It is almost, but not quite, completely unlike tea.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Marching Bands and Camera Hate

Talks for today:

  • Morning keynote by Tim Bray. Great talk about where "we" ought to be headed with Ruby and Rails. Tim is proof that age and treachery can still beat youth and enthusiasm -- that makes me feel a lot better.
  • Another talk about using helpers in Rails to clean up views, this time by Glenn Vanderburg. I guess I felt like the lesson didn't take the first time -- there wasn't too much overlap between this and the Thursday tutorial of nearly the same name, so no wasted time.
  • Joyent Slingshot -- a super-cool library that allows a Rails app to (with small modifications) run locally on a user's desktop, while still syncing with a remote data source. Wow. Writing a desktop app in Rails sounds like fun, I'll just have to think of a use for it.
  • Xen and the Art of Rails Deployment -- Ezra Z talked about the Xen virtualization framework, which allows you to turn one server into many "virtual servers." To my shame, I haven't played with this stuff at all, so I was glad for the summary. After seeing this and the Amazon EC2 presentation, I'm more convinced than ever that this is the way provisioning will happen in the very near future (<10 years for sure). I don't kill my own chicken for Sunday dinner anymore, why should I provision my own server?
  • Practical Design for Developers -- A bit more high level than I was hoping for, but still plenty useful. David Verba from AdaptivePath (the MeasureMap guys) talked briefly about information architecture, and how to design an application that people will actually use. Isn't that what we all want?

Before lunch, attendees were treated to a short performance from the Extra Action Marching Band. I'm from a somewhat funky town, but seeing a marching band complete with a platinum-wigged co-ed flag line reminded me that funky is a very relative term. On a sad note, I had nearly 10 minutes of video showcasing the marching band but managed to corrupt / delete / burninate it while trying to pull it off my camera. Oh well.