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acts_as_conference 2008 - Day 2 Report

Posted by arungupta on February 10, 2008 at 2:06 AM PST

Day 2 started with breakfast ... yaaay! I had to hunt for breakfast href="">yesterday.

started the day by asking some questions and here are the responses:

  • 100% will come back if organized next year
  • Fri/Sat is good
  • $100 Price is good
  • Got 60-70 submissions so the selection process was difficult

Some of the reasons people came to this conference:

  • Mickey Mouse
  • Speaker lineup
  • Topics
  • Want to hear what other people concerns are

The gems are breeding exponentially but I found out about  href="">Bjplugin
that allows you to unblock Mongrel before the entire request is
processed. We might be able to use it for one of our projects.

showed all the fancy Ruby debugging in NetBeans.
5 lucky winners were awarded href="">Agile
Development with Rails - 2nd edition in a sweepstakes by href="">Sun.

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src=""> src="">

explained some of JRuby success stories in href="">,
Oracle Mix and

Here are the key points of Why
JRuby ?

  • Easier setup - unzip and ready to use
  • Better Performance - Showed live benchmarks
    • JRuby 1.0 was 2x slower than Ruby 1.8.6, JRuby 1.1 Beta1
      2x faster, JRuby trunk 2-5x faster and often faster than 1.9
    • Method dispatch (10million invocations)
      • Ruby 1.8.6 ~2.1 secs
      • Ruby 1.9 ~0.95 secs
      • JRuby trunk 1.29 secs for first call and then 0.6 secs
        (JRuby trunk on href="">Soy
    • Fibonacci
      • Ruby 1.9 0.4 secs
      • Ruby 1.8.6 ~1.54 secs
      • JRuby ~.77 secs first, 0.4 secs subsequently
    • Hilbert matrx of dimension 2, 4, ... 64 times its inverse
      • Ruby 1.9 ~21secs
      • JRuby ~21secs
  • Easier deployment
    • Warbler
    • href="">GlassFish
      v3 Gem
  • More libraries
    • Easy wiring in Java libraries such as Java2D
  • Wider database support - via JDBC
  • Platform independence
    • JRuby on Rails on AS/400 calling MS SQL
  • Less political resistance

Key JRuby messages:

  • JRuby is raising the bar for Rails all the time
  • GlassFish
    is not your daddy's app server ( href="">2.3M
  • Looking for users, use cases to support

Here are some of the local Ruby groups:

The last session of the day was keynote by href="">Obie Fernandez on
"Simplicity". The actual topic might have been slightly different but
that was the essence. Here are some interesting points from his preso:

  • Good software development produces a result that is both style="font-weight: bold;">functional and style="font-weight: bold;">beautiful.
  • Played the role of href="">MythBuster.
    Here are 3 that he busted: 
    • Myth: Practice makes perfect, Busted: Practice makes
      permanent, perfect practice makes perfect!
    • Myth: In order to play fast, I have to practice fast.
      Busted: Practice slow first (?)
    • Myth: I dont need to practice reading music. Busted:
      Start by reading code and develop a better understanding.
  • Rest of his preso drew a great analogy between Sofware
    Development and Oil painting
    • Like initial oil painters, are you grinding your own
      paints ? -That requires a lot of labor, needs custom tools and could be
      expensive. Now the paints are available, use them.
    • Just because you know all the brushes and paints does not
      mean you can
      draw a great painting.You need to add aesthetics and creativity to it.
    • The palette is not the point, the application development
      is the point.
      You paint the draft, step back and let the painting tell you what needs
      to be filled.
    • An art degree is not a gurantee to be a success,
      similarly CS degree
      does not ensure that you can author a great piece of software.

All in all, I learned a lot, met a lot of folks and a great post-lunch
debugging session with a fellow Rubyist on JRuby/OpenSSL!

This is one of the unique conferences I've attended because pretty much
everybody stayed till the last session, and that too SRO, that was
cool! Here are pictures of the attendees towards the end of Obie's


As href="">earlier,
the complete album is available at:

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