acts_as_conference 2008 - Day 2 Report

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acts_as_conference 2008 - Day 2 Report

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acts_as_conference Day 2 started with breakfast ... yaaay! I had to hunt for breakfast yesterday.

Robert started the day by asking some questions and here are the responses:
  • 100% will come back if organized next year
  • Fri/Sat is good
  • $100 Price is good
  • Got 60-70 submissions so the selection process was difficult
Some of the reasons people came to this conference:
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Speaker lineup
  • Topics
  • Want to hear what other people concerns are
The gems are breeding exponentially but I found out about  Bjplugin that allows you to unblock Mongrel before the entire request is processed. We might be able to use it for one of our projects.

Brian showed all the fancy Ruby debugging in NetBeans. 5 lucky winners were awarded Agile Development with Rails - 2nd edition in a sweepstakes by Sun.

Charlie explained some of JRuby success stories in mediacast.sun.com, Oracle Mix and Mingle.

Here are the key points of Why JRuby ?
  • Easier setup - unzip and ready to use
  • Better Performance - Showed live benchmarks
    • JRuby 1.0 was 2x slower than Ruby 1.8.6, JRuby 1.1 Beta1 2x faster, JRuby trunk 2-5x faster and often faster than 1.9
    • Method dispatch (10million invocations)
      • Ruby 1.8.6 ~2.1 secs
      • Ruby 1.9 ~0.95 secs
      • JRuby trunk 1.29 secs for first call and then 0.6 secs (JRuby trunk on Soy Latte)
    • Fibonacci
      • Ruby 1.9 0.4 secs
      • Ruby 1.8.6 ~1.54 secs
      • JRuby ~.77 secs first, 0.4 secs subsequently
    • Hilbert matrx of dimension 2, 4, ... 64 times its inverse
      • Ruby 1.9 ~21secs
      • JRuby ~21secs
  • Easier deployment
  • More libraries
    • Easy wiring in Java libraries such as Java2D
  • Wider database support - via JDBC
  • Platform independence
    • JRuby on Rails on AS/400 calling MS SQL
  • Less political resistance
Key JRuby messages:
  • JRuby is raising the bar for Rails all the time
  • GlassFish is not your daddy's app server (2.3M gem)
  • Looking for users, use cases to support
Here are some of the local Ruby groups:
The last session of the day was keynote by Obie Fernandez on "Simplicity". The actual topic might have been slightly different but that was the essence. Here are some interesting points from his preso:
  • Good software development produces a result that is both functional and beautiful.
  • Played the role of MythBuster. Here are 3 that he busted: 
    • Myth: Practice makes perfect, Busted: Practice makes permanent, perfect practice makes perfect!
    • Myth: In order to play fast, I have to practice fast. Busted: Practice slow first (?)
    • Myth: I dont need to practice reading music. Busted: Start by reading code and develop a better understanding.
  • Rest of his preso drew a great analogy between Sofware Development and Oil painting
    • Like initial oil painters, are you grinding your own paints ? -That requires a lot of labor, needs custom tools and could be expensive. Now the paints are available, use them.
    • Just because you know all the brushes and paints does not mean you can draw a great painting.You need to add aesthetics and creativity to it.
    • The palette is not the point, the application development is the point. You paint the draft, step back and let the painting tell you what needs to be filled.
    • An art degree is not a gurantee to be a success, similarly CS degree does not ensure that you can author a great piece of software.
All in all, I learned a lot, met a lot of folks and a great post-lunch debugging session with a fellow Rubyist on JRuby/OpenSSL!

This is one of the unique conferences I've attended because pretty much everybody stayed till the last session, and that too SRO, that was cool! Here are pictures of the attendees towards the end of Obie's keynote:

As earlier, the complete album is available at:

Technorati: conf jruby ruby actsasconf rubyonrails glassfish netbeans

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