Forum: Ruby Ruby Weekly News 14th - 20th November 2005

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0c054cee68f9a50d18af7d7f1e526a15?d=identicon&s=25 timsuth (Guest)
on 2005-11-22 09:23
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http://www.rubyweeklynews.org/20051120.html

Ruby Weekly News 14th - 20th November 2005
==========================================

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

   [Contribute to the next newsletter.]

Articles and Announcements
==========================

     * RedCloth mailing list
     -----------------------

       why the lucky stiff introduced a new mailing list for RedCloth,
the
       Ruby library for using the Textile humane text format.

     * Use of Ruby in Laboratory Automation
     --------------------------------------

       Neil Benn is guest-editing 'The Journal of the Association for
       Laboratory Automation', and is looking for examples of how Ruby
is
       used in this area. (Or, even better, someone to write an
article.)

       Devin Mullins said that Brent Roman gave a presentation on this
topic
       at RubyConf 2005 ("Embedding Ruby into a Robotic Marine
Laboratory"),
       and gave links to audio & video of the talk.

       He also mentioned the [SciRuby] project, which is concerned with
the
       use of Ruby in science.

     * Ruby/SDL for Mac OS X
     -----------------------

       Duane Johnson wrote an article on using Ruby/SDL on Mac OS X.

       | Ruby/SDL is a binding for the Simple DirectMedia Layer, which
is a
       | library that makes 2D (and some 3D) graphics as well as sound
and
       | basic keyboard/mouse support available in a cross-platform way.
       | Perfect for building games with!

     * Fosdem : Developers Room, Presence
     ------------------------------------

       Thomas Riboulet said that, with the next Fosdem (Free and
OpenSource
       Developers' European Meeting) coming up in February 2006, we have
the
       opportunity to register a "presence", and arrange to have a room
set
       aside for Ruby.

       "Any help, and remarks are welcomed."

     * Help requested: new book
     --------------------------

       Mark Watson is planning on writing a new book on "Enterprise
Ruby",
       and asked for help defining the topics it will contain.

       "I am going to release this as a free PDF file under a Creative
       Commons license, but I would also like to find a publisher who
would
       make hard copy versions available to readers who want a physical
       book."

User Group News
===============

     * Learning Ruby Hackfest Hosted by new_haven.rb this Friday
     -----------------------------------------------------------

       Gregory Brown announced a mini Hackfest run by the New Haven Ruby
       Brigade (Connecticut, U.S.) on November 18th. The aim is to pair
up
       experienced Ruby programmers with newbies and have them work
through a
       Ruby Quiz together.

     * London Ruby Users Group meeting - 23 Nov
     ------------------------------------------

       Rob announced the London Ruby Users Group meeting on the 23rd of
       November. "Tiest will present a summary of what happened at
RubyConf
       2005. Followed by general Ruby chat and a move to the pub."

Image of the Week
=================

  "LONELY IN THE CROWD" by napaey

Threads
=======

  Ruby, SOAP and WSDL
  -------------------

   Henning Jansen wanted to write a Ruby server that provides a SOAP
   interface, matching an already-defined WSDL specification.

   He couldn't find any tool for generating Ruby code from a WSDL file,
and
   had also heard "Dyanamic languages like Ruby don't really need WSDL".

   The the first point, Hiroshi Nakamura referred him to wsdl2ruby.rb,
which
   is part of the SOAP4R project, but not in the standard Ruby
distribution
   (which only includes the runtime components).

   It is also possible to simply call driver =
   SOAP::WSDLDriverFactory.new("http://some/foo.wsdl").create_driver to
load
   the WSDL at runtime, instead of generating code.

   As to whether Ruby needs WSDL, Ryan Leavengood said that being a
dynamic
   language it can intercept and create methods "on the fly", so it
isn't
   necessary to know what the target methods are at `compile time'.

   James Britt noted that WSDL is more than just method/type
declarations; it
   also provides information on what services are available, and how to
   invoke them.

  Equvialent of RoboCode and/or Terrarium for Ruby?
  -------------------------------------------------

   Kyle Heon wondered if Ruby had any equivalents to "RoboCode" or
   "Terrarium" (or RoboWar), multi-player systems where developers
create AI
   to compete with each other.

