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acts_as_conference 2008 - Day 1 Report

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acts_as_conference 2008 - Day 1 Report

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acts_as_conference started earlier today (now yesterday) in Orlando, Florida with Charity Session. Completely sold out with 165 attendees!

Ezra Zybmuntowicz ( Merb core developer) talked about Merb.

What is Merb ?
  • Started after tried to make Rails thread-safe and memory foot print lower.
  • All (everything?) you need, none you don't.
  • Key features of Merb are: Thread-safe, ORM-agnostic, JavaScript-library agnostic, and Template language agnostic.
  • Replacement for ActionPack.
  • Similar to Rails, fixes a bunch of problems like performance, memory collection.
  • 2000 requests/second
  • merb-core, merb-more, merb-plugins are some of the key components.
Read more about Why Merb ? (Speed, Lighweight, Powerful). In later discussions, Ezra told me that somebody on #merb IRC channel has already tried Merb on GlassFish. I'm certainly waiting for him to provide me more information on that. Unfortunately I could not find the chat archives :(

Then Evan Phonix (started Rubinius) talked about the "Ruby kernel written in Ruby". He talked about how Rubinius is a community-driven implementation (90 committers in last 365 days) and building a rich and high-performance environment for running Ruby code.

In the welcome session, Robert Dempsey explained the two goals for the conference - "wide & deep on variety of topics" and "technologies that integrate with Ruby". Here are some statistics presented:
  • 30-70 people for every Rails meetup
  • Orlando #16, Tampa #17 for Rails jobs
And some more gathered during another session:
  • 90% using Rails as part of job
  • 50% first time visitors to any Rails conf
  • 50% local to Orlando
The last session of the day was a nice talk by Dan Benjamin on "Simplicity". I enjoyed his metaphors for emphasizing how simplicity in user interface is important to meet customer's requirement and keep him happy. Here are the two quotes he used: " Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler" by Einstein and " Simplicity is the key to happiness in the modern world" by Dalai Lama.

The party at Orlando Ale House was a good blast. Here are some pictures:

And finally the day ended with dinner @ GOL! The Taste of Brazil - highly recommended with a great variety of salads and meat. I particularly enjoyed Lime & Strawberry Caipirinha.

In next few hours, stay tuned for Charlie's session on JRuby and Brian's talk on NetBeans/Ruby tomorrow. You can always come and talk to me about GlassFish/JRuby - an "eco friendly" alternative to WEBrick and Mongrel at Sun booth. If not there, I'm sitting in back of the room :)

And we are also giving away 5 copies of Agile Web Development with Rails: 2nd Edition in sweepstakes tomorrow, right after Brian's talk.

The complete album is available at:

Follow the conference at twitter - acts_as_conf or IRC - #actsasconf.

Technorati: conf jruby ruby actsasconf rubyonrails glassfish netbeans

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