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Fun Stuff at OSCON 2005

jamie posted about 9 years ago | from the roundup dept.

Programming 153

OSCON 2005 was held in a convention center this year, instead of a hotel, because it just got too big (2000+ people). Too big, in fact, for pudge and myself to cover more than a fraction of the talks and the ideas flitting around the hallways. But here's some of what I found cool last week. And if you attended or presented at OSCON and want to tell us about all the neat stuff we missed, please, share your thoughts in the comments, or submit a fact-rich writeup and we'll maybe do a followup story later.

Mike Shaver's talk on writing Firefox extensions was packed to the walls. If you've been wanting to try it, Firefox 1.5 makes development easier, and should be out soon, so now's a good time. This talk and the tutorial on Ajax persuaded me to start using the DOM Inspector and debugging some JavaScript to get a better understanding of webpage manipulation.

Aaron Boodman's talk on his extension Greasemonkey was a walkthrough of writing a simple GM user script, a discussion of what's coming up, and some Q&A. Greasemonkey 0.5 ("Now With Security!") is in beta: there are multiple security changes that suggest someone really has sat down and thought the whole model through. GM works with Firefox, Seamonkey, Opera, and Windows MSIE (but not, oh please somebody correct this oversight, Safari).

Ruby on Rails is hot; if you want to develop a web app quickly you can't ignore it. It stresses "convention over configuration" with reasonable defaults. The tutorial went from installation to the "hello world" of the web, a blog (!), in a few hours. Anyone have a real-world example of Rails scaling to a large project and lots of traffic?

DarwinBuild is an open-source project from Apple that aids in building the open-source components of Darwin/Mac OS X. Given a build number of Mac OS X, it will fetch and build the software for that version, allowing you to modify the source as needed, making it easy for any developer to modify everything from the kernel to various utilities (just remember to reapply the modifications after running Software Update, if necessary). You can read more about it from, in addition to the web site, the presentation slides.

Google and O'Reilly gave out the 2005 open source awards, with $5000 attached to each. Congratulations to the winners.

Tony Baxter's Shtoom is a cross-platform VoIP client and software framework, written in Python, for writing your own phone applications.

Novell is still moving its employees from Windows to Linux, which we first heard at last year's OSCON. The migration from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice is complete, and the big step, from Windows to Linux, is 50% complete, projected to be 80% by November. Miguel de Icaza gave flashy demos of some Linux desktop applications that didn't impress this cynical observer very much.

PlaceSite is an open-source project looking to bring physical proximity awareness to Internet access at coffeeshops and other meetingplaces: think "local-only Friendster" and you're not far off. They got feedback from a monthlong trial earlier this year and are working on a new version that will be easy to deploy. Could be neat.

In a great 2-hour session on Wednesday, we got to hear from representatives of four leading open source databases about what they've been working on lately. Here are the summaries...

Ingres r3 has an impressive list of big features. Ingres was just open-sourced by Computer Associates this summer, and it's gotten a lot of attention for being a full-featured enterprise database. Ingres supports table partitioning that can be either range-based or hash-based, which can greatly improve performance in many cases. Its optimizer can now come up with parallel execution plans, which can be useful even on single-CPU machines and non-partitioned tables. There's also federated data storage (one can access data stored in another RDBMS through Ingres) and replication. And they're working on a concurrent access cluster, to allow data to be manipulated not just by multiple threads on one machine, but multiple machines.

A side note: Computer Associates was invited by O'Reilly to talk about its recently open-sourcing Ingres. Its representative, while confessing that introducing a new license was "probably the wrong thing to do," said that other licenses wouldn't have worked for them (the GPL "was seen as viral"). The one question that the audience had time to ask was "is Ingres a dump" -- is CA making it open-source to transfer the responsibility of support from the company to the community? The three-part "no" answer was that there are more CA developers working on Ingres now, that Ingres is at the core of their new releases, and that they've sponsored a "million-dollar challenge" to foster community interest. Time will tell I guess.

Firebird 2.0 has been in alpha since January and a beta is expected soon. Since 2000 much of their development has been aimed at making the product easy to install, and making the code easy for a distributed group of developers to work on. This year they're building features on that groundwork. Their design includes 2-phase commits (since the beginning), cooperative garbage collection (as a transaction encounters unneeded data, it removes it) and self-balancing indexes. Backup has been improved. When 2.0 gets to beta, I'm going to check this out, it sounds like very interesting technology (and apparently it will install with four clicks!).

MySQL 5.0 is in beta, and has been feature-frozen since April. Back in 4.1, its abstracted table-type has been put to advantage with odd engines like Archive (only insert, no update); Blackhole for fast replication; and an improvement to MyISAM for logging (allowing concurrent selects with inserts-at-table-end). Their Connector/MXJ lets you run a native MySQL server embedded inside a Java application. In 5.0 we're seeing stored procedures per the SQL:2003 standard, triggers, updatable views, XA (distribution transaction), SAP R/3 compatible server side cursors, fast precision math, a federated storage engine, a greedy optimizer for better handling of many-table joins, and an optional "strict mode" to turn some of MySQL's friendly nonstandard warnings into compliant errors. And they're working on partitioning, ODBC, and letting MySQL Cluster's non-indexed columns to be stored on disk.

PostgreSQL 8.1 is expected to be released in November or December, after a feature-freeze in July -- and it's an impressive list of new features. Their optimizer will make use of multiple indexes when appropriate, which is pretty darn exciting. The recommendation will be that in most cases it will be most efficient to have only single-column indexes and let the optimizer figure out which combination to use. They're implementing a 2-phase commit, they're bringing the automatic vacuum into the core code, and they removed a global shared buffer lock so they're now getting "almost linear" SMP performance scaling. I've never felt the need for Postgres, but I'm definitely going to look at 8.1.

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NO (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13285721)

NO

What everybody missed: (1)

Willeh (768540) | about 9 years ago | (#13285724)

The first conference talk by a disembodied, floating head (NOT Evil Richard Nixon)! http://conferences.oreillynet.com/images/speakers/ jeff_waugh.jpg [oreillynet.com] Next year, a performance by the Beastie Boys' Heads is scheduled, get your tickets now!

He looks awfully cheery for having no body and a set of crap headphones, doesn't he?

I know i'll get modded down for this, but ontopic: That Darwinbuild stuff looks pretty handy for say, upgrades in time without having to wait for Apple to stream then in via OS updates like they did with Server X.3.X. Also, i hope they next step is to allow X apps to run outside of the X11 environment, but at least semi natively. I don't really like the current solution of having to have 23489 apps running inside X11.app when you can inadvertently kill them all off with one errant Fruit+Q.

Re:What everybody missed: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13286079)

Anyone have information about Jeff Waugh's talk? Slides?

Open source is of a poor quality (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13285737)

When I look at the pinnacle of achievement that Windows and its various development tools are.

