Friday was just a half day afternoon session, though there was a testing workshopin the morning that I didn't attend. A bit over a hundred attendees, I'd guess, manyfrom out of town. Usual list of sponsors, with one surprise: Microsoft; thoughobviously that's not a complete surprise.
I recognized a lot of folks there from last week's barcamp, and some from theerlounge meet-up.Some"Old Dudes Who Know Smalltalk"were present, including my evil twin, Rick Denatale, and someone I hadn't talked to in ages, Ken Auer.
Sessions this afternoon:
Exploring Merb - Ezra Zygmuntowicz
Merbis Ezra's pocket-framework for web serving. Lighter thanRails. Ezra stressed twice that Merb "doesn't use cgi.rb" - I'm showingmy n00by-ness by assuming this is a good thing.
Between this session, and the campingsession at barcamp, there appears to be active and interesting developmentstill in the web server framework arena, at the lowest levels.Like the days in Java, before servlet. Sigh.
One cool feature of Merb is supporting directstreaming of content. For example, if you need to returnthe contents of a file, you just return the file handleof the file where you would normally return the content,and the file gets streamed on your behalf. Handles uploadstoo, and it sounded like a lot of people use it just forthe upload capability. Ezra also mentioned someone using Amazon S3 as their store, and making use ofthis feature, where Merb was really just the gatewaybetween the streams (to/from S3, to/from client).
Next-Gen VoIP Development with Ruby and Adhearsion - Jay Phillips
General notion here is that setting upAsteriskis hard, because the configuration files are large, monolithic, and complicated.Adhearsionmakes that simpler,as your configuration becomes small Ruby programs.Which maybe you could imagine sharing with other people("Want my call-center scripts?"), compared to the situation today where granular sharing isn't reallypossible.
I don't have much need to set up a VoIP box, otherwiseI'm sure this would be fun to play with. Jay did mentionthat Asterisk has VMWare images available, which wouldmake it even easier to play with, although Adhearsionis not current available on those images. If I onlyhad more time.
Keynote - Bruce Tate
Really good talk discussing how Ruby became aspopular as it is, how Java became as popular as it was (is?), what has dragged Java down in recent years, and some future thinking and advice.
Best piece of advice: "Java didn't start assomething that was complicated, it evolved into somethingthat was complicated. Ruby is not immune to this."
SmallTalk was mentioned; yes, sadly, withthe capital T; so Bruce wasn't one of us I guess,he at least knew it was good stuff.OTIwas even mentioned.
Bruce mentioned the ultimate plan for Ruby: TGD - Total Global Domination. Hmmm, thatreminds me of something.
I asked whether the presentations would be available on the web, and theanswer was yes. In addition, the sessions are being recorded (audio and video)and will also be available on the web at some point.
Looking forward to Saturday's sessions.