style snacks.
The quiz format will be as follows:
Round 1: London
Round 2: Ruby (community and history)
Round 3: Users (famous folk)
Round 4: Group (music)
Round 5: a picture round
Each round will have 10 questions, but there'll be bonus points available as and when I see fit.
Teams should be of 4 or less (we may change this on the night depending on numbers), and there'll be a prize for best team name.
The prizes are a selection of Ruby books kindly donated by O'Reilly and Addison-Wesley, plus other bits and bobs donated by LRUG members.
I've created an upcoming event, so you can register interest and keep an eye on the details, in case they change. Alternatively join our mailing list where we'll no doubt be discussing it.