Including the often-derided but perfectly functional (and what's more, clearly readable) Visual Basic, I am stunned that anyone could support open source software.

Wake up you open source geeks, your life is a lie. Your pathetic low-quality operating systems are laughable compared to the state of the art - stop comparing Linux to Windows 95, you fools!

Either learn to face the real world, or stay as you are, a useless worm who everyone laughs at.

Re:Open source is of a poor quality (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13285931)

Including the often-derided but perfectly functional (and what's more, clearly readable) Visual Basic
[...]
Wake up you open source geeks, your life is a lie.


How did it feel when Micro$oft discontinued your piece of shit language?

Oh great, Micro$oft with a dollar sign (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13285968)

I'm clearly up against an opponent of superior wit, and therefore I submit to you.

Re:Oh great, Micro$oft with a dollar sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13286004)

Normally I would assume that phrase is meant sarcastically , though after reading your original comment I would take it as a statement of fact.

Re:Oh great, Micro$oft with a dollar sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13286018)

I'm clearly up against an opponent of superior wit, and therefore I submit to you.

So says the VB "programmer".

RoR large scale? (3, Informative)

Komarosu (538875) | about 9 years ago | (#13285741)

Anyone have a real-world example of Rails scaling to a large project and lots of traffic?

While theres no sites i know off with massive traffic that run rails, theres a few large projects. TextDrive [textdrive.com] run StrongSpace [strongspace.com] which is basiclly online storage using SFTP and RoR. Also theres a few from the creators of RoR, BaseCamp [basecamphq.com] , BackPack [backpackit.com] ...

Re:RoR large scale? (1)

Tobias Luetke (707936) | about 9 years ago | (#13286096)

There are a lot of rails pages which get massive traffic. 43things.com / 43places.com and blogger founders new business odeo.com are build with ror. It scales very very easily ( same general principle as php / perl apps scale plus tools to make it even easier )

There is no downside to using ruby on rails. Closest thing to a silver bullet since the web came out.

Re:RoR large scale? (5, Insightful)

Decaff (42676) | about 9 years ago | (#13286688)

There is no downside to using ruby on rails. Closest thing to a silver bullet since the web came out.

There are several significant downsides to using Ruby on Rails.

Firstly, the way that ActiveRecord works by default - generating classes at run-time based on database tables - is considered by many (well, me at least!) to be a very backward step, as it makes code vunerable to changes in those tables, and also makes portability of code between different databases non-trivial. There are far better ways to do this - the Python ORM Dejavu (in in which the data model is expressed as classes) is an example. Almost all modern development languages work this way - with the exception of RoR!

Secondly, Ruby is slow. There may be future JIT systems that help deal with this, but they are not there yet.

Thirdly, Ruby is changing, and it is likely (from what I read) that the next version will not be fully compatible, so any major project developed now in Rails will have upgrading issues.

So Ruby on Rails is very far from a silver bullet. It may a neat way to get small (in terms of code) websites up quickly.

Re:RoR large scale? (0, Flamebait)

SewersOfRivendell (646620) | about 9 years ago | (#13286790)

Thanks for the FUD, Guido!

-1, Troll. Please. There are people running real, large-scale web sites on Ruby-on-Rails. Tobias just named several.

Re:RoR large scale? (4, Insightful)

Decaff (42676) | about 9 years ago | (#13287071)

Thanks for the FUD, Guido!

-1, Troll. Please. There are people running real, large-scale web sites on Ruby-on-Rails. Tobias just named several.


This has no relevance to whether or not Ruby on Rails is a fundamentally good design for long-term support and growth of any given software project. We all know that poor designs have been used in large projects!

The issue of database-dependence is a real and important one, and should not be trivially dismissed as 'trolling'. The idea of working dynamically from database tables is great for getting things up and running fast, but is not great for long term use, as at some future date the database may need to be modified or shared with other applications. The changes that result may break existing Ruby on Rails applications. More mature ORM systems have a mapping layer that can help isolate code from such changes. By abandoning that layer as the default setup, Ruby on Rails loses (in my view) an important feature.

Re:RoR large scale? (1)

uedauhes (699182) | about 9 years ago | (#13287953)

There is a mapping layer. Maybe you should learn about something before you post about it.

set_table_name :whatever_the_fuck_i_want :has_many(:ppl_who_talk_out_their_ass, :table_name => :whatever_the_fuck_i_want)

Re:RoR large scale? (1)

SewersOfRivendell (646620) | about 9 years ago | (#13288014)

The issue of database-dependence is a real and important one, and should not be trivially dismissed as 'trolling'.

That part of your post wasn't FUD, it's opinion/hypothesis. But you followed it with troll FUD:

Secondly, Ruby is slow. There may be future JIT systems that help deal with this, but they are not there yet.

Thirdly, Ruby is changing, and it is likely (from what I read) that the next version will not be fully compatible, so any major project developed now in Rails will have upgrading issues.

Re:RoR large scale? (1)

aziegler (201013) | about 9 years ago | (#13287241)

There is no downside to using ruby on rails. Closest thing to a silver bullet since the web came out.
There are several significant downsides to using Ruby on Rails.
Firstly, the way that ActiveRecord works by default - generating classes at run-time based on database tables - is considered by many (well, me at least!) to be a very backward step, as it makes code vunerable to changes in those tables, and also makes portability of code between different databases non-trivial. There are far better ways to do this - the Python ORM Dejavu (in in which the data model is expressed as classes) is an example. Almost all modern development languages work this way - with the exception of RoR!

Expressing the data model as classes can be done using Og (or Nitro+Og [nitrohq.com] ), and I believe that Og can be used as an alternative interface to Rails with just a bit of work. However, Rails does this (mostly) the right way, since your data is always more valuable than your application. Where this approach falls down is based on a couple of things:

  1. Rails uses MySQL as its “correct” database. MySQL is not and never has been good, just ubiquitous. There are some very broken concepts in ActiveRecord because of this assumption.
  2. Migration is difficult, as it is done externally to the application.

People who don’t really know anything about data modelling and relational theory tend to prefer class->table interpretation. People who understand data modelling tend to prefer table->class interpretation. There’s room for both, but the preferred method—and the more portable method—is to treat the database as the authoritative model for the application, not the other way around. (Yes, reading the database model is more portable than creating the database from the application. Especially with a dynamic language like Ruby.)

Secondly, Ruby is slow. There may be future JIT systems that help deal with this, but they are not there yet.

This is a straw-man. Ruby most emphatically is not slow. It is also not the fastest performer. But for what RoR does, it is generally fast enough. If you’re using the MySQL adapter, you definitely want to make sure that you’re using the native adapter, not the pure Ruby adapter. I’m developing one of the more complex applications/libraries in Ruby (PDF::Writer [rubyforge.org] ) and while I won’t pretend that it’s a speed demon, it’s impressively fast for what it does do, complete with rollback for the layout handling. Ruby’s performance is more than adequate for most applications, especially most database-backed web applications.

