It’s been almost two weeks since RubyEnRails 2006, the first big Dutch/Belgian Ruby and Rails event. I think it’s safe to say that it was a success. Over 100 visitors showed up; we had an excellent venue and six very entertaining sessions:
- Frank Oxener (Agile Dovadi) gave a live demo of building a Rails app and integrating with Google Maps.
- Geert Rozendom (Newminds) told about his company’s efforts to integrate Microsoft Navision with a Rails frontend (we got some frowns here from people disliking anything Microsoft; well, a lot of people use Microsoft software, so deal with it guys!).
- Michiel de Mare (Finalist) gave a Takahashi style introduction to object oriented programming with Ruby (up to and including continuations, a brave effort).
- Stefan Kaes told us everything there is to know about Rails performance. He did a two hour session packed with tips and tricks for measuring, tuning and refactoring.
- Wilco Bauwer is working on IronRuby, a Ruby compiler for .Net, similar to IronPython. There’s a lot of attention for RubyCLR, but not many people have picked up yet on Wilco’s project. He explained that the difference is that RubyCLR is building a bridge between native Ruby and the CLR, while IronRuby is a complete implementation of a Ruby interpreter in .Net (see for an explanation of the .Net lingo). Again some sour anti-Microsoft faces here, but they were all silenced in awe when Wilco got Ruby to play the Mission Impossible III trailer on the sides of a rotating cube.
- Erik Veenstra, finally, Holland’s uber Ruby guru, did a session on metaprogramming in Ruby. He showed how to implement your own attr_reader/attr_writer methods, and, one step beyond, the road to creating DSLs with Ruby.
All in all it was a great day, fun to organize and a pleasure to meet so many Ruby and Rails enthousiasts at once. We should do this more often! Next time, we should maybe have separate Ruby and Rails tracks (most people want to do either Ruby or Rails; a shame really). And even though Huis de Voorst was a splendid venue, a more central location would perhaps be easier for most attendants. And we should have more sessions, and more advanced sessions. And onsite wifi so people can blog while they’re there. And less xxxl-sized t-shirts (there’s still a few left!). And, and, and……