Shahzad Bhatti Welcome to my ramblings and rants!

June 25, 2006

RailsConf 2006 Day 2

Filed under: Computing — admin @ 5:27 pm

RailsConf 2006 Day 2
I started today with Ajax on Rails by Justin Gehtland. It was excellent talk, though most of it was nothing new. But Justin
gave demo of his upcoming project Streamlined that has scaffold to create views and has builtin
filter and allows managing relationships. It’s going to be very exciting

I then sat on Lessons from Blinksale and IconBuffet by Scott Raymond. Scott has worked as Rails contractor and he started
with a bit history of Vitruvius and described three tenants of architecture, i.e., firmitas (firmness), utilitas (usefulness) and venustas (beauty/delight). He presented a
number of interesting lessons such as starting project with templates,
mocking templates and then incrementally adding functionality with
very closed loop. He also emphasized testing markups before adding any

Third session, I saw was Putting the BBC’s Programme Catalogue on Rails by Matt Biddulph. That talk was not as good
as I expected, I was hoping to get more practical information on
managing large database, but most of the talk covered history of BBC.
Also, I was shocked that he used ActiveRecord to migrate 2Gig data from
old database from legacy database to mysql. Clearly, an SQL script is
more suitable for such (I guess I would have used stored procedure,
but I am not sure which version of MySQL he used). He admitted, 99%
of database load was spent in creating ActiveRecords.

Then I attended an excellent talk on Rails Deployment by Ezra Zygmuntowicz. He showed a lot of practical tips on deploying
applications such as Apache/FastCGI, Lighttpd, Mongrel. A lot of tips
were from his article Rails Stack. He also plugged his upcoming Pragmatic book on Rails deployment.
Though, his talk summary included BackgrounDRb, but he didn’t talk
about it. Anyway, I look forward to his book.

I then attended talk on Testing Migrations by Glenn Vanderburg. There was a lot of good information on testing
migrations, though a lot of his approaches are still half-baked.

My last talk was by Mike Clark on
Testing Rails Apps
. I didn’t get much new from his talk, it pretty much boiled to:
Rails/Rake has excellent support for testing such as unit, integration,
functional, features and mocks. I don’t understand, why people still
inviting people to use TDD in conferences. By now, most develoeprs
understand benefits of TDD. I would be more interested in new support of
TDD in Rails or tackling difficults issues of testing. For example, I found a couple of articles of
Bruce Tate on Functiona/Integration testing much more useful, but Mike Clark’s
session was very high level sort of like keynote.

Finally, I could not connect to Internet for whole day. I don’t understand,
why RailsConf/Wyndham hotel has such poor Wifi support. My laptop connected to Wifi,
but never could get IP address from DHCP server. And one more thing,
I was forced to pay $50.0 for slides/audio sessions. I wish that was
available freely as we already paid for the conference.

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