Thirdly, Ruby is changing, and it is likely (from what I read) that the next version will not be fully compatible, so any major project developed now in Rails will have upgrading issues.

Probably not. I suspect that there will be 80% or more compatibility, based on the currently submitted RCRs that have positive response. I also expect that the RoR community will make sure that Rails runs well on whatever the current version of Ruby is. I believe that some work has been done to make sure that RoR works well on Ruby 1.9, which is the test bed environment for most of the syntax changes that will be coming with Ruby 2.0.

So Ruby on Rails is very far from a silver bullet. It may a neat way to get small (in terms of code) websites up quickly.

I agree with your first sentence. I disagree with your second, at least partially. RoR—and Ruby in general—makes a lot of code smaller and easier to maintain. Ruby isn’t the only language to do this, but it’s the one that I use. Less Code is something of a byword to the Rails community, it seems. Rails, on the other hand, is probably appropriate for small-to-medium database-backed web applications. The smallest web applications are still best handled by CGIs, and large web applications are as yet untested with Rails. I suspect that it can handle them and handle them well, but there is an institutional insistence that over-engineered solutions (J2EE and .NET) are “better” than ones that make you more productive overall.

This response is probably more than your statements deserve, but FUD like yours tends to get remembered—and that is bad.

Re:RoR large scale? (1)

Decaff (42676) | about 9 years ago | (#13287345)

People who dont really know anything about data modelling and relational theory tend to prefer class->table interpretation. People who understand data modelling tend to prefer table->class interpretation.

I have to fundamentally disagree here. Even Oracle, who have a huge vested interest in relational theory, are putting a huge amount of work into class-> table interpretation with projects like TopLink.

  This is a straw-man. Ruby most emphatically is not slow.

It emphatically is! Try benchmarking something like XML processing (which is an important part of many current website situations, such as SOAP and Axis). This does not matter in most situations, but there are occasional situations where performance matters. Denying this will not help Ruby.

Rails, on the other hand, is probably appropriate for small-to-medium database-backed web applications.

Quite the reverse. Only with a decent mapping layer can it be robust enough for medium or large-scale use.

IT developers in general have know this for years, but a few Rails developers seem to think they know better!

This response is probably more than your statements deserve, but FUD like yours tends to get rememberedand that is bad.

Far worse is the combination of a 'silver bullet' attitude, and flat denial of established fact (Ruby speed issues) that entices developers into using technologies that prove potentially difficult to support for large projects.

Re:RoR large scale? (1)

DoctoRoR (865873) | about 9 years ago | (#13286756)

http://www.odeo.com/ [odeo.com] probably gets a fair amount of traffic with podcasting taking off. In addition to the 37signals and 43 Things sites, the new "Agile Web Development with Rails" book describes a mortgage processing engine (www.rapidreporting.com):
Rapid Reporting is running their identity and income verification engine on top of a Rails system. It's used by roughly 80% of the top 1000 mortgage underwriters in the US and is built to handle 2 million mortgage application transactions per month.

Desktop didn't impress cynical observer (3, Interesting)

jurt1235 (834677) | about 9 years ago | (#13285744)

I think that is good. Desktops are supposed to be boring (at least for business). To much eyecandy or things to be impressed about (3D flipping transparent rotating windows, everything animated, multimedia under every mouseclick) has nothing to do with productivity or doing business anymore. I think that Novell realises this much that they now that they can run their business on desktop linux (and they do), and that is does not really has to impress anybody. If somebody wants to save on licences and maintenance the next migration, just look over here is the message from Novell.

Re:Desktop didn't impress cynical observer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13285940)

This that they now that they this that they now.

Feeling retarded at all today?

Re:Desktop didn't impress cynical observer (1)

Otter (3800) | about 9 years ago | (#13285988)

I think that Novell realises this much that they now that they can run their business on desktop linux (and they do), and that is does not really has to impress anybody.

I'm probably missing something, but how does that follow from Novell's demo of flashy new desktop technology that doesn't impress cynics?

Re:Desktop didn't impress cynical observer (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | about 9 years ago | (#13286009)

The "I think" is the clue (-|, as in speculating.

MySQL w/ XA (3, Informative)

coflow (519578) | about 9 years ago | (#13285745)

MySql getting XA is huge. In the retail world, a lot of companies are switching to J2EE-based POS applications. This requires a database in each store. The problem is that the J2EE servers need an XA-enabled database so that the JMS reads/writes can occur within the same transaction as the data being generated. This has historically ruled MySQL out, which would otherwise be the natural choice. I'm glad to hear XA will be supported in the next release as this opens up MySQL to a whole new audience.

Re:MySQL w/ XA (2, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | about 9 years ago | (#13286240)

MySQL is more expensive than SQL Server or Oracle once you start working on large systems though (MySql is $300 per client.. on a web farm you could easily be expecting 1000 clients simultaneously. SQLServer and Oracle are much cheaper at these volumes.).

They had a nice niche with the small developer, where they worked out cheaper (maybe 1 or 2 clients in-house) plus they had the hobbyist/GPL market of course but going for the bigger market is going to backfire on them unless they change their pricing structure.

Re:MySQL w/ XA (1)

coflow (519578) | about 9 years ago | (#13286335)

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by client. The client in the case I'm discussing is a JDBC driver, which is available for free. Are you referring to a GUI client?

Re:MySQL w/ XA (3, Informative)

krow (129804) | about 9 years ago | (#13287488)

We, MySQL AB, license by host, not client. I am not sure where you got your information but it is incorrect. Can you tell me where you got your information? I would like to make sure we correct whatever the source of it was.

Thanks!

Re:MySQL w/ XA (3, Insightful)

JohanV (536228) | about 9 years ago | (#13286659)

I have to disagree with MySQL being the natural choice. With both MySQL and the drivers being GPL a vendor of POS applications would either have to GPL his POS application, or pay for a commercial license for each sold unit. Neither appear to be particularly attractive.

XA support has been committed into the upcomming PostgreSQL release and is already supported by Firebird. Considering their licensing, both are better choices.

Re:MySQL w/ XA (1)

jamie (78724) | about 9 years ago | (#13286799)

I think the comment from the MySQL rep was something like "we're working on it, those of you who know what it is will be very excited, the rest of you won't care..."

Re:MySQL w/ XA (2, Informative)

krow (129804) | about 9 years ago | (#13287445)

The code is committed and has been for several months :)

We provide XA both via SQL and the JDBC driver currently.

