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Ruby Weekly News 30th January - 5th February 2006

   Ruby Weekly News is a summary of the week's activity on the ruby-talk
   mailing list / the comp.lang.ruby newsgroup / Ruby forum, brought to
   by Tim S..

   [ Contribute to the next newsletter ]

Articles and Announcements

     * Seeking Continuations Links

       `Playing Around with Continuations' is a project being put
together by
       James Edward G. II and some others. "As a start, we are
       any resources we can find about them."

       Some links were posted.

     * Rolling with Ruby on *Instant* Rails - "New" Tutorial

       Bill W., with permission, updated Curt Hibb's "Rolling with
       on Rails" tutorial "to make it 100% keystroke-for-keystroke,
       window-for-window accurate for someone using this same tutorial
       InstantRails Release 1.0".

     * Rails Recipes Beta Book now available

       Dave T.: "I'm delighted to announce that Chad F.'s new
       Rails Recipes, is now available as a Beta Book."

       | This is a great title for folks who know Rails, and for folks
       | want to get the most out of Rails. It contains detailed recipes
       | doing real-world things with Rails, all illustrated with
       | code. Some examples are drawn from Rails 1.1, the rest from
       | 1.0.
       | If you're used to other recipe-style books, you'll be surprised
       | the depth Chad goes to in this book. These aren't the usual
"How to
       | substitute a string into a template" recipes. Instead, you'll
       | code to solve the kinds of problems you face in real
       | using multiple databases, handling sortable lists, using tags,
       | many, many more.

       "If you also order the paper book, it'll ship just as soon as we
       it in stock (probably sometime in May or June, but you know what
       authors are like...)"

       Thomas K.: "Quick and surprisingly receptive?"
       Pat Eyler: [...] "he forgot good looking."
       Dave: "and honest"

     * Press release: Ruby on Rails Bootcamp in Germany, April 10-14,

       I haven't seen this posted to the list, but it has appeared in my
       inbox twice now on the day before I send out the RWN newsletter

       Big Nerd Ranch Europe have a Ruby on Rails "Bootcamp" in Germany,
       April 10th - 14th.

       The course instructor is Rails core developer / 37signals
       Marcel Molina.

User Group News

     * BYU RUG (Utah): February 8 meeting

       Pat Eyler said that the BYU RUG (Brigham Young University, in
       are holding their February meeting on Wednesday 8th. It features
       Hodel, who has come from Seattle to talk about all sorts of

       "We'd like to thank Sleep Inn of Provo, who've graciously
       this meeting, and are providing accomodations for Eric on the
night of
       the meeting."

     * Ruby in Rome: First Meet-up of the Ruby Social Club in Rome

       Chiaro Scuro announced the first meeting of the Rome Ruby Social
       on February 9.

       "If anyone of you is planning to join, please let us know a
couple of
       days in advance so that we can arrange for a bigger table."

     * Call for Participants: Koeln (Cologne)/Bonn area Ruby U. Group

       Josef `Jupp' SCHUGT asked if anyone was interested in forming a
       Cologne/Bonn area Ruby U. Group (in Germany).

       Stephan Kämper said Germany also has Hamburg.rb, and a Munich group
       possibly in the formulation process.

     * Houston RoR/Rails Group

       Keith L. said some Houston users were trying to put
together a
       Ruby (and RubyOnRails) group.

       "If you are in town and would like to drop in, we are meeting at
       Daily Grind on Washington Ave. at 10:00AM Saturday 4 Feb."

     * Phoenix Ruby U. Group February Meeting

       James B. announced the February meeting of the Phoenix RUG:
       February 13.

     * Toronto RUG Meeting - 5 Feb 2006

       "Once again the Toronto Ruby U. Group is meeting at the Linux
       in Toronto at 1pm on Sunday 5 February 2006."-Mike S..

Quote of the Week

     * Indentation vs. "end"s

 I think we can learn a lot from programming languages and Python.
 First off, we should be writing in a fixed space font so we
 can take visual cues from spacing more easily.
 Next, why do we need periods at the end of a sentence
 when we know that two spaces after a word mean
 that the previous sentence just ended  Doesn't
 that make sense  And do we really need caps at
 the beginning of a sentence  we know all sentences
 are capitalized and we have just defined that
 two spaces before a word means that it is at the
 beginning of a sentence  next we should look at
 spelling  double consonants don't realy add to
 the meaning  so begining now we spel words by
 droping repeated consonants  just look at al
 these great benefits we can learn from python
 self.we self.just self.need self.learn self.ignore self.certain self.aspects
 self.that self.may self.cary self.over

       -- Jim F.

       [Don't be mean to our Pythonista friends :-) ]

       This "indentation vs end" thread actually featured a surprising
       of interesting posts, including a recollection by Hal F. that
       "really old" (pre- August 1994) versions of Ruby let you
       write "end def", "end class", etc. instead of just "end", "end".

       "When modifiers were introduced (x if y, x while y, etc.) parsing
       became difficult and they were dropped."


