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Archive for the ‘Ruby’ Category

If, like me, you are interested in Diaspora, then you should know about the site Diasporial. If you don’t know what Diaspora is, just think of it as a decentralized, privacy-conscious, non-commercial, open-sourced version of Facebook. At least, that’s what the creators and developers of Diaspora are aiming for; the current version is still dubbed “alpha”, but quite workable.

There are already multiple “pods” available  to try Diaspora for yourself; visit http://podupti.me (did you notice the “pod uptime”?) and choose a pod to sign up.

I suppose good mobile client software for Diaspora will appear eventually, once the application is more finished – and I hope that will be sooner rather than later.

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What Ruby? Mirah!

These days, at least in Europe, the word ‘Ruby’ is mostly associated with the frolicking of Italy’s prime minister, and not with the programming language of the same name. From the diminishing number of news items on the Ruby Inside news site I deduce that the language has reached a mature and stable state – which is good, really!

But that doesn’t mean that people like Charles Nutter just sit back. Charles took the Ruby syntax and used it to define Mirah, a JVM programming language that looks a lot like Ruby (but isn’t Ruby nor JRuby). What does it look like? Well, check out the intro that Charles wrote for DDJ: “Language of the Month: Mirah“. It’s a most interesting effort, and apparently Mirah can even be used to develop apps for Google App Engine and Android.

Of course, I also have to mention the fact that the Mirah site contains a Wiki, written in… Mirah, of course. Nothing fancy, but if that bothers you, just grab the code and make it better!

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Roll On. JRuby is out. I have always wanted to try out the Ruby language as well as Ruby on Rails, the web application framework. As someone pointed out, having JRuby around means that there must be a way to grab the generated Java code and deploying that as a WAR ile to any Java application server. Just that feature alone might be what’s needed to make Rails apps even more popular – especially within enterprises that are not so fond of anything but Java apps on their servers. So here’s what neede to get started on that path: Get JRuby onto the Rails on Mac OS X.

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Too Soon For Conclusions? Graeme has written an interesting Grails vs. Rails Benchmark article. Somehow, my gut feeling says that it is still too soon to draw more or less definitive conclusions from these data… but it’s a start, and it is good to see that Grails is certainly already “good enough” for many applications.

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Trying To Do ORM? Reread This! Rereading is what I’ll do, but even after reading only half of this I’m pretty sure many of Joe Rhineharts comments on Rails are right on the mark. No, that doesn’t mean that Rails is bad; it means that Rails is not always the best choice for application development – now there’s news for you, no ;-? Anyway, the best part is indeed all those snippets of wisdom on how a good ORM layer should behave… And then there’s all the rest, on Controllers and Actions, etc.

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The Debates Continue… Here are a few topics I’m more or less following:

… But Feed The Right Wolf. Debating is quite OK with mee, but let’s keep it polite and to the point. I found a small but wholly appropriate story while cleaning up my mailbox – here’s a link to a version in English: Two Wolves

Een oude indiaan neemt zijn kleinkinderen op de schoot. Hij zegt: “Er woedt een strijd diep in mezelf. Een strijd tussen twee wolven. Eén wolf staat voor vreugde, vrede, hoop, gulheid, nederigheid, vriendelijkheid, empathie, sereniteit en vriendschap. De andere wolf representeert afgunst, woede, verdriet, hebzucht, ego, zelfmedelijden, schuld, minderwaardigheid, arrogantie en angst. Die strijd tussen de twee wolven woedt ook bij jullie”, sprak de indiaan, “elke dag weer.” De kinderen laten dit even bezinken, tot uiteindelijk één van hen vraagt: “En wie van de twee wolven haalt het?” Antwoordt die indiaan: “De wolf die je het meeste voedt?…”

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Attention: Commercial Message. Does this clip on YouTube mean I’m obliged to start using Ruby and Rails? Nah… Is it a philosophical statement worth repeating? Nah… But there is, at least to my eyes, indeed a similarity in the way that 37 Signals and Apple Computer approach software design (at least for some/most of their software): the end result has to be simple to use. In that sense, I can understand David Heinemeier Hanssons statement that without the Mac he might not have comtemplated building Rails.

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The Battle Goes On. The battle of the IDE’s isn’t over, and neither is the battle between “old” and “new” programming languages. You need proof? Not only is Microsoft betting on IronPython, but there are several projects trying to get Ruby running on the DotNet CLR (check out the Close Ruby encounters of the .NET kind for details). On the other hand there is Sun Microsystems’ decision to hire two JRuby developers, with an eye to speed up the development of a Ruby-on-the-JVM implementation. What was that Chinese curse: may you live in interesting times?

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Food For Thought. There’s an interesting discussion on ‘administration interfaces’ for web apps built on Rails and Django going on at the RubyOnRails Blog: Streamlined: Taking admins beyond scaffolding

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Continuing With Snakes And Gems. I could (should) have reported this before, of course: “Apple includes Rails with Leopard“. At the very least, it’s a nice treat for the Rails bunch, and it falls in line with the Ruby (and other languages) support from Apple. But now I wonder: knowing that Microsoft is supporting Python on DotNet (see IronPython), will they include Django in Vista ;-?

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Snake Vs. Gem. With a bit of an overstatement you might say I’m still debating the “Python versus Ruby” question that I posed a few years ago – lack of time is not the best of excuses, but in real life it can be a very compelling argument. I don’t suppose I’ll find the best comparison in this video, but I’m making time to see and hear it all from Adrian Holovaty and David Heinemeier Hansson, in a double presentation of Django and Rails (there’s a link to the Google Video version as well).

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Ruby On Rails Dissected. Good seminar, with a nice equilibrium between “theory” (what works, what’s problematic?) and “practice” – Alain Ravet walked us through an RoR application and gave us a good view of what RoR development means in developer reality. And IT-Works did an excellent job to make the seminar attendants feel at home: they had even invited Lordi (yup, the Finns who won the Eurovision contest) to cheer us on!

 

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Ruby In The Spotlight. Since I’ll be attending a Ruby On Rails event tomorrow, I’m bound to signal these links:

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There’s more of the same about, but I have to go now: it just started raining and I want to take a shower in my garden!

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Have A Laugh… and check out the SQL on Rails screencast – really, it’s hilarious! And when you’re finished laughing, remember that even though imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, that does not mean that imitations are by definition equally “worthy” as the original (usually it’s the other way around). In other words: do we really need al those Rails-imitations?

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Running On Rails? Not yet, at least today: ColdFusion On Wheels is unfinished, but shows promise. And now that the CFWheels Weblog is up and running, it will be easier tot track the progress of the framework.

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