Ruby On Rails (3, Informative)

rsturbonutter (518391) | about 9 years ago | (#13285755)

Been playing around with it for a while now, there's a fair few sites using it

  • Strongspace [strongspace.com] a secure online file storage/sharing area
  • BackpackIT [backpackit.com] a personal and small business information manager
  • Basecamp [basecamphq.com] a project and task management site

Plus the (small) site I'm working on for a friend Slap My Belly [slapmybelly.com]

Re:Ruby On Rails (1)

brickballs (839527) | about 9 years ago | (#13286332)


I'v seen that layout before, oswd.org if I remember right.

Thought about using it for something of my own, but I never got around to it

my brother attended and blogged it (3, Informative)

John Harrison (223649) | about 9 years ago | (#13285780)

His blog is at http://panela.blog-city.com/ [blog-city.com] . He thought it was a great conference.

Your brother should stop using computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13286128)

I thought he was quite knowledgable right until I got to that last blog entry where he "couldn't figure out how to network two windows computers". Are you kidding me?

1. turn on dhcp (if you couldn't figure out to go into control panel: network settings, you shouldn't be using a computer, given linux follows almost the exact same syntax)

2. plug network cable into computer

3. plug other end of network cable into router

4. ...

5. profit

Re:Your brother should stop using computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13286862)

I wouldn't ever claim to be "knowledgeable" about windows and I don't claim to be a sysadmin guru, but I have connected disparate computers before (OSX, Windows, Linux) and in fact followed the steps you mentioned.

Which was why I was confused that it didn't work...

Any other suggestions?

matt

Ruby on Rails (2, Interesting)

mauriatm (531406) | about 9 years ago | (#13285808)

From the main site: "Rails is a full-stack, open-source web framework in Ruby for writing real-world applications with joy and less code than most frameworks spend doing XML sit-ups". ... Curious: so how does this compete with other web frameworks in use (LAMP, J2EE, .Net, etc)? Pros, Cons? Any users/developers here?

Re:Ruby on Rails (1)

thatedeguy (896452) | about 9 years ago | (#13285864)

and isn't there supposed to be a PHP framenet coming out soon? Seems easier to use existing technology than new stuff, unless I misunderstand the RoR tech.

Re:Ruby on Rails (1)

RegularFry (137639) | about 9 years ago | (#13286187)

It takes less time to learn the new way, then do it the new way, than to just do it the old way. I know, I've just done both...

Re:Ruby on Rails (1)

thatedeguy (896452) | about 9 years ago | (#13286236)

How is RoR then?
I've heard that Ruby is a bit of a complicated language to learn, but have thought about looking into it a little.

Re:Ruby on Rails (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13286509)

Most of my undergraduate training was in Java, with a smattering of C++, and marginal exposure to C, Fortran, Lisp, and PHP. I had to pick up Ruby for my new job ... it has been by far the easiest language to learn out of any of them (of course, it wouldn't have been so easy without that training). Very pure OO. Full closures. Ruby feels very natural ... I can program like I think. It is also very easy to read. I highly recommend checking it out.

Re:Ruby on Rails (2, Insightful)

JLyle (267134) | about 9 years ago | (#13286848)

I've heard that Ruby is a bit of a complicated language to learn, but have thought about looking into it a little.
People will say a lot about Ruby's strengths and weaknesses, but I don't think I've ever heard someone claim that it's a complicated language to learn. On the contrary, most experienced programmers seem to pick up the basics of Ruby in a matter of hours.

Re:Ruby on Rails (1)

ramannoodle (683009) | about 9 years ago | (#13286439)

There is a PHP Framework out called Fusebox. It's based on the ColdFusion MVC-based framework.

Re:Ruby on Rails (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13285995)

I recently switched a project from J2EE to RoR (with a Postgres 8 back end). Rails lives up to a lot of the hype!

It takes a little work to get from some of the simplistic tutorials on the web to larger-scale apps, especially if you are working with an existing database schema as I was. However, I've found that RoR really offers huge productivity gains.

Compared to the J2EE project I was working on, where I was evaluating persistence frameworks, J2EE vs. Spring IoC for the business logic, presentation/templating frameworks, etc., RoR is a one-stop framework. For the most part, everything you need is just there, and it already works together beautifully.

IMHO, one of the real strengths of Rails is Ruby itself. Compared to Java, the syntax is simple, clean, more pure OO, and a heck of a lot of fun to write. It embodies some ofthe best parts of a lot of languages I've used in the past such as Smalltalk , LISP, etc.

Here are some links to help get you started:

Curt Hibbs "Rolling with Ruby on Rails":
http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/onlamp/2005/01/20/rail s.html [onlamp.com]

Four Days on Rails:
http://rails.homelinux.org/ [homelinux.org]

why's (poignant) guide to Ruby (this one is reason enough to learn ruby...Chunky Bacon - need I say more?)
http://www.poignantguide.net/ruby/ [poignantguide.net]

Re:Ruby on Rails (1)

leoboiko (462141) | about 9 years ago | (#13286242)

First, Rails is in Ruby [ruby-lang.org] . If you never used Ruby, you may think it's not a big deal. If you did, you're probably interested in Rails now, because you love Ruby.

But even if you don't care about Ruby, Rails is amazing because... well, instead of bogging you down with boring hype, I'll point to the videos on the official page [rubyonrails.org] (they're much cooler hype). Seriously, watch them.

dorkcon (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13285836)

What a lame ass suasagefest. You have to be a real wanker to attend that fucking thing, holy shit.

Oh! (1, Offtopic)

Lord Marlborough (897605) | about 9 years ago | (#13285856)

"...maybe do a followup story later. " Ahh! So when things are reposted several times, they're actually followup stories. Sorry to be so critical, Taco.

Fun Stuff at OSCON 2005..eh? (0)

Guru Goo (875426) | about 9 years ago | (#13285878)

Fun Stuff at OSCON 2005
There is only 1 *fun* stuff i know of.

I was there... (4, Informative)

aallan (68633) | about 9 years ago | (#13285910)

...and blogged the conference, some of the more interesting bits below,

Amazing conference, if you weren't there, you should have been...

Al.

No State of the Onion? (1)

Black Perl (12686) | about 9 years ago | (#13286268)

Did Larry Wall give a State of the Onion this year? I can't find any reference to it.

Re:No State of the Onion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13286452)

He gave a State of Loserdom this year... and it was quite strong.

Re:No State of the Onion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13287315)

Glad to hear you're doing well.

Re:No State of the Onion? (1)

aallan (68633) | about 9 years ago | (#13286717)

Did Larry Wall give a State of the Onion this year? I can't find any reference to it.

Yes, Larry gave a State of the Onion [babilim.co.uk] talk during the Tuesday Night Extravaganza.

Al.

