Ruby on Rails, Events

RailsConf: Nick's Highlights from Lone Star Ruby Conf

I recently attended and spoke at Lone Star RubyConf 2010. I took notes on anything technical I thought would be useful to bring back and use day-to-day at SmartLogic. Keep in mind there were many excellent talks that aren't on this list, it's just a snippet of things I wanted to look into more.

Day one

Adam Keys - Rails' Next Top Model: Using ActiveModel and ActiveRelation

  • Rails 3 - ActiveSupport::Concern
  • Accessors + Concern cleans up code
  • New encryption classes for secure keys and encrypted data transfer
  • ActiveModel::Validator for non AR validations
  • validates_with MyValidator
  • ActiveModel::Serialization for hydra?
  • serialization: require ‘attributes’ and ‘attributes=’
  • serializable_hash => to_json, to_xml, from_json, from_xml
  • ActiveRelation (AREL)

Jesse Crouch - Building fast, lightweight data-driven apps using the Infochimps API

Infochimps API to create linkedin’ 2nd degree network with twitter data. Check it out at

Aman Gupta - Debugging Ruby: Understanding and Troubleshooting the VM and your Application


  • lsof -nPp : get open files for a specific pid
  • strace: observe functions being called. Can see reads and writes between processes, like rails hitting mysql
  • compile ruby w/ --enable-pthreads (not by default in debian or in rvm)
  • See end of page for how to do this via RVM
  • tcpdump for networking
  • google perftools for ruby profiling
  • pprof ruby => graphical output
  • home_run for C based time parsing
  • perftools.rb for ruby diagrams of usage time
  • gdb.rb to executive ruby from gdb, when running ruby via gdb
  • bleak house: ruby memory leak detector
  • rack-perftools: rack middleware for perftools.rb
  • google perftools for forking

Caleb Clausen – What every Ruby programmer should know about threads

  • Thread safe objects: mutex, queue, sizequeue, condition variable
  • Semaphores to signal between threads
  • Mutex to lock and unlock resources

Jesse Wolgamott - Battle of NoSQL stars: Amazon's SDB vs Mongoid vs CouchDB vs RavenDB

  • CouchDB is ACID, has great replication
  • Mongo has great rails support

Day two

James Edward Gray II - Ruby in the Wild

  • Logarithmic graphs!
  • Rubyists like to do a lot of stuff from scratch
  • "I've always been a fan of sqlite" - wha?
  • For fun, scatch an itch, try something new
  • "I try to make it a fun place [to work]"
  • Greg Brown wearing a Boh hat for his interview
  • Core of rake written in 30 mins
  • Rake file list in place of Dir.glob for hydra? (FileList ?)
  • File matching to compare input (source) and output (binary). Maybe for Sauron?

Chat with Scott Bellware

I had a great chat with Scott Bellware about Agile, Lean, and his own style of OO integration testing. He recommended this book:

The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development

Also, he sent me a link to how he does his OO testing scenarios:

I flew back after lunch on day two, so I'll have to catch the rest in the videos!

Want to learn more about RailsConf, check out our other articles:

The Strength of the Rails Community, as seen at RailsConf

Being Social Without Talking Tech at RailsConf: Possible?

Links to check out from RailsConf 2013