Shahzad Bhatti

June 23, 2006

RailsConf 2006 Day 1

Filed under: Computing — admin @ 8:24 pm

RailsConf 2006 Day 1
I finally was able to find tickets for RailsConf 2006 in Chicago. Though,
I could not find tickets back in Feb., but I managed to find someone who
could not make it. Anyway, I missed most of sessions due to work, but I
was able to checkout “Rails Application Optimization – Techniques and Tools” by Stefan Kaes.
It was excellent talk on profiling Rails applications and improving
performance. He also posted most of tips at A Look at Common Performance Problems in Rails about 1-2 weeks ago. Though, I am disappointed most of tips encourage
bypassing rails framework. I think we need to tackle these problems
at language and framework level and not go around and write ugly hacks.
This also shows that Rails is not really ready for real businesses despite
such claims by rails community.

Second session I attended was Rails Deployment on Shared Hosts by Geoffrey Grosenbach. It was big disappointed, if he only had said “Don’t use shared hosts”, that would have saved me an hour.

I also enjoyed Martin Fowler’s keynote. He admitted, he has never
used Rails, but he is an avid proponent of Ruby. He basically ravished
design principles of Rails, i.e., opinionated software, simplicity,
quick and clean setup (which encourages agile dev. — tracer bullet — fire/aim/fire/aim). He talked about postmodern programming which was interesting. It just means that world isn’t perfect so languages or frameworks that
try to think nothing exist outside their world fails. Clearly, Ruby has
clean design and has a lot of influence from Lisp/Smalltalk, but it also
takes tips from Perl and Python by integrating with other languages and
external environment.

Finally, I found this conference not very well organized. For example,
for popular sessions, there weren’t enough seats and people had to stand
in the doorways. Also, there are no slides handout or conference proceeding.
Worst, organizers are going to charge $50.0 for session slides and audio.
At very least, slides should have made freely available.

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