Forum: Ruby Ruby Weekly News 30th January - 5th February 2006

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on 2006-02-07 10:54
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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
you
   by Tim Sutherland.

   [ Contribute to the next newsletter ]

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

     * Seeking Continuations Links
     -----------------------------

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

       Some links were posted.

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

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

     * Rails Recipes Beta Book now available
     ---------------------------------------

       Dave Thomas: "I'm delighted to announce that Chad Fowler's new
book,
       Rails Recipes, is now available as a Beta Book."

       | This is a great title for folks who know Rails, and for folks
who
       | want to get the most out of Rails. It contains detailed recipes
for
       | doing real-world things with Rails, all illustrated with
working
       | code. Some examples are drawn from Rails 1.1, the rest from
Rails
       | 1.0.
       |
       | If you're used to other recipe-style books, you'll be surprised
by
       | 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
find
       | code to solve the kinds of problems you face in real
applications:
       | using multiple databases, handling sortable lists, using tags,
and
       | many, many more.

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

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

     * Press release: Ruby on Rails Bootcamp in Germany, April 10-14,
2006
     ---------------------------------------------------------------------

       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,
on
       April 10th - 14th.

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

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

     * BYU RUG (Utah): February 8 meeting
     ------------------------------------

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

       "We'd like to thank Sleep Inn of Provo, who've graciously
sponsored
       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
Club,
       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 User Group
     ------------------------------------------------------------------

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

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

     * Houston RoR/Rails Group
     -------------------------

       Keith Lancaster 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
The
       Daily Grind on Washington Ave. at 10:00AM Saturday 4 Feb."

     * Phoenix Ruby Users Group February Meeting
     -------------------------------------------

       James Britt announced the February meeting of the Phoenix RUG:
Monday,
       February 13.

     * Toronto RUG Meeting - 5 Feb 2006
     ----------------------------------

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

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.to self.learn
 self.to self.ignore self.certain self.aspects
 self.that self.may self.cary self.over

       -- Jim Freeze

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

       This "indentation vs end" thread actually featured a surprising
number
       of interesting posts, including a recollection by Hal Fulton that
       "really old" (pre- August 1994) versions of Ruby let you
optionally
       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."

Threads
=======

  Splitting the Loot (#65)
  ------------------------

   James Edward Gray II created this week's Ruby Quiz.

   "You, and your trusty band of adventurers, have stumbled upon a
hidden
   cache of rubies! (What luck, eh?) Not all gems are created equal, so
you
   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 Kong:

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

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

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

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

 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 Aoki summarised the Japanese list ruby-dev.

   An interesting item is Nobu's "ANDCALL operator" proposal. (This was
also
   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
expression."

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

   ruby-talk readers followed up with their feelings.

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

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

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

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

  Ruby Syntax: 'initialize' versus 'init'
  ---------------------------------------

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

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

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

   mortench: "Jeg leder efter et kursus i Ruby for erfarne udviklere,
som
   kender java/c++/c# el. lign. og som gerne vil komme hurtigt og
rigtigt
   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 Thomas),
   så burde du være på vei! "

  foo.h -> foo.rb
  ---------------

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

   DL is a Ruby library that makes it easy to call C code from Ruby.
Hal's
   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",
   ]
 end

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

   I wonder whether writing an alternate swig backend or something might
   work."

  Proposal For New Ruby Mailing List Subjects
  -------------------------------------------

   Zed Shaw `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
turn
   their brains off again, but rather a place for people to discuss the
   constant topic of table pluralization."

  Torn in two - Pythonist
  -----------------------

   Doug Bromley: " 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
syntax
   unusual. "Should I jump ship? Has anyone else been in my position and
   taken the plunge by converting?"

   Phil Tomson:

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

  Ruby jargon and slang
  ---------------------

   Hal Fulton 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
or
   parallel assignment, and (ehh) eigenclass."

   mental: "You've neglected chunky bacon."

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