2008 Meetings

December 2008 Meeting

LRUGers (R0012228)

The next meeting of LRUG will be on Monday the 8th of December, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Our hosts Skills Matter have provided their overflow venue The Old Sessions House on Clerkenwell Green for this meeting because of the number of registrations. They still want you to register your attendance though, so you can be let into the venue.

Agenda

Javascript Testing

Javascript Testing (R0012224)

Chris O'Sullivan loves testing, and it's been eating away at him that he can't test the javascript he writes for his rails apps. In this talk he'll be showing off how he finally worked out how to test this stuff and return to the shores of Testingland.

A video of Chris's talk, filmed by Skills Matter is available on Google Video.

Ruby Vs. The World

Matthew (R0012230)

Matthew Rudy Jacobs has been comparing Ruby against how other languages do similar things. In this talk he's going to present his findings and suggest some things that as Rubyists we might learn from our alternate language using brethren.

A video of Matthew's talk, filmed by Skills Matter is available on Google Video.

Pub

At the end of all things, one fact will be carved upon the smouldering husk that was once this earth. That fact shall read:

After each LRUG meeting, the assembled masses did reconvene at The Crown Tavern, but a short distance from the original meeting point, and from there did imbibe boozes. All were welcome, even those who couldn't make the main talks. And there was much rejoicing in the tavern."

Registration

Please register with Skills Matter if you are planning to come. Registration allows Skills Matter to organise the most appropriate room for the number of people coming. In the past we've had to turn people away who didn't register because the room was full and there was no room for extra bodies. We don't like having to do that, so please register now rather than later (Skills Matter need about a weeks notice to book the larger room) and secure your place.

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 Nov 25, 2008

November 2008 Meeting

The next meeting of LRUG will be on Monday the 10th of November, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Our hosts Skills Matter will choose the most appropriate venue based on the number of registrations. Going on past meetings it'll be either in Skills Matter's offices or their overflow venue The Old Sessions House on Clerkenwell Green. Please do register your attendance early to help them choose the right venue.

Agenda

Packet Sniffing

James Darling has recently been hacking about with the Shazam iPhone app and the Last.fm API in an attempt to scrobble his vinyl listening habits. Along the way he used a ruby packet sniffing tool. In this short talk he's going to show off the packet sniffer and the end-to-end hack he came up with.

A video of James's talk (actually presented by Chris Mear due to illness), filmed by Skills Matter is available on Google Video.

One code-base, Many projects

Jason Cale offered to run a talk / discussion on how to cope with evolving a single project into a maintainable code-base for multiple projects. That's not a great distilation of his idea, so here are his words:

The basic premise of what I have now is a (yet another) custom CMS / E-commerce system that an agency commissioned me to build ..

The system serves both flash websites (via restful apis), and a couple of html based ones .. I'm currently trying to work out the best way to keep a single code base that can serve present development, and future ones .. be flexible and 'hackable' and maintainable .. at the moment its a mix of plugins, config files and theme based extensions.

I certainly don't have all the answers .. but with a bit of research I could present what I've come up with so far, other ideas I've come across (most things online I've found just mention it is hard) and then open it up for discussion.

At the moment instead of it being 'lessons learned' etc, it would still be very present tense, because these problems are ones I'm still working through.

Jason might post on the mailing list before the meeting some of his ideas to help stimulate the discussion part of his talk. So if you are intersted make sure you watch out for his mails.

A video of Jasons talk, filmed by Skills Matter is available on Google Video.

Pub

Once the hullabaloo of the talks is over with we finish up the evening with a couple of drinks in The Crown Tavern which is just a short walk from the venue. If you can't make it for the talks you can still make it down to catch up on all the gossip.

Registration

Please register with Skills Matter if you are planning to come. Registration allows Skills Matter to organise the most appropriate room for the number of people coming. In the past we've had to turn people away who didn't register because the room was full and there was no room for extra bodies. We don't like having to do that, so please register now rather than later (Skills Matter need about a weeks notice to book the larger room) and secure your place.

