GoGaRuCo, Day 2

Well, I was totally gung-ho about writing up GoGaRuCo Day 1, but it’s taken me a week to get day 2 done.

Part of that was exhaustion – between the conference on Friday and Saturday, the hackathon on Sunday, and, uh, working the five days after that, it’s kind of been full-speed until today. Part of it, though, was also that the second day wasn’t as positive an experience for me. It’s taken me some time to collect my thoughts.

Rather than touching on every presentation, I just want to note a few of them that I really liked.

First, there was Jacqui Maher’s presentation on the work she’s been doing with Baobab in Malawi. Back in 2000, I spent three months in Ghana helping a software company in Accra go from Delphi/C++/Windows to an open source stack based on linux and Java. It was an incredible experience, but since then I haven’t been able to reconcile my desire to help with my actual skills. I mean, the Peace Corps is awesome and good for you if you want to do it, but they’d have had me teaching math or something. I want to code.

So I’m thankful Jacqui came and talked about this project. I don’t think any of my code has ever had a measurable life-saving effect. Perhaps that should change.

The Webrat talk from Bryan Helmkamp was also really interesting. At Looksmart we have a huge Selenium test suite, and I’m not at all happy with it. I will likely gravitate towards talks on different methods of acceptance testing at Railsconf – Webrat looks interesting. It doesn’t actually fire up a browser, so it’s faster, and you can drop down into Selenium when you need to test Javascript.

By the end of the day, my brain was full. People tell me the last talk was great, but I have very little memory of it. Hopefully the justin.tv folks who were filming the talks will have it up soon so I can see it when I’m in a state to appreciate it.

Why Rails is Still a Ghetto

(With apologies to Zed.)

A few of the talks at GoGaRuCo were crowdsourced – anyone who wanted to talk about anything put their title and description up on Uservoice. Folks who registered got 10 votes each, and the top vote-getting talks were accepted and scheduled.

Out of this came “CouchDB: Perform Like a Pr0n Star” from Matt Aimonetti.

I voted for it, actually, because CouchDB is one of those things that’s the new hotness and I haven’t had a chance to play with it, and besides, he wouldn’t actually put porn in the slides. Right?

The first slide of Matt's slide deck

The first slide of Matt's slide deck (he has removed the full deck from slideshare)


Well, once he figured out that it was a problem, he’d acknowledge the error and we could move on. Right?


Well, surely the fearless leader of Rails wouldn’t actually condone it.

Hey, I’ve got a crazy idea, let’s make sure everyone puts porn in their slides at Railsconf!

Hey. That was a joke. A JOKE!

Object IDs and Fixnums

I’ve been poking around Ruby’s internals, and I found some cool things about the way Ruby represents integers in memory.

Let’s start with the obvious: in Ruby, everything is an object, including integer literals.

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GoGaRuCo, Day 1

It’s pronounced “go-gay-roo-ko.” Did you know? I did not.

Also, let it be known that the Swedish-American Hall is awesome. The grand ballroom just needs a huge fire in the middle with a pig roasting and smoke rising up to the rafters. The chairs look like viking thrones! In non-Scandinavian-related coolness, there’s Ritual coffee at the cafe, and a club in the basement where I used to go see Lavay Smith.

…Oh yeah, and there were talks! My main takeaway from the day is that I need to get involved in some kind of code transformation project, because turning one language into another is cool.

A few quick thoughts on the talks:
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