What Everyone Missed (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13285960)

1. Drunken Geeks
2. Hookers
3. Drunken Hookers
4. Someone puked on a Trane AC unit
5. Volleyball with a Rubber-banded Jewelbox of Windows NT CDs.
6. Soy-based Donuts (an abomination)
7. "Schwag" T-Shirts
8. Someone brought a PINK alienware laptop and was parading it around (what's up with that?)
9. Endless 'Sith' debates, sometimes ending via Trial by Combat.
10. Old School Flower hippies don't intermingle well with Newage Code hippies.

Code? What code?

CA doesn't get it re: GPL and "viral" (2, Interesting)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | about 9 years ago | (#13285977)

"Computer Associates was invited by O'Reilly to talk about its recently open-sourcing Ingres. Its representative, while confessing that introducing a new license was "probably the wrong thing to do," said that other licenses wouldn't have worked for them (the GPL "was seen as viral")."

What a disappointing response by the CA representative. Can CA really be that clueless, since a simple Google search on "GPL viral" will find plenty of information (including past articles on /.) that show the GPL is NOT viral? Or is CA just pushing that FUD for some other reason? I don't know, but it's disappointing to see them resort to that tired excuse for their actions.

If you use a GPL'ed database tool, the GPL does not come into play with regard to your software, any more than using the GIMP to create a picture doesn't GPL your software in the process. The GPL comes into play if you were to grab some GPL code and put it into your software product, and then you release the result as your own product under a different licensing scheme. You are then given a choice: Release it under the GPL or not release that code. There is always a third option: Don't take someone else's code without honoring its license terms in the first place. Write it yourself, if you want to release under a different license.

But none of this applies to using a DB program. The GPL isn't viral in the first place, and it certainly doesn't apply to the end-user use of a software package.

Re:CA doesn't get it re: GPL and "viral" (1)

docflan (816137) | about 9 years ago | (#13286075)

Release it under the GPL or not release that code.

I'm seriously not trolling here: how is that not viral? If you release the code you are forced to use the GPL ... so ... viral, right?

Re:CA doesn't get it re: GPL and "viral" (2, Informative)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | about 9 years ago | (#13286126)

"I'm seriously not trolling here: how is that not viral? If you release the code you are forced to use the GPL ... so ... viral, right?"

Viral means you get infected whether you take action or not. Someone coughs and next thing you know you get sick. But the only way you get to the stage where you face the choice I describe is if you take deliberate steps to appropriate some GPL code into your own product, combined with the next deliberate step to release the new product, combined with the next deliberate step to change the license terms of this product. That's hardly viral. That's called deliberately violating the terms of the license.

It's easy to avoid GPL problems with code. Just don't take someone else's code and refuse to honor their license terms. Or take the GPL code and use it in-house all you want. No one makes you release the new product. You can grab as much GPL code as you can stuff into your greedy little company. It's only when you want to release the new product, and decide to violate the terms of the license, that you have a problem. As it should be.

New definition of viral? (1)

argent (18001) | about 9 years ago | (#13286832)

Viral means you get infected whether you take action or not.

Where does this definition come from?

This isn't part of the biological definition of viruses, or else viruses that are hard enough to transmit that they require fluid exchange (such as STDs) wouldn't be considered "viral".

This isn't part of the computer definition of viruses, or else only things like email worms would be considered "viral". In fact, computer malware that transmits whether you take action or not are generally referred to as "worms".

The GPL is quite analogous to traditional computer viruses. You can make a good case that it's a good use of viral technology, like gene therapy, but arguing that it's not viral because of some made-up qualification that you claim is a requirement for it being "viral" is just plain silly.

Re:New definition of viral? (1)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | about 9 years ago | (#13287165)

The definition comes from the way biological viruses work. You do not have to take any steps to become infected. You can sit there quite passively and have someone else walk by you and you become infected.

This is absolutely not possible with GPL code. The only way the so-called "viral" behavior can occur with GPL code is if you take several deliberate steps that are expressly forbidden in the GPL. Guess what? You get a fishing license and you violate the terms of the license, that license gets taken away from you. Same with the GPL. If you deliberately violate the terms of the license you agree to when you get the code in the first place, on what basis can you complain?

It shouldn't be called "viral" because of the connotation we have in our minds about the word based on the biological effects of a virus. It gives the wrong impression, which is why FUDsters use that word.

Re:New definition of viral? (1)

argent (18001) | about 9 years ago | (#13287393)

The definition comes from the way biological viruses work. You do not have to take any steps to become infected. You can sit there quite passively and have someone else walk by you and you become infected.

Viruses in general are quite fragile, and most need a liquid medium to propogate. Even highly contagious viruses usually require physical contact of contaminated liquids with an open wound or mucous membranes, which is why face masks are used... they prevent droplets of infected fluids from coming into contact with the mouth and lungs.

Many viruses require more intimate contact than that.

The idea that you "don't have to do anything" to be infected by viral diseases is pernicious and dangerous. It encourages prejudice, AND discourages people from taking effective steps to avoid infection.

Propogating that meme because you consider "viral" to have poor connotations is vile.

If you want to counter the negative connotations of "viral", then either co-opt the term or come up with a better response. Because the one you're using now is simply stupid.

Re:New definition of viral? (1)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | about 9 years ago | (#13287496)

Hmmm...I meant to write, "have someone else walk by you, cough, and you become infected" but I see I clearly did not do so. Based on what I wrote, not what I thought I had written, you are right. No, I don't think you can get infected just by having an infected person walk past you.

My point was, and is, that you do not have to take any deliberate steps to become infected. Just standing near someone else who is coughing can conceivably be enough. It's the person-to-person contact that doesn't translate to the GPL "virual" FUD. You can use GPL code all you want without becoming "infected." The only way to become "infected" is to take several deliberate and illegal (according to the license terms you agreed to) steps first.

This only comes up among those who want to a) discredit the GPL and encourage other licenses that absolutely allow someone to grab another person's code and lock it up as they wish; or b) those who want to discredit Free or Open Source software period, because as proprietary code companies they would love to grab all these free code without having to do the work, and then lock people into their solution; or c) those who read the GPL = viral meme and believe it.

Once again, for anyone who happens to read this thread, just Google "GPL viral" and have that argument debunked.

Re:New definition of viral? (0, Offtopic)

argent (18001) | about 9 years ago | (#13287619)

I meant to write, "have someone else walk by you, cough, and you become infected"

That's still not true for most viruses.

It doesn't matter why you don't like the term, or whether the term is derogatory, or whatever. If you want to counter the term, find an argument that isn't stupid and prejudicial.

All you're worried about is someone getting the benefit of your software without paying you.

The people who are hurt by the meme you're propogating have to worry about losing their jobs, public ostracism, alienation, physical assault. Put your little problem into that context, damnit.

Re:New definition of viral? (0, Offtopic)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | about 9 years ago | (#13287648)

I'm not an open source programmer, so apply your anger elsewhere. I'm merely in favor of shared knowledge, whether in science, programming or whatever. If someone wishes to write a book or a program and charge for it, I fully support that. If someone wishes to write a book or a program and give it away, I fully support that right too.