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 Oct 29, 2008

October 2008 Meeting

The next meeting of LRUG will be on Monday the 13th of October, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Our hosts Skills Matter will choose the most appropriate venue based on the number of registrations. Going on past meetings it'll be either in Skills Matter's offices or their overflow venue The Old Sessions House on Clerkenwell Green. Please do register your attendance early to help them choose the right venue.

Agenda

Event Stream and LRUG Quiz

Steve Ganly will first talk about developing EventStream - a technique to record and playback non-idempotent requests on a web site. Initially a developers tool it also gives some interesting possibilities when used in production too.

Steve will then host the LRUG pub quiz, covering the specialist topics of Ruby, Rails and a whole cartload of stuff for geeks to chuckle over.

Pub

After the talks we head on over to a local pub, The Crown Tavern, for a thorough debriefing session. The pub is open to all, so if you can't make the talks for whatever reason, come on down to the pub and get them in early (mine's a Franziskaner, cheers!).

Registration

Please register with Skills Matter if you are planning to come. Registration allows Skills Matter to organise the most appropriate room for the number of people coming. In the past we've had to turn people away who didn't register because the room was full and there was no room for extra bodies. We don't like having to do that, so please register now rather than later (Skills Matter need about a weeks notice to book the larger room) and secure your place.

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 Oct 01, 2008

September 2008 Meeting

The September 2008 meeting of LRUG will be held on Monday 8th September, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Please register here. It will either be at Skills Matter, or their overflow venue at The Old Sessions House on Clerkenwell Green, depending on the number of registrations.

Agenda

Top Ten Most Horrendous Ruby Hacks

Daniel Lucraft will be going through 10 horrendous ruby hacks, taken from code written by both himself and others. While he already has a number of horrible pieces of code, there's always room for more, so don't be shy, send your examples to him (dan at fluentradical dot com) and you may make the top ten!

RLisp - Lisp inside Ruby

Tomasz Wegrzanowski will be presenting a talk on his project RLisp, a Lisp dialect naturally embedded in Ruby

Pub

The talks generally are all done and dusted by 8pm, at which point we decamp to the local pub, The Crown Tavern for a spot of socialising. If you can't make the talks for whatever reason, you're always welcome to turn up just for the post-mortem in the pub.

Posted by Tom Ward on Aug 12, 2008

August 2008 Meeting

The August 2008 meeting of LRUG will be held on Monday 11th September, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Please register here. It will be held as Skills Matter.

Agenda

Ruby / Watir

Aidy Lewis will give a talk on a Ruby Watir framework that object models your AUT and uses Rspec Story Runner.

Sphinx

Pat Allan was scheduled to talk to us about Sphinx but will be unable to attend. Sorry!

Pub

The talks generally are all done and dusted by 8pm, at which point we decamp to the local pub, The Crown Tavern for a spot of socialising. If you can't make the talks for whatever reason, you're always welcome to turn up just for the post-mortem in the pub.

Posted by Tom Ward on Aug 11, 2008

July 2008 Meeting

The next meeting of LRUG will be on Monday the 14th of July, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. It's very likely it will held be in the Skills Matter overflow venue at The Old Sessions House on Clerkenwell Green. Please do register your attendance early (see the note about registration below).

Agenda

Note: Expect more info on each of these talks as we get closer to the actual date of the meeting.

Starling + Memcached

  • James has had to pull out due to a double booking. Stay tuned for a replacement.*

James Cox says this about his talk:

As part of my anti-hermitization, I'll be swinging by LRUG for possibly the first time to show off starling and why it's cool. Starling was a project born from trying to manage message queues using memcached. I'll try and explain how it came about, show how it works and figure out some ways it could be used productively.

RabbitMQ + Ruby

Ben Hood kindly offered to step in and talk about some work he's been doing with RabbitMQ and ruby. The outline is:

  • Characterize the motivations behind messaging in Ruby applications;
  • Touch on the current approaches that have been taken;
  • Look at what AMQP offers in general;
  • Discuss how this potential can be harnessed in a Rubyesque fashion;
  • Elaborate using real example on what has been developed to date and what is currently being worked on.

A video of Ben's talk, filmed by Skills Matter is available on Google Video.

Acts As Xapian

Francis Irving:

I'd like to give a talk about my new Rails search engine plugin, which is called acts_as_xapian

Francis will probably also cover some of the site's he's been using xapian on, such as WhatDoTheyKnow.

