Archive for May, 2006

RubyEnRails 2006 – The Week After

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……

(The presentations can be downloaded from, but they’re Dutch except Stefan’s. Photos on Flickr, tagged rubyenrails.)

2006-05-30. One response.

A Truely Historic Rails Conference

For some mysterious reason, there seems to exist a correlation between the temperature outside and the amount of entries on my blog. A sudden and long-awaited spell of sunny weather has been making Holland happy for more than two weeks now. In the evenings I am faced with the choice between sitting outside for a little longer, glass of chilled wine in hand, waiting for the sun to set and the blackbirds to start singing — or sitting inside, behind the computer, working on my blog. What a tough choice.

It’s good to see the weather’s changing though, from downright hot to a temperature better suited for, let’s say, a conference. One week from now we’re hosting RubyEnRails 2006, the first major Dutch/Belgian Ruby and Rails event. Besides Dutch Ruby guru Erik Veenstra, some real-life Rails cases, and Wilco Bauwer presenting his Ruby-on-DotNet compiler, Stefan Kaes is doing a two-hour workshop on Rails performance. And then there’s the Rails introduction workshop Remco and I will do, coding a simple photo album application live to show how quick & easy it all is (that’s the plan, anyway!). Over 100 people have already registered. It may not be London, Chicago or Vancouver, but we do have the most historic venue of them all: a 17th century Dutch castle.

Huis de Voorst

2006-05-11. No responses.