   Dave Burt said there wasn't, yet. "Tim Bates started work on Rubots,
and I
   have early-stages code and ideas based on RoboCode, but that's the
extent
   of it."

   There was lots of discussion and interest in creating such systems.

  ruby's weird operators (||=)
  ----------------------------

   Mark asked what was with all the "weird" operators in Ruby like ||=
   ?

   Guillaume Marcais said that they're not so weird; a <op>= b is just a
   shorter way of writing a = a <op> b.

   For example, x ||= 3 means x = x || 3, in other words, set x to 3 if
it is
   not defined, is nil, or is false.

   why the lucky stiff noted the [FunnySymbolsInCode] page on
RubyGarden.

  Converting between Time and DateTime
  ------------------------------------

   This thread discussed the difference between Time, Date and DateTime,
and
   in particular how to convert between Time and DateTime.

   One technique was given by David A. Black, although it was observed
that
   it works by generating and parsing intermediate string
representations,
   which is less efficient than a more `direct' approach of initialising
one
   via the fields of another.

 # time =  ... some Time
 # date_time = ... some DateTime

 d = DateTime.parse(time.iso8601)
 t = Time.parse(date_time.strftime("%c"))

   Kirk Haines said that this works because the parse method for both
classes
   is based on a single shared method, while an alternative approach was
   given by Daniel Schierbeck: (although it doesn't handle timezones,
   fractional seconds etc.)

 class DateTime
  def to_time
    Time.mktime(year, mon, day, hour, min, sec)
  end
 end

 class Time
   def to_datetime
     DateTime.civil(year, mon, day, hour, min, sec)
   end
 end

   As to the reason for the separate classes, Kirk said that they are in
fact
   different in significant ways.

   | Time and Date/DateTime use two entirely different mechanisms for
keeping
   | track of the passage of time. Time utilizes seconds since the start
of
   | 1970-standard Unix time tracking.
   |
   | Date/DateTime uses keeps tracks of days and fractions of days using
   | Rational, and it's start of time is about the start of the year in
4712
   | B.C.

   Ron M, noting limitations with Time on systems where time_t is
32-bits,
   thought it would be good if Time would automatically convert to some
sort
   of BigTime object when the year is out of range. (In the same way
that
   Fixnum converts to Bignum.)

   "Today, that's not the case, and selecting fields representing a
   200-year-lease throws an error when done through DBI."

   Tanaka Akira said that this would be hard, since Time just uses the
   underlying operating system's time support, from which information on
   out-of-range years is not readily available.

   A solution is to use an operating system that has 64-bit time_t.

   In the Time out of range when selecting from database? thread, Kirk
said
   that it wouldn't be too difficult to make DBI::Timestamp behave
nicely
   when the time doesn't fit in a Time.

  Euchre Hands (#55)
  ------------------

   James Edward Gray II introduced Ruby Quiz number 55, "Euchre Hands".

   The problem is to write a program that determines the "trump suit"
for
   hands in the card game Euchre.

  Small practice programs
  -----------------------

   dark2: "For someone with some programming background and an interest
in
   learning Ruby, what are a few good "practice" programs to write?"

   Gregory Brown: http://www.rubyquiz.com/.

   James Britt: "Do you use a computer on a regular basis? Do you find
   yourself doing the same little things over and over, by hand? Write
Ruby
   code to automate or simply them."

  Crash Course on Speed for Ruby
  ------------------------------

   Damphyr and his colleagues will be providing a three-hour
introduction to
   Ruby for a group of "high calibre, experienced professionals with
very
   good theoretical and practical background, so we only need to provide
a
   highspeed hands-on tour of Ruby and let nature take it's course".

   Has anyone already prepared material suitable for a three-hour
workshop?

   Edwin van Leeuwen suggested the [WhyRuby] repository.

  A dRuby application running as a Windows service?
  -------------------------------------------------

   Dominic Marks asked how he could turn a druby (distributed Ruby)
   application into a Windows service.