A video of Francis's talk, filmed by Skills Matter is available on Google Video.

Pub

The talks generally are all done and dusted by 8pm, at which point we decamp to the local pub, The Crown Tavern for a spot of socialising. If you can't make the talks for whatever reason, you're always welcome to turn up just for the post-mortem in the pub.

Registration

Please register with Skills Matter if you are planning to come. Registration allows Skills Matter to organise a larger room if we need it. For the past few meetings we've used their overflow venue and thus avoided having to turn people away because of fire-regulations. We hope to do so again so please register now rather than later (Skills Matter need about a weeks notice to book the larger room).

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 Jun 19, 2008

June 2008 Meeting

Books and Brownies (20080609-R0011188.jpg)

The next meeting of LRUG will be on Monday the 9th of June, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. It's likely, if enough people sign up, that it will be in the Skills Matter overflow venue at The Old Sessions House on Clerkenwell Green. However, if people don't sign up early enough we'll be in the normal 1 Sekforde St. venue. So please do register your attendance early (see the note about registration below).

Agenda

Ruby as Multimedia glue

Nick's DS Playing Timeshifted TV (20080609-R0011214.jpg)

Nick Ludlam offers up:

A talk about implementing a gem for communicating with the open source MythTV software, streaming and transcoding recordings on the fly with the aid of Mongrel, and viewing them using a custom interface written using RubyCocoa on Mac OS X. The talk will be a whistlestop tour of the various aspects of getting all this working.

Nick released the various components that he talked about on his website and on his github account.

A video of Nick's talk, filmed by Skills Matter is available on Google Video. His slides are also available.

Genomes On Rails

Big (20080609-R0011197.jpg)

Matt Wood is going to give a talk about the work he's been doing with rails at work:

The Human Genome Project aimed to determine the entire DNA sequence of man: it was completed in 13 years after an international effort and a billion dollar budget. To further our understanding of DNA, genes, proteins and their function, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is building the next generation of high throughput sequencing, using Ruby and Rails. This talk will cover the infrastructure required to handle multi-petabyte, highly scalable systems and how we're using Rails to quickly build flexible software to support this effort.

Matt also gave a longer version of this talk at RailsConf Portland 2008 on the Sunday.

A video of Matt's talk, filmed by Skills Matter is available on Google Video. His slides are also available.

Pub

We'll head on over to The Crown Tavern for a drink after the talks. We aim to finish the talks at around about 8pm, so if you don't think you'll be able to make it for the talks head on over to the pub to catch up on what went on.

Registration

Please register with Skills Matter if you are planning to come. Registration allows SKills Matter to organise a larger room if we need it. For the past few meetings we've used their overflow venue and thus avoided having to turn people away because of fire-regulations. We hope to do so again so please register now rather than later (Skills Matter need about a weeks notice to book the larger room).

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 27, 2008

May 2008 Meeting

The next meeting of LRUG will be on Monday the 12th of May, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, our usual Skills Matter venue at 1 Sekforde St.. However, depending on numbers (see the note about registration below) we might move to a larger venue.

Agenda

Settling New Caprica: getting your pet project off the ground.

Lessons Learned (20080512-R0010896.jpg)

Tom Armitage launched a rails forum site called New Caprica back in March after ~9 months of toil. In his own words:

On the way it's had two rewrites, I've taught myself Test:Unit, RSpec, Capistrano, and a few other things through it, and it currently has about 74% C0 coverage and a 2:1 Test:Code ratio.

I'm also pretty exhausted, and now have the joy of wrangling real users.

Anyhow, I thought there could be something fun in lessons learned, a few bits of advice I realised on the way, and perhaps a small demo of the software.

A video of Tom's talk, filmed by Skills Matter is available on Google Video.

Monkeyweaving: Live Native Monkeypatching

Tim Becker (20080512-R0010881.jpg)

Tim Becker popped up on our mailing list to offer up a talk about a new meta-programming library called weave that he'd been developing. In his own words:

weave is a library for 'live native monkey patching'. It provides a native wrapper to the C functions in the MRI Ruby implementation that are involved in creating native extensions. This allows you to swap native code in and out at runtime.