  Splitting the Loot (#65)

   James Edward G. II created this week's Ruby Q..

   "You, and your trusty band of adventurers, have stumbled upon a
   cache of rubies! (What luck, eh?) Not all gems are created equal, so
   sneak them home and take your time evaluating the stones. The find
was an
   equal effort, and you're all horribly greedy, so you must find a fair
   system for dividing up the gems."

  Work around for "Bignum out of Float range"?

   Sam K.:

 def calc(n)
   (2 ** n) * (5 ** 0.5)

 puts calc(10000)
 # => warning: Bignum out of Float range

   Axel said that the square root of 5 has infinitely many decimal
   however BigDecimal can be used if you limit the precision:

 require 'bigdecimal'
 def calc(n, precision)
   (BigDecimal('2') **  n) * BigDecimal('5').sqrt(precision)

 puts calc(10000, 10) # => 0.44610[several lines of digits]*10^3011

   Axel added that "continued fractions" can be used if accurate
   multiplication by square roots is necessary.

  ruby-dev summary 28206-28273

   Minero A. summarised the Japanese list ruby-dev.

   An interesting item is Nobu's "ANDCALL operator" proposal. (This was
   discussed on ruby-dev's English equivalent, ruby-core.)

   Having a notation like "&?", it would be used as follows:

     if a[1] and a[1].strip.empty?
     if a[1] &? strip.empty?

     h["key"] and h["key"].dispatch
     h["key"] &? dispatch

   "The motivation of this operator is to avoid duplication of

   Takaaki T. proposed having the nil? method take a block,
instead of
   adding more syntax.

   ruby-talk readers followed up with their feelings.

   Daniel B.: "Yuck. Looks like a hack from Perl6. Not Ruby-ish."

   Eric H. said Takaaki's method should be `not_nil?', while your
   quite likes `and':

 @h['key'].and { |v| v.dispatch }

   Joel VanderWerf suggested h["key"].?dispatch as the syntax. "It's
   visually similar to the ordinary method call".

  Ruby Syntax: 'initialize' versus 'init'

   Clint Checketts wondered why Ruby uses `initialize' instead of the

   Matz: "It can be very critical when the name of initializing method
   conflicts with others, so that I chose "initialize" to avoid
   problems. Besides that, the name was derived from T language (Scheme

  Hardcore Ruby kurser i Danmark (Ruby courses in Demark) ?

   mortench: "Jeg leder efter et kursus i Ruby for erfarne udviklere,
   kender java/c++/c# el. lign. og som gerne vil komme hurtigt og
   igang med Ruby. Jeg har dog ikke hørt om nogle kurser i Danmark. Er der
   nogle ? "

   baalbek replied, "Hvis du kjenner allerede C++/Java etc, så skulle Ruby
   være enkelt å lære seg selv, bare få tak i Programming Ruby (Dave T.),
   så burde du være på vei! "

  foo.h -> foo.rb

   Ara T. Howard pondered whether someone had created a parser for
   Ruby DL bindings from .h files (C header files).

   DL is a Ruby library that makes it easy to call C code from Ruby.
   aim is to automatically convert C header code like

 struct timeval {
   time_t          tv_sec;         /* seconds */
   suseconds_t     tv_usec;        /* microseconds */

   into Ruby code

 require "dl/import"
 require "dl/struct"
 module LIBC
   extend DL::Importable
   Timeval = struct [
     "long tv_sec",
     "long tv_usec",

   MenTaLguY: "Well, you'd need more than just a parser, since you'd
   have to pick up on typedefs and other type information.

   I wonder whether writing an alternate swig backend or something might

  Proposal For New R. Mailing List Subjects

   Zed S. `proposed' new subject indicators for ruby-talk.
   A couple of quotes:

   "Why not Sailor Moon styled bura-sera?"

   "ruby-rails-sheep-No, not a place for former Java sheep to come and
   their brains off again, but rather a place for people to discuss the
   constant topic of table pluralization."

  Torn in two - Pythonist

   Doug B.: " I've been hovering in this mailing list for a time
just to
   get a feel for the community. I must say I'm pretty impressed. Its
   friendly, very active and I've learnt a lot."

   "However", Doug continued, as a Pythonist he finds some of Ruby's
   unusual. "Should I jump ship? Has anyone else been in my position and
   taken the plunge by converting?"

   Phil T.:

   | Don't think of it as jumping ship. Think of it as going over to
   | out the other side of the catamaran.
   | This dynamic-language catamaran has many pontoons and you are free
   | move about them. Just remember to keep your lifejacket on.

  Ruby jargon and slang

   Hal F. announced that he is putting together a list of jargon
used by
   the Ruby community, and asked for contributions.

   "I have such things as: duck typing, threequal, spaceship operator,
   singleton method, singleton class, splat or unary unarray, multiple
   parallel assignment, and (ehh) eigenclass."

   mental: "You've neglected chunky bacon."

   Daniel N.: "Chunky Bacon isn't jargon, it's a battle cry."
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