Forum: Ruby Ruby Weekly News 19th - 25th March 2007

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Tim S. (Guest)
on 2007-03-27 12:40
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Ruby Weekly News 19th - 25th March 2007

   Ruby Weekly News takes a look at the week's discussions on the
   mailing list (and its equivalents, the comp.lang.ruby newsgroup and

   This edition is brought to you by Tim S. and MenTaLguY.

Articles and Announcements

     * Ruby Hoedown 2007 - the Ruby conference down south

       Jeremy McAnally proudly announces Ruby Hoedown 2007, the first
       regional Ruby conference in the Southern United States.

       "Ruby Hoedown, a joint effort between Raleigh.rb, Atlanta.rb, and
       myself, is going to be held at the Red Hat HQ in Raleigh, NC on
       10-11, 2007."

     * Pledgie drive for Rubinius

       Sam S. ("not a committer to the project, just really excited
       it") noticed the Rubinius developers are trying to raise some
       through a "Pledgie drive".

       > Rubinius is a next-generation virtual machine and compiler for
       > Based loosely on the Smalltalk-80 `Blue Book' design, Rubinius
       > provide a rich, high-performance environment for running Ruby

       As this edition of the Ruby Weekly News was going out, they were
       halfway to the target of raising US$1000, with 11 days left for

User Group News

     * Israel.rb is brought into existence!

       Adam F.: "I am pleased to announce that the Israeli Ruby
Brigade has
       been unleashed upon an unsuspecting world." The first meeting is
       April 6th.

     * Mountain West Ruby Conference slides, keynote?

       Videos and presentation slides from the Mountain West Ruby
       2007 are being assembled. DVDs will be free for those who
attended the
       conference, available for purchase by others, and the videos will
       be uploaded to Google Video.


  Generating OOo-Calc charts with Ruby

   apanloco is thinking of using Ruby to generate Calc
   He's used the win32ole with Excel to do the same; can something
similar be
   done with OpenOffice?

   Avdi G.: "Since the OO document format is an XML dialect, it
should be
   possible to generate the files directly with e.g. REXML."

  Pulling text from elements with REXML

   Paul W. writes:

 require 'rexml/document'
 include REXML
 file ="Main_News.xml")
 doc =
 root = doc.root
 puts root.elements["NewsItem/NewsComponent/NewsComponent[1]/.../hl1"]

   This gives "<hl1>Blueprint to cut emissions unveiled</hl1>", but how
   you get just the text inside the node?

   Peter S. says the #text method does the trick; try

 root.elements[...your stuff_here...].to_a.each {|e| puts e.text}

   A different approach is suggested by Phrogz: use REXML's XPath

 include REXML
 doc ="<root><kid>hello</kid><kid>world</kid></root>")
 p XPath.match( doc, '/root/kid/text()' )
 #=> ["hello", "world"]

  Are comments objects?

   Stephen B. IV is interested in adding a #help method to his
   for the sake of interactive use, and asks whether the comments for a
   class are available via reflection.

   The answer, of course, is no-Ruby comments are discarded by the
   However, Jonas P. points out that Mauricio F.'s fastri
   be the next best thing to reflection, and also that irb already
provides a
   builtin help primitive which displays the rdoc for an object or

 irb(main):001:0> help 'Object#object_id'
      obj.__id__       => fixnum
      obj.object_id    => fixnum
      Returns an integer identifier for _obj_. The same number will be
      returned on all calls to +id+ for a given object, and no two
      objects will share an id. +Object#object_id+ is a different
      from the +:name+ notation, which returns the symbol id of +name+.
      Replaces the deprecated +Object#id+.

 => nil

  Regexp and Prime numbers

 ruby -wle "puts 'Prime' unless ('1' * ARGV[0].to_i) =~
/^1$|^(11+?)\1+$/" 1234

   The above is a Ruby translation of a wonderful trick from the Perl
   community. Credits to Neil Kandalgaonkar and Abigail for the

   Substitute 1234 with any number, and this command will tell you if
   prime - using the regular expression engine!

   (This is also a great illustration of how "regular expressions" in
   Ruby and others are more powerful than regular expressions in
   computational theory: Primes is a non-regular language.)

New Releases

  oniguruma for ruby initial release

   Dizan V. announces the first release of oniguruma bindings for
   1.8. Oniguruma, developed primarily by K.Kosako, is the regular
   engine used in Ruby 1.9.

   With these new bindings, developers can "use the powerful features of
   Oniguruma (named groups, look-behinds, etc.) without the need to
   to Ruby 1.9 or to patch and recompile the stable version."

  Rassmalog 3.2.0

   Suraj K. made several improvements to Rassmalog, "a static blog
   engine based on RSS 2.0, YAML, and Textile".

   > It features an extensible blog formatting mechanism, easy
   > and automatic tagging, archiving, syntax coloring, and table of
   > contents.

  Getopt::Declare 1.23

   gga announces version 1.23 of Getopt::Declare, a library for
   option parsing where valid options are specified in the form of
   help texts. For example:

 require "Getopt/Declare"
 args =<<'EOF')

 -q, --quiet                 quiet
 -f, --files <files:if>...   input files
 -n, --number  <num:n>       a float number
 -i, --integer <num:i>       an integer number


 p args['-q']
 p args['-f']
 p args.unused

   1.23 is primarily a bugfix release.

  main-0.0.1 - command line apps for the truly lazy

   Ara T. Howard announces the release of main, another in his line of
   codeforpeople libraries.

   main is "a class factory and dsl for generation main programs real
   providing a unified framework for argument processing, environment
   handling, help text, and many of the other grotty little bits you
need to
   deal with in order to write a classy commandline utility in Ruby.

  fastthread 1.0

   MenTaLguY announced fastthread 1.0, a C extension which provides
   versions of the synchronization primitives in Ruby stdlib's
   replacing the existing Mutex, ConditionVariable, Queue, and
   classes with its own implementation.

   While the Ruby stdlib thread library was redone in 1.8.6 based on an
   earlier version of fastthread, a couple critical bugs snuck in at
   time. Consequently, for those using Ruby 1.8.6, the newer version of
   fastthread gem is recommended as a hotfix.

   Best practice when requiring fastthread from a library is as follows:

 require 'thread'
   require 'fastthread'
 rescue LoadError

   This will allow your code to work on Ruby versions where fastthread
   unavailable or is simply unnecessary (e.g. under YARV or JRuby).

  daapclient 0.2.3

   Aaron P. announces version 0.2.3 of daapclient, a Ruby client
   the iTunes DAAP protocol. It contains log optimizations, a couple bug
   fixes, and switches the build system to hoe.

We hoped you enjoyed this edition of the Ruby Weekly News.

Anyone can contribute to the next newsletter - simply visit to summarise
one or more threads from the list. Thanks!
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