The GPL is a license that empowers programmers with the full power of copyright law. I get tired of the FUD against it designed to discredit it with FUD. "Physical assault"???

Re:New definition of viral? (0, Offtopic)

argent (18001) | about 9 years ago | (#13287932)

I'm not an open source programmer, so apply your anger elsewhere.

I am an open source programmer, actually.

I just happen to be one who's aware that there's more problems in the world than whether Linux or Windows wins the battle of the server room. One of those problems is people with HIV and AIDS being treated as pariahs, ostracised, and even attacked because they carry a virus... one that is extremely hard to transmit. Claiming that the GPL isn't viral because "you can get a virus just by someone walking by" is, well, it's like using depleted uranium ammo to spread democracy. It's like killing people in the name of Christ. You really hit a sore spot with that line.

YOU did.

Not some nebulous open-source programmer out there somewhere. Not the FSF. Not Linus Torvals or Richard Stallman or Eric raymond. You, personally, posted that message. If you got it from something someone else wrote, then they should be just as ashamed of it. If you just thought it up, unthink it. But please quit using it, OK?

And even in the original context it's a silly argument: every use of the word "virus" in the computer realm refers to software that propogates passively. You have to do something to catch a virus, it doesn't just attack your computer... the whole distinction between viruses and worms is based on that point.

So... I'm sure you can come up with a better argument than "you have to do something to be 'infected' by the GPL". Please do that in the future, instead of using this silly and poisonous argument. It doesn't do anything but make people think you're clutching at straws because, well, everyone who's actually aware of the etymology of the term knows it's nosense.

Re:New definition of viral? (1)

Fahrenheit 450 (765492) | about 9 years ago | (#13287475)

The definition comes from the way biological viruses work. You do not have to take any steps to become infected. You can sit there quite passively and have someone else walk by you and you become infected.

Well, I think we can safely say that you are not a virologist, nor do you play one on TV. For something to be considered viral, it should display the properties of a virus -- among which we would not include the ability to invade a passive host (using your connotation of passive). While this is true for some viruses, other viruses don't work like that -- they aren't air borne, and so they won't infect you if a carrier just happens to saunter by. Instead, we would like something that is true of all viruses, and not just a select few, and what we generally go by is the idea that viruses "have no proper cell membrane, and thus cannot by themselves perform metabolic processes, requiring entry into a host cell in order to multiply."

This sounds an awful lot like your earlier assertion that "The GPL comes into play if you were to grab some GPL code and put it into your software product, and then you release the result as your own product under a different licensing scheme." That is, the GPLed code requires entry into someone else's released code for that code to become infected, but at that point the GPL is able to "reproduce", forcing the new code to be GPLed as well. This is the viral aspect of the GPL... it's not necessarily good nor bad, but it is viral.

Oh, yeah... IANAV.

Re:New definition of viral? (1)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | about 9 years ago | (#13287906)

Yes, I know, as you can see in my post I left out the words "cough on you," as I explained to the other responder. The way I wrote it, which makes no sense with those words missing, is not what I meant to say.

Re:New definition of viral? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 9 years ago | (#13287676)

Umm... no. I regularly write software under the GPL and even I disagree. Your argument misunderstands both the problem and the terminology. In the context of computers, "viruses" do NOT spread witihout the user taking action, although that action doesn't necessarily involve doing something that you know will cause infection. Something that infects you passively without you taking any action is called a "worm".

For example, opening an macro-virus-infected Word file will spread a virus. You're taking action that you thought was safe, but without opening that file, you don't get infected. It isn't passive. In much the same way, the GPL behaves virally. You're writing a piece of commercial software. You make the natural assumption that anything installed in a default installation of an OS can safely be linked against, particularly since you have the same libraries available under FreeBSD.

Five years later, the author sues, claiming that by linking against... say GNU readline, you are in violation of the GPL. This despite the fact that a BSD equivalent exists (and might even be installed by default under FreeBSD), the very act of you making your software available for Linux puts your right to distribute your code in jeopardy. Yes, you could have statically linked against the FreeBSD version and distributed that freely, but because you instead linked your software against something that CAME WITH THE OS, you are at risk of lawsuit.

The GPL is fine when writing software that is intended for end-user use---tools, applications, whatever. It's appropriate for libraries ONLY if those libraries are designed solely for the use of a single GPLed application, and ONLY if those libraries are not included as stand-alone, linkable library files in the distribution. For all other libraries, the LGPL is the only appropriate GPL variant license. Restricting linking against a library is fascist and wrong, particularly when the end user of a system may not even be aware of which license a particular library is licensed under.

The folks that are caught in the middle are commercial OS vendors. The lack of a linking exception makes it very difficult to get commercial OS distributions to include ANY GPLed libraries even if the OS vendor only intends to link it against other GPLed software.... In other words, the end user is the one who ends up getting hurt because of overzealous licensing.

The bottom line is that---at least for libraries---the GPL is viral, and IMHO, releasing a library under the GPL (and expecting people to read through a stack of licenses after installing your favorite Linux distro) makes us no better than companies that write a 50-page EULA about what you can do with the software that you purchased.

Join the fight against GPLed libraries. Tell your favorite Linux vendor that you won't buy a distribution that includes GPLed libraries without a linking exception.

Re:CA doesn't get it re: GPL and "viral" (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | about 9 years ago | (#13286082)

I think CA didn't want to make their product GPLed to keep control over it. Once it is GPLed, there is no way back, and in that way for them it is viral. In the case of licenses some licenses are viral in their demands (like the license for the use of MySQL in a commercial product when you do not want to buy a MySQL license), but always provide a choice to the user (in case of MySQL: Just take care that your product is also capable of using other databases, do not distribute MySQL with your product etc).

More companies nowadays opensource their products. To me it seems as a way to save money on development, like the community will just develop their product too. I think just opensourcing a product is not going to do a company any good at all. Supporting a community which supports and develops an opensource product might help them a lot more, since then they can use this product in their onw products. So if they would have replaced Ingres with postgresql, I would have been more impressed, then in this case where they "dumped" their product in the opensource community to get good publicity, or other benefits from it.

Re:CA doesn't get it re: GPL and "viral" (1)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | about 9 years ago | (#13286157)

Yeah, that makes sense. That's probably what they meant, and why they did it.

Re:CA doesn't get it re: GPL and "viral" (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | about 9 years ago | (#13286274)

(in case of MySQL: Just take care that your product is also capable of using other databases, do not distribute MySQL with your product etc

MySql makes no such exception.. in fact it extends the GPL:

"If you develop and distribute a commercial application and as part of utilizing your application, the end-user must download a copy of MySQL; for each derivative work, you (or, in some cases, your end-user) need a commercial license for the MySQL server and/or MySQL client libraries."

ie. If I even provide MySql support in my application and a user downloads it I am liable for the mysql fee, even though I have nothing to do with it.

