July 2010 Meeting

The July meeting will be on Monday the 12th of July, 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.


Carat: An interpreted language, written in Ruby

Jonathan Leighton has recently completed a project for his third year at University, which he thinks we might be interested in:

I ended up writing an interpreter, in Ruby, for a language heavily inspired by Ruby. A sort of distilled Ruby-like language which is far too simplistic to be useful and probably overlooks tonnes of important things.

But anyway! The point is not really that the language is utterly pointless. The point is that it's an interpreter written in a very high-level language, which I think it relatively easy to understand.

So I'm offering to do a talk which would take the listener through the workings of this interpreter. The parsing is done with Treetop, although I wouldn't propose really talking about the parsing at all as I think a lot of people are quite familiar with Treetop.

I might as well finish with some buzzwords. If you ever wondered what "trampoline function" or "continuation passing style" means then this is your chance :)

For those who like spoilers you can see the code on github and read Jonathan's final year report about the project

A video of Jonathan's talk, filmed by Skills Matter, is available on the Skills Matter site.


Phil Cowans has recently been working on a rails plugin called ActionEmbedding, and he'd like to show it to us:

ActionEmbedding is a simple Rails plugin I've been using to look at ways of building up pages from independent user interface elements called pagelets. The idea is to implement a number of different patterns, including Hierarchical MVC, and make it as easy as possible to switch between them. I'll try to explain why I think this is a good idea, show you what the plugin can do at the moment and talk about how I see it evolving.

A video of Phil's talk, filmed by Skills Matter, is available on the Skills Matter site.

"Analogue Blog"

We start the meeting with a short amount of time where anyone in the room can make an announcement. In the past few months it's mostly been the LRUG job board, but that's not all we want people to talk about. If you've written some fancy new gem and want to tell people about it, this is the time and place to do it. If you read a controversial article about some aspect of ruby that you want to draw people's attention to, this is a great time to mention it. If you've got your finger on the pulse and know about some new hack day or other geek event, this is the room full of people you should mention it to. The rules are simple, you just have to be quick.


We aim to finish up the formal proceedings of the evening at 8pm. After that we head to a local pub, The Slaughtered Lamb, and have some beers and a chat. If you fancy some lively ruby discussion, but you can't make it for 6:30 you are more than welcome to head straight to the pub. Just look for a group of people wildly debating the syntax of the latest version of RSpec and you'll have found the right group.


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 Jul 05, 2010