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.
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 :).
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.
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!