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JRuby on Rails: Hackday Report

Posted by arungupta on August 9, 2007 at 11:19 AM PDT

As reported
earlier,
Sun Microsystems and
Joyent
co-sponsored a free
JRuby on Rails: Power
plus simplicity
Hackday. This event happened yesterday at Axis Cafe, San
Francisco and the room was completely sold out. I reached the venue around
2:30pm and was pleasantly surprised to see an almost full room.

Stephen (from Sun) kick started the event by introducing the speakers. The
event started with a general panel discussion where
Jason
(from Joyent) gave an overview of JRuby and
GlassFish. He mentioned that Ruby
language is adopted more widely because of
the associated framework. A show of hands in the completely full room room indicated
that. The Ruby language is indeed dominated by one framework -
Rails.

Nick (from Sun) started his session
by saying that JRuby is a tale of two cities - Java and Ruby. The JRuby
out-of-the-box experience is pretty close to CRuby. JRuby not only opens the
gate to the vast amount of Java libraries available, it also allows to use a
database that permits only JDBC connectivity.

Mark (from Joyent) explained Joyent cluster environment and how Rails
applications can be deployed there.

The rest of the day was following the
demo script
to setup environment on your laptop, deploying and running a flavor of
applications.


Nick also maintains the

activerecord-jdbc gem
. Currently a JRuby app talking to the database
requires database.yml file to be modified as

explained here
. Nick mentioned that the next version of this gem will not
require to change the database.yml, very cool!

After the dinner, the last working session was deploying a JRuby app in
GlassFish. Nick showed how a Hello World WAR can be deployed on GlassFish
using goldspike plugin. The second part of the application showed how this
application can utilize the database connection pool and connect to the
database. A detailed screencast of how such an application can be developed
using NetBeans Ruby IDE is available

here
.

Towards the end of this session, there was an interesting discussion around
the pros and cons of using GlassFish as opposed to the traditional Rails
deployment model. I plan to capture that discussion with some additional details
separately.

The event started at around 2:45pm and there were lot of dedicated "hackers"
sitting until late in the day. And the following photographs are taken after the
free dinner was served :)


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