Worse, that's *per user* which could bankcrupt me in less than 5 users.

Re:CA doesn't get it re: GPL and "viral" (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | about 9 years ago | (#13286317)

It used to be in their explanation about what they mean with the license extention. So as long as your product is not just MySQL centric, you can distribute it without getting the per user licence fee. So if you support multiple databases, then you are off the hook (or if your own product is GPL, you are off the hook too, pretty viral there (-: ).

Re:CA doesn't get it re: GPL and "viral" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13286091)

If your databases client library is GPLed, it can be pretty annoying, perhaps even "viral"?

/Just playing devils advocate
//Devoted BSD user

Re:CA doesn't get it re: GPL and "viral" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13286098)

Er, you started the post by saying it wasn't viral, then went on to describe how it is viral!

Re:CA doesn't get it re: GPL and "viral" (0)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | about 9 years ago | (#13286140)

*sigh*

See my reply to docflan in this thread.

Re:CA doesn't get it re: GPL and "viral" (1)

Milo77 (534025) | about 9 years ago | (#13286206)

How does the GPL come into play with application specific extensions? For example, DLL-based stored procedures (not uncommon in database systems, but I know nothing about Ingres). I know you have legal problems if you try to link to a GPL'd library (thus, viral), but what if a GPL'd application links (or dynamically loads) to your proprietary, application-specific library?

Re:CA doesn't get it re: GPL and "viral" (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | about 9 years ago | (#13286301)

The FSF would contend that this makes your library a derived work and thus under GPL (which *is* truly viral).

Since that won't fly legally (since it's not you doing the linking, and a 3rd party can't force you to change your license) it means that no GPL app can link to your application.

Re:CA doesn't get it re: GPL and "viral" (2, Insightful)

Phroggy (441) | about 9 years ago | (#13286648)

There is always a third option: Don't take someone else's code without honoring its license terms in the first place. Write it yourself, if you want to release under a different license.

Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this exactly what CA has done?

Re:CA doesn't get it re: GPL and "viral" (1)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | about 9 years ago | (#13287191)

I wasn't complaining about what CA did, for they have the right to use whatever license they want for their code. What I was complaining about was their representative's tired use of the old "viral" FUD that has been debunked all over the Net, including right here on /.

Re:CA doesn't get it re: GPL and "viral" (2, Interesting)

aallan (68633) | about 9 years ago | (#13286771)

No, I think the CA stand in the exhibit hall made it very clear that CA just "doesn't get it", they were treating OSCON like a normal industry trade show rather than trying to sell themselves technically, which is pretty much the only way to do it at OSCON.

Of course, if their exhibit hall stand didn't show it, their awful keynote [babilim.co.uk] talk surely did...

Al.

DTrace and PHP at OSCON (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13285993)

Presentation and blog posting from Bryan Cantrill - here [sun.com]

I question Novell's 100% switch away from Office (3, Interesting)

the big v (45514) | about 9 years ago | (#13286300)

I have a buddy who works in the Novell legal department. I asked him if he was being forced to switch from MSOffice to OpenOffice, and he said no. There is no way he could prepare his necessary documents with OO because of some features it lacked. Specifically he said they had problems with generating the kinds of tables they needed.

Further, he indicated that they were not going to be forced to switch. I wonder if that 100% change that Miguel indicated was for the technical and support staff only.

Anyhow, I decided to download and try out NLD when I got back from the conference. It failed to recognize my monitor (19" Dell flat panel with DVI interface) and sound didn't work even though it recognized the card. On recommendation from a friend, I tried Ubuntu the other night and it worked with everything (except the printer needs some driver change to work which I haven't done yet).

Re:I question Novell's 100% switch away from Offic (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13286656)

This is a known issue for Novell (and other shops) doing the switch. Initially I read that Novell was going to swith "task" workers over to NLD (which is way behind SuSE in features/ability, BTW) while leaving the knowledge workers with WinXP.

The reasoning was that certian workers - accounting staff, for example - need to run specific Macros in Excel or Word which won't convert without a lot of time/effort to OOo. I remember reading that they don't expect 100% conversion for a long time.

As for NLD not recognizing your monitor, remember that it is older software and lacks some of the hardware recognition that I have in SuSE 9.3, for example.

Novell IS 100% switching away from Office (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13287056)

It is just going to take some time. Redmond does everything they can to make it hard to switch, for the obvious reasons.

I wasn't at OSCON, but I did attend a meeting with Dan Morrison, director of Novell's GNOC, prior to BrainShare this year, and he discussed this very topic.

Novell is doing this in stages, starting with the easy cases, many of whom are migrated 100% already. When it comes to documents/spreadsheets/etc, they're going triage, classifying each as Easy, Moderately Hard or Difficult to convert. Obviously, they are tackling the first two categories first.

People who still need Windoze apps are being moved to a dual-boot configuration, so they can boot to Windoze if they need it.

I wouldn't be surprised if the staff in Legal are some of the last ones migrated, as I imagine most of their documents fall in the Difficult conversion category. I'd also be surprised is the parent post's author's friend had not been at least moved to a dual-boot configuration.

Dan stated their goal for 2005 was to move 80% of their employees to a 100% Linux environment - no dual-boot, no M$ apps (except, perhaps, under WINE or something similar).

Ingres (4, Informative)

ChrisA90278 (905188) | about 9 years ago | (#13286500)

"Ingres was just open-sourced by Computer Associates this summer". Wel yes and no.... Ingres was the very first ever relational database. It pre-dated the wide spread use of SQL. It was released under a BSD style license and was Open Source before the term "open Source" was in wide use. Later Ingres was further developed comercially and sold as a product and the old Open Source version becames known as "University Ingres". It is the later comercial version that is now open sourceed. PostgreSQL (aka Postgres) comes from the same university develoers as Ingres. It was hier next DBMS hencethe name post-gress for after-ingres Postgres has linage dating back to the first first RDBMS. Postgres too was started before SQL wa universal but was converted over to accept SQL in 1995 and then later renamed "PostgreSQL" (with the "QL" being silent) Bottom line, Ingres was the grandfather of open source DMBSes and has severa importent children.

Drupal (2, Informative)

metaclous (884409) | about 9 years ago | (#13286526)

One of the highlights for me was the talk by Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal, on Thursday.

Drupal is way ahead of Ruby on Rails in terms of flexibility, scalability and implementation, IMO. They work in different spaces (Ruby hosting is scarce, though there are a few) but the clean architecture and extensibility of Drupal while remaining fast and small is exciting.