A video of Tim's talk, filmed by Skills Matter is available on Google Video

Pub

Pub! (20080512-R0010897.jpg)

It's LRUG tradition to follow up the formal part of the night with a drink or two at The Crown Tavern. It's an excellent opportunity to find out what the rest of the ruby community is up to, and find people to help you out with your own pet projects. If you don't think you'll make it for the talks we're usually in the pub from about 8:00pm, so come along and don't miss out on the fun.

Registration

Please register with Skills Matter if you are planning to come. Registration allows SKills Matter to organise a larger room if we need it. For the past couple of meetings we've used the overflow venue, but prior to that we've had to close registration and turn people away. The larger room, close to the usual venue, needs about a weeks notice for Skills Matter to book it. Please, therefore, register now rather than later.

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 Apr 24, 2008

April 2008 Meeting

El Rug (20080414-R0010621.jpg)

The next meeting of LRUG will be on Monday the 14th of April, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, in the Skills Matter overflow venue The Old Sessions House on Clerkenwell Green. However, depending on numbers (see the note about registration below) we might move to a larger venue.

Agenda

A video of the meeting, filmed by Skills Matter, is available on Google video (or the Skills Matter site).

Show'n'Tell

Pen Twirling Tom (20080414-R0010620.jpg)

Lots of people have probably written code (be it gems, rails plugins, collections of rake tasks or little itch-scratcher scripts) that they're kinda proud of, but don't really want to pad out a 5-10 minute demo / show-off into one of our "traditional" 20-30 minute talks, so we never get to hear about it. As a community we're probably missing out on a lot of sweet ruby goodness because of that.

This month we hope to change that by running a bunch of Show'n'Tell sessions where people show off their code for 5-10 mins. There's no set idea on what you should show off: perhaps a neat function you're really proud of, perhaps a whole gem, perhaps just some .irbrc hacks that you think are super useful. Anything goes, as long as it's code.

Some people that have volunteered so far:

There's plenty of room for more stuff, so get in touch to volunteer something.

Pub

Chris and Dale (20080414-R0010629.jpg)

Exhausted and weary from all the code being thrown around we'll stumble into The Crown Tavern to try to make sense of it all. Here's where we'll hatch master plans to combine all the gems, rake tasks and scripts into a new framework for world domination. If you're not sure that you'll make it for the main meeting, but don't want to be left out of the LRUG master-plan you should definitely come along to the pub and sign up for a minor bureaucratic position in the New World Order.

Registration

Please register with Skills Matter if you are planning to come. Registration has pretty much become mandatory over the past few months to help Skills Matter with managing the rooms. Last month registrations happened early enough that Skills Matter were able to book a larger venue, however prior to that registrations haven't been timely enough and we've had to close registration and turn people away at the doors. The larger room, close to the usual venue, needs about a weeks notice for Skills Matter to book it. Please, therefore, register now rather than later.

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 Mar 16, 2008

March 2008 Meeting

The next meeting of LRUG will be on Monday the 10th of March, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, in the Skills Matter overflow venue The Old Sessions House on Clerkenwell Green. (See note about registration below.)

Agenda

It's entering silly season in the ruby conference year, with 9 conferences due in March and April (according to this calendar). All the speakers at this meeting are talking at one or more of these conferences.

Challenges in making Ruby run effectively on a JVM

Kresten Krab Thorup, track host and speaker at both QCon and RubyFools, will provide an overview of the issues, trade-offs and challenges in making dynamic object-oriented languages run effectively; both in general, and specifically making Ruby run well on the JVM. Kresten has many years deep knowledge of getting the most out of a JVM, and has recently been working on an research project on building yet another JVM-based virtual machine for Ruby and thus, the talk is organized around issues and findings in building this virtual machine.

A video of this talk, filmed by Skills Matter, is available on Google Video or the Skills Matter site.

mobileAct: a high-risk Rails app for Channel 4

Thomas Pomfret is going to give us a trailer version of his Scotland On Rails talk. The blurb from the conference website says:

mobileAct Unsigned is Channel 4 TV search for the best unsigned band in Britain. The site lets bands and fans to communicate and share media. In addition, users get to vote on who should win the million pound recording deal. "mobileAct: a high-risk Rails app for Channel 4" will report back on Mint's experiences building this mass-market application. In the light of recent TV voting scandals, the spotlight was on voting. In a very public arena, we had to make sure not only that the vote was fair, but that it could be seen to be fair.