   Jamey Cribbs pointed out an example he'd written which uses the
   win32-service Ruby library.

New Releases
============

  isi.rb Version 0.8
  ------------------

   Takeshi Nishimatsu announced for "Rubies and TeXnichians" a new
version of
   the ISI Export Format to BibTeX Format convertor.

   Brian Schröder added a "shameless plug" for his rbibtex, a Ruby library
   for manipulating BibTeX.

  Ruby-GNOME2-0.14.1
  ------------------

   Ruby-GNOME2-0.14.1 was announced by Masao Mutoh, fixing some serious
   memory leaks. All users of 0.14.0 are advised to upgrade.

   Ruby-GNOME2 is a set of Ruby bindings for the GNOME 2 development
   environment.

  Ruby RTF 0.1.0
  --------------

   Peter Wood released the first version of Ruby RTF, a library for
creating
   RTF (Rich Text Format) files.

  ruby-feedparser : RSS/Atom feed parser
  --------------------------------------

   Lucas Nussbaum said that ruby-feedparser had been extracted from the
   Feed2Imap project and is now available as a standalone library. It is
used
   to parse Atom and RSS feeds, and is designed to be robust in the face
of
   invalid input.

   No formal release has been made, but the SVN (Subversion repository)
   version is usable.

  rctool-1.1.0
  ------------

   rubikitch announced the latest version of his tool allowing
developers to
   programatically update `rcfiles' (e.g. ".emacs"), while providing
   notifications and control to users.

  Nitro + Og 0.25.0 Og scope, dynamic finders, evolution, helpers, bug
fixes
  --------------------------------------------------------------------------

   George Moschovitis was pleased to announce new versions of Nitro and
Og, a
   web application framework and object-relational mapping library,
   respectively.

   The focus of the release was on stability, but features were also
added,
   including "constrained / scoped queries", dynamic finders/generators,
and
   an experimental schema evolution system.

  Ruby/GD2 1.0
  ------------

   Rob Leslie improved the API of Ruby/GD2, a wrapper around the library
for
   creating images.

   Documentation was also added.

  Ferret 0.2.1 (port of Apache Lucene to pure ruby)
  -------------------------------------------------

   David Balmain updated Ferret, his port of the Apache Lucene searching
and
   indexing library to Ruby.

   The query interface now supports searching across multiple fields at
the
   same time, the library is threadsafe, and simple interfaces for
updating
   and deleting documents are provided. Primary keys were also added.

  ruby-growl 1.0.1
  ----------------

   Eric Hodel fixed ruby-growl to work with the version of Ruby
distributed
   with Mac OS X Tiger.

   "Growl is a global notification system for Mac OS X. Applications can
   register messages which Growl displays on the screen in a variety of
ways
   depending upon your preferences."

   ruby-growl allows you to send growl messages from non-Mac OS systems
(but
   not receive them).

  Nihongo Benkyo 0.3
  ------------------

   Mathieu Blondel let out a new release of Nihongo Benkyo, a tool for
use
   with Japanese dictionary files.

  Ruport 0.2.5: Enumerable DataSets, and things that go bump in the
night
  -----------------------------------------------------------------------

   Gregory Brown bumped through the "I'm releasing too often" edition of
   Ruport, a report generation framework.

   Robert Canieso has joined the project, and will be working on the
   Ruport::Format module.

   The query interface has been improved in this release.

  Reg - Ruby Extended Grammar 0.4.6
  ---------------------------------

   Caleb Clausen made a new release of Reg, a mini-language for
"matching
   patterns in ruby object graphs".

   "Reg provides matchers for Strings (via Regexps), Symbols, Hashes,
and
   several alternatives for matching Objects, but the main feature is
the
   ability to match Arrays of arbitrary ruby data using vaguely
Regexp-like
   syntax."

  FasterCSV 0.1.3--CSV parsing without the wait!
  ----------------------------------------------

   James Edward Gray II posted another version of FasterCSV, a library
   intended to be a faster (currently ~ 10x) parser of CSV than the
`csv'
   library that comes standard with Ruby, while remaining pure-Ruby
code.
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