RuPy 2007

Archived under Events, Programming on April 23rd, 2007 with 6 comments

It’s hard to believe but I’m still alive and far from abandoning this blog. During the last 4 months I’ve been busy working on some Very Secret Rails Project. As you can see from my writing activity, the blog was one of the project’s victims.

Yet, recently I managed to get some time off and attended two geek events. The first one was the Ruby & Python Conference (aka RuPy), held in Poznań, Poland, on 14th and 15th April. While it was organized in Poland, the conference was international with speakers coming from all around the world: Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Denmark and more.
The organizers, students of Adam Mickiewicz University, had a really tough task. Some of the talks were canceled because speakers didn’t get visas and the schedule was rearranged few times to patch the holes. It was definitely a conference in an agile spirit, and not only because of its scope.

Fortunately the presentations were really worthy. They were split into 2 tracks: Python and Ruby one. My focus is on Ruby so I missed many Python presentations. I saw only the presentation on Turbo Gears framework by Chris Arndt and the one given by guys from grono.net. Grono is a huge Polish community site and there was a lot of interesting notes on performance of their server infrastructure, memcached and PyLucene-based search.

In Ruby track one of the most engaging talks was given by Cloves Carneiro Jr: “Ruby/Rails tools that help”. He covered some obvious tools like Rake and Capistrano, but also other less popular apps as well, like rcov, test coverage tool for Ruby projects.

Cloves Carneiro Jr
Cloves presenting Textmate

I admired the presentation by Tomasz Węgrzanowski. He is an author of Rlisp, Lisp interpreter embedded in Ruby. Most comments after Tomasz’s talk were similar: everybody is impressed how smart it was and nobody gets it :).

I also have to mention impressive presentation by Witold Rugowski. His topic was pretty basic (EJS templates for JavaScript in RoR), but the presentation itself was a great performance: he typed and successfully executed fully fledged example of how to use Google Maps API with EJS. If you ever did any public live demos you are probably aware that all Murphy’s Laws apply here. The keyboard will break, network connection will die unexpectedly and all the nearby power plants will explode, leaving you only with a dying battery in your laptop. Kudos to Witold for performing so well.

Tomasz Korzeniowski
Amusing Tomasz Korzeniowski during his talk on information retrieval

It was also a first time I had a presentation at a conference. I was talking about Radiant CMS, lightweight content management system written in Ruby on Rails. Since few months ago, when I built my first site with Radiant (feldo.pl), I’m a huge fan of this tool. It gives you a full control over the site code and has an interface that is a pleasure to work with. The slides in PDF format are available for your viewing pleasure.

After my talk there were a few interesting questions from the audience. Most were related to Rails itself rather than Radiant so I think the Rails presentation would fit perfectly into the schedule, as the framework is still not as popular as I used to think. Lesson learnt: make sure the obvious things you’re talking about are also made obvious for the people who listen to you.

Olle Jonsson
Olle is learning from the audience during his show

Beside main sessions there was also a party for conference attendees, so we could have geeky talks in a friendly atmosphere. I think the atmosphere was a huge asset of entire conference. As Olle Jonsson (an extremely nice Swedish guy from Denmark) put it: It wasn’t a hype contest. There was no sense of competition between technologies, but instead we had a lot interesting conversations with friendly people with different views and ideas. I enjoyed it a lot.

Of course there is always an area for improvement. Most of all, the conference should have been better advertised, so there would be more people. I’m sure it will get even better in 2008, as organizers already have plans for another installment next year. See you in Poznań in 2008 then!

Comments

  1. Nice presentation. I was only disapointed by the ‘Cons’ slide. Come on… There must be something. Just close you eyes, imagine it’s written in Java and then it’s gonna get easier to spit out few points.

    More seriously: how easy would it be to redirect radiant to store it’s content in a DMS?

    And how was the lucene presentation by our friend Tomasz?

    Krzysztof Dąbrowski

  2. The more simple the tool is, the harder is to find its weak points :). Some were raised by people from the audience, like the problems with hosting, but this is a Rails issue (small one, actually), not specific to Radiant.

    Radiant does a great job letting you to create a simple content site fast, from scratch. It doesn’t aim for more. That’s probably it biggest weakness from your standpoint, as it doesn’t have connectors to external data sources like DMS. For me it’s fine, as Radiant does well what it’s supposed to do.

    Szafranek

  3. I wish I’d been there. Btw. are the presentations from the conference available somewhere? I would be really interested to see them. What makes Belgian JUG conferences so cool is a fact, that they made all the presentations available afterwards, and also quite a few videos.

    Michal Szklanowski

  4. The organizers asked all speakers to send their presentations in order to put them online. They should be published on conference’s site soon.

    Szafranek

  5. Of course… Ferret presentation was the best show ever ;-)
    I encourage you to come to Java TechConf 2007. I heard there will be very interesting talk about Information Retrieval ;-) Sorry for this shameless promotion :-)

    RuPy was really fun conference. There was group of very passionated and full of energy people. I really liked it.
    The organizers were really good at keeping a good atmosphere. I definietly have to encourage my bootstrap friends to build this kind of event in Warsaw.

    If you would like to get the feeling of the conference please read also Olle’s blog post.

    Tomasz Korzeniowski

  6. As promised, presentation are there.

    Szafranek

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