Ruby Weekly News 5th - 11th March 2007

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Ruby Weekly News 5th - 11th March 2007

Ruby Weekly News is a summary of the week’s activity on the ruby-talk
mailing list and its cohorts, the comp.lang.ruby newsgroup and Ruby

It is brought to you this week by

 * Tim S. (firstname.lastname at
 * Robert Postill (
 * Christian Carter (cdcarter at gmail dot com)

Articles and Announcements

 * Google Summer of Code

   Pat Eyler notes that Google's Summer of Code is coming up 

“Ruby Central is once again planning to act as the mentoring
organization for Ruby.”

   > Google will post the list of mentoring organizations on March 

> Google will be accepting student proposals March 15-24, so, if
> you’re a student, this is the time to start putting together a
> proposal.

 * Free webcasts on Ruby and Rails from CodeGear

   Joe reports that CodeGear are hosting a free "live virtual 

conference" on March 12th - 16th. At least four session are to do

 * Speaker Selection for Gotham Ruby Conference

   Gregory B. posted the official speaker list for GuRuCo, the 

Ruby Conference. (New York City, April 21st.)

   > It will be a technical conference aimed at highly motivated
   > Rubyists, Rails developers, and language enthusiasts. GoRuCo is 

> joint effort by volunteers from NYC.rb and the New Haven Ruby
> Brigade. It’s supported by the sponsors of this conference
> Google, StreetEasy, and Jonathan Summers.

   According to the website, the conference has now sold out, but 

you can
sign up to a waiting list in the hope someone cancels.


SimFrost (#117)

James Edward G. II posted this week’s Ruby Q… “This was one of
Perl Quiz of the Week problems a couple of years ago. It’s also my
favorite computer simulation.”

Create a simulation of frost, following the (given) rules that
how to iterate the animation. “Again, use whatever output you are
comfortable with, from ASCII art in the terminal to pretty graphics.”

What is Ruby Q.? From the website:

Ruby Q. is a weekly programming challenge for Ruby programmers in
spirit of the Perl Quiz of the Week. A new Ruby Q. is sent to the
Talk mailing list each Friday. (Watch for the [QUIZ] subject
identifier.) After a 48 hour no-spoiler period has passed, everyone
invited to contribute solutions and/or discussion back to the list.
following Thursday a Summary will be sent to the list, discussing
quiz, solutions and discussion. The next day, the cycle begins

It’s a great way for new and experienced Ruby programmers alike to
their hand at problems, and get feedback from others.

Duck Typing Hash-Like Objects

Gary W. asks for ideas on the best way of identifying a
object, so that the check relies only on the interface, as in duck

Various suggestions were put forward including the detection of the
to_hash method, using #fetch and the discussion also careered through
meaning of duck typing.

If you want to know more about hash behaviour and/or duck typing you
do a lot worse than reading this thread. - Evolution began

A flurry of feedback greeted, an online Ruby
documentation site featuring a novel interface.

The idea appears to be help offered on a single page with wiki-like
attributes. Give it a shot and see what you think.

Yahoo!'s Ruby Developer Center

Brian A. ran into Yahoo!'s Ruby Developer Center and thought it

“Nice heads up”, concluded Richard C…

the name of Matz

In this thread you’ll find Matz’ name in Kanji, how to pronounce
Matsumoto”, and a discussion of naming conventions to distinguish
and family names.

Following a comparison with Matz’ non-capitalisation of his family
Akinori MUSHA said “Although passports and other formal documents may
restrictions, one should be allowed to spell one’s name as one wants,
long as it is used consistently and serves as social identification.”

why the lucky stiff’s name was also dissected, with Wilson B.
reckoning that the underscore in _why “represents the intake of
before speaking his name”.

Matz said (without joking) “I’ve heard that it’s his REAL first
name”, and
Hal F. backed up the rumour - he’d heard it was based on a
sibling’s alternative to _why’s real first name; “Wyatt or

New Releases

Rassmalog 3.1.0 - the mutant

Rassmalog is a blog engine based on RSS 2.0, YAML and Textile. By the
of the thread v3.0.0 had mutated into v3.1.0, so it’s definitely
active development.

JRuby 0.9.8

The JRuby folks are obviously busy as there is yet another release
your delight. Highlights here are the Rails support (say goodbye to
irksome WAR deployments :slight_smile: which the developers reckon is good enough

ActiveWarehouse ETL 0.6.0

Check out the latest release of ActiveWarehouse’s Extract, Transform
Load project. Gem goodness is included and there are a “slew” of new
improved features. Definately one for Ruby in the Enterprise folk.

rcairo 1.4.0

The ruby wrapper for the Cairo library was released this week. This
release has emphasis on performance and PDF output. Also some
standardisation with Ruby-GNOME2 has occurred.

memcache-client 1.3.0

The pure Ruby client for memcached has been released. Patches and new
functionality appear to be the order of the day. So if your DB
lacks a certain dash of speed, why not give this a shot?

Instant Rails 1.6, with MySQL 5

Instant Rails now includes MySQL 5. The Instant Rails installer is an
way for Windows users to get up and running with a Rails development

Curt H.: “Many thanks to Jirka Pech who made the MySQL upgrade

Ruby ORBit2 (CORBA)

Max L. implemented preliminary support for the ORBit2 library

“No IDL is required at all: all information about method calling can
accessed via CORBA reflection mechanism.”

New “Ruby for Windows” Installer

Lothar S. posted a new Ruby installer for Windows, as an
to the widely-used One Click Ruby Installer, with a different
as to which packages should be included in the base install.

Everything is compiled with MSVC 6.0, so it is compatible with the
click installer and all the “msvcrt” binary gems.

Rack 0.1, a modular Ruby webserver interface

Christian N. released Rack, a webserver and framework
for Ruby. It is based on Python’s WSGI and PEP333, and he believes it
bring a lot to the Ruby web community.

Rack provides a minimal, modular and adaptable interface for
web applications in Ruby. By wrapping HTTP requests and responses
in the
simplest way possible, it unifies and distills the API for web
web frameworks, and software in between (the so-called middleware)
a single method call.

With the Rack standard, any Rack compatible framework (Rails,
custom, more to come) will work with any Rack supported web server
(Mongrel, WEBrick, FCGI, CGI).

This means that we would need to develop just one Rack adapter per
framework, and one Rack handler per webserver. Currently, each
has to implement its own support for each web server.


We hope 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.

Go There! Do That!

Awesome interface Tim, keep up the good work!