The Drupal BOF was well-attended (they even had a full buffet!). Both http://www.bryght.com/ [bryght.com] and http://civicspacelabs.org/home/ [civicspacelabs.org] were represented.

DrupalCon/BOF at OSCON? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13286554)

How about some reporting on DrupalCon / Drupal BOF that was held around OSCON Portland?

What's all the hype? (2, Interesting)

ramannoodle (683009) | about 9 years ago | (#13286596)

Although I applaud Ruby at finally getting an MVC-based framework together, I don't see what all the hype is lately. MVC-based frameworks have been around for a long time, and MVC-based frameworks in other OSS languages have been around since RoR came to be as well.

Java has Struts and others, Perl has an excellent Framework called Catalyst based on another MVC framework by Simon Cozens called Maypole - see Jesse Sheidlower's article [perl.com] on O'Reilly for building an AJAX-based framework in 30-lines of code or less in Catalyst. PHP even has one that's been out for awhile called Fusebox that is based off of another for Cold Fusion. What is it that is so special about Ruby on Rails?

Re:What's all the hype? (1)

SewersOfRivendell (646620) | about 9 years ago | (#13286807)

Rails isn't an MVC framework. Go watch the intro video and you'll understand -- http://www.rubyonrails.com/ [rubyonrails.com] .

Re:What's all the hype? (1)

ramannoodle (683009) | about 9 years ago | (#13287483)

Rails is too MVC - it is *strongly* MVC-based according to their Website [rubyonrails.com] . That is what the RoR hype is all about.

Re:What's all the hype? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13288009)

I think the parent was saying that Rails isn't *just* an MVC framework, and to say simply that "Rails is an MVC Framework" is an over simplification.

Re:What's all the hype? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13287068)

The hype is that in rails you can write your application faster and with way less configuration(almost none). You also write your code in ruby which is a very beautiful language. There is no compile step so changes are instant while developing. I can mess around with some logic or a view, hit refresh, and see the results right away. I don't have to wait two minutes to compile and restart the server.
The community is really great with a helpful mailing list and irc channel full of smart people.

Re:What's all the hype? (1)

ramannoodle (683009) | about 9 years ago | (#13287516)

All of the languages listed above have no compile step in one form or another with their MVC frameworks. Most of them have very helpful mailing lists and friendly communities. Many of them have very small configurations - see the 30-line Wiki example above using Catalyst. I still don't get the hype, other than it's just bringing out people that have discovered the MVC model, which has been around for way longer than Rails.

Computational Origami (1)

the stapler (658635) | about 9 years ago | (#13286700)

So, I'll prefface this by saying that "cost saving" measures at my day job kept me from registering for the full conference. However, I did get in to the keynotes on Thursday. I went then specifically so I could hear Robert Lang talk abou Computational Origami. Really cool topic. I just wish I could have had him sign one of his books for me :P. 3 favorite schwag items: black rubber duckies from BlackDuck, 64 MB usb thumb drive from intel, and stuffed Dicey

Videos? (1)

zdzichu (100333) | about 9 years ago | (#13287064)

Do anyone have a link to OSCON videos? I'm specially interested in Miguel de Icaza's keynote.

Re:Videos? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13287454)

Here's a description - no video yet...

http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/7558 [oreillynet.com]

Miguel's talk was definitely a good choice for the closing timeslot. He talked about numerous happenings at Novell, from their efforts to move all employees off Windows / MS Office onto Linux / OpenOffice.org, to several new X technologies that impressed the heck out of me.

Novell currently has some 5500 employees, and has already managed to move all of them over to OO.o. They are also 50% finished with moving every PC to single-boot linux, and expect to reach 80% by November. In the mean time, it sounds like many employees still multi-boot.

Eating their own dog food is one thing, but Novell still needs to work on the Linux desktop to increase its mass appeal. To this end, they have considerably hardened the Mono VM (a clone of Microsoft's .NET VM), to the point that it can now withstand weeks of continuous heavy load without erroring or crashing. From this point, they are working in two directions: making all user hardware Just Work, and implementing all missing desktop applications in Mono languages, such as C# and Python (via IronPython). It sounded like they are also putting some effort into convincing Windows ISVs to migrate to Mono.

They've been working on useability issues in Gnome as well; Novell likes to video users with three simultaneous camera angles (face, hands, and monitor), show the videos to the developers, and watch their mental models get massively readjusted to match reality (well, more closely, at least).

Miguel also showed off some individual technologies, like two-way iPod sync, multi-hop directory sync, and so on; some of these were actually ports of old-world Novell technologies to pure Mono code. He bragged that with Beagle they managed to be the first out the door with desktop search, though only by a mere 6 hours.

Nearing the end of his talk, Miguel showed off some of the amazing changes happening to X these days. The Cairo compositing / rendering model (similar to the PDF rendering model) is now available for X, and can be accelerated in OpenGL using Glitz and XRENDER. Ugly hacks for window transparency and other such effects are no more.

X itself can run on top of OpenGL using the Xgl server, which is nearly complete. Xgl comes with a Composition Manager, which allows all sorts of composeable eye candy and special effects; Miguel showed off some silly-but-cool wobbling window effects based on this.

Finally, since Xgl has the full power of OpenGL behind it, all of the virtual desktops are wrapped around a cube that is just dragged to show the desired desktop. It's even possible to start a movie playing, drag the window halfway across the boundary between desktops, rotate the desktop cube through 45 degrees, and then watch the movie, now split across the border and in correct perspective across each face -- without any visible rendering issues.

All in all, a very cool talk, and a great way to close out this year's OSCON.

OSCON Aggregator (2, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | about 9 years ago | (#13287736)

The OSCON Aggregator [eventblogging.com] has had a bunch of good blog posts before, during, and after the conference.

Paris Hilton proclaims: Ruby on Rails is hot (0, Troll)

CryBaby (679336) | about 9 years ago | (#13287869)

That's right, Paris Hilton has now officially joined the long and distinguished list of RoR advocates. Typical of these young yet jaded programmers, she also notes that:
I've never felt the need for Postgres
And she probably never will. During a heated exchange regarding the merits of MySQL vs. more complex databases such as PostgreSQL, Ms. Hilton was reportedly heard to state that:
If you think about it, who really needs referential integrity, stored procedures, triggers, rules, constraints, user-defined data types, schemas, clustered indexes, point in time recovery, physical table partitioning or any of that other complicated stuff? I mean, come on, just learning what those words even mean will, like, totally blow my 10 minute development timeline. All of that stuff is for losers anyway and I heard it fully bloats your LoC - ewww!

Ruby on Rails is good for prototyping, but... (1)

James A. D. Joyce (742507) | about 9 years ago | (#13288012)

"Anyone have a real-world example of Rails scaling to a large project and lots of traffic?"

No, because it can't be done. Ruby prioritises ease of initial setup over execution speed or a sturdy interface.
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