So we can expect his "trailer" to cover some or all of that.

A video of this talk, filmed by Skills Matter, is available on Google Video or the Skills Matter site.

Handling Long-Running Tasks in Rails

Andrew Stewart is also talking at Scotland On Rails and so as not to be shown up by Thomas's extra preparation is also going to give us a trailer for his talk, described on the conference site as follows:

Rails is a web framework and thus designed for HTTP's synchronous request and response: you make a request to the application, the application executes it and returns the response. For your application to feel snappy its filters and actions should take no more than a few milliseconds to execute. But what do you do if you need to run a task that takes more than a few milliseconds? Perhaps ten minutes or even longer? You need to move execution off the request-response thread and onto a different one.

Rails doesn't support this out of the box and it's not obvious how to do this correctly. Happily a number of plugins fill the gap. They all work differently, though, and cater for different situations. The one you need for your application depends on your situation.

This session lays out all your options and explains where each plugin is best suited. It shows you how to work with each plugin. By the end you will be able to make an informed decision about which one you need in any given situation - and how to use it well.

We obviously can't expect a "trailer" to cover all the plugins and solutions out there, but it's bound to cover some of them.

A video of this talk, filmed by Skills Matter, is available on Google Video or the Skills Matter site.

Pub

As usual, we'll head down to The Crown Tavern after the "serious" meeting. There's usually lots of good ruby chat in the pub and it's a great opportunity to try and thrash out those thorny problems with work or personal projects. If you're not sure that you'll make it for the main meeting, you should definitely come along to the pub and meet up with us there.

Registration

Please register with Skills Matter if you are planning to come. Registration has pretty much become mandatory, as in the past few meetings we've had to close the doors after an influx of registrants over the final weekend, resulting in standing room only. Skills Matter can book a larger room, but they need much more notice in order to do so. Please, therefore, register now rather than later.

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 Feb 19, 2008

February 2008 Meeting

The next meeting of LRUG will be on Monday the 11th of February, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, and we'll be returning to our usual Skills Matter venue at 1 Sekforde St..

Agenda

Lightning Talks

This month, we're going to have a series of lightning talks from various members of the local ruby community. To make it even more interesting, all the presentations will follow the 20x20 slide format (also known as Pecha Kucha). The presenter has 20 slides which are displayed for 20 seconds each, giving a total presentation time of 6:40. It should be a fun evening, as with only 6:40 in which to get your point across the presenters will have to be economical with their words, and possibly leave out things like justification or proof for their opinions.

We're aiming to have between 8 and 10 presenters. Those already confirmed are:

A video of the meeting, filmed by Skills Matter, is available on Google Video or on the Skills Matter site.

QCon Ticket Raffle

The kind folk organising the QCon conference have given us a ticket to raffle off. Of immediate interest to us would be the track on ruby, but the rest of the conference seems interesting as well, with topics of interest such as agile development, new languages and domain specific languages to name just a couple of the other tracks on offer. To give away the ticket we'll do the same thing as we've done on past occasions and choose the lucky recipient from the names of the attendees on the night.

Pub

Once the excitement of the slides and ticket raffle have died down, we'll head on over to The Crown Tavern. This pub is only a couple of minutes walk from the Skills Matter offices and so is perfect for a post-meeting chat and drink. As usual, if you're not sure that you'll make it in time for the main meeting, you are more than welcome to just head along to the pub and meet up with us there.

Registration

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.

Posted by Murray Steele on Jan 25, 2008

January 2008 Emergency Backup Meeting

Due to organisational problems, the proposed January Pub Quiz (we're trying to start a tradition) has been postponed until a later date. It'll probably be run in March as a special LRUG Nights.

In the interim the January emergency backup meeting is on Monday the 14th of January, from 6:30pm onwards at The Chandos pub in central London. There's no agenda, other than to mull over the recent events, new releases and gossip from the ruby community over the festive break.

See you all there.

Posted by Murray Steele on Jan 14, 2008