I will try to summarize my Malmo experience in the company of 20 new and old Railsers and presenter David Black. Our kind host Polar Rose had got a very central location for the event, a short hike from the train station. David did a good job of telling an understandable story about Ruby on Rails development. The theme for the session was about getting a fly-over of Rails, and to get one’s hands dirty, making a Rails application. In the later part of the day, a couple of advanced techniques, like AJAX with RJS templates were also touched on.
He began his talk by showing how Ruby works: what parts are syntactic sugar, and what really happens in the background. How methods are found in mix-ins, and how to open classes and modules.
With that out of the way, he could begin making a Rails app. I suggested that he use for his example an app that I later built, “Our House”. (List info about the neighbours you have.) David took that up, and used that example for a couple of things, but in the pair programming part of the workshop, me and the guy next to me made that app.
He was a cool guy from Oslo, Norway. A Schemer. And I promptly forgot his name.
We were given sandwich lunch, which was great. I had to be the pragmatic vegan, and eat the lacto-vegetarian sandwich, but at that point I was so hungry I could eat sawdust. Great food, and I got to hear some Norwegian war stories. Big Norwegian telco Telenor is run by a Lisp application!
Our pairing experience was made more intense (and Open Source-like) by using a Subversion repository, and working on different parts of the app in parallel.
I got stuck on an update action, and I stumbled around for a while. Got it fixed on the train home.
During the first hour, I got a back-channel set up, #davidblackmalmo at irc.freenode.net. But alas, not all participants were able to use the wifi, so I wasn’t able to tell everyone about it. The activity mainly consisted of me yakking about parallels to the Io programming language. I’ll be in that channel today, if someone would like to exchange pleasantries.
When we quit our session at 1800 hours (after 8 hours of concentration!) we were all pretty beat. So I forgot to get names and contact information of the great folks I met there. Like “Mr. blonde longhair with the deep bass voice” who was a sharp-eyed syntax man and well-versed Railser. And my Schemer friend from Oslo. And those that were from Copenhagen, who should show up at Copenhagen.rb meetings.
A great starter for the beginner. Our crowd was mixed, though, with fragments of the group being Ruby and Rails geeks, steeped in the dark arts, while others had other developments backgrounds. This meant that dwelling on an interesting detail, such as “how Ruby finds methods” was not the order of the day. (The Rails Edge, that would be the right venue. Got to get them over to Scandinavia.)
I guess we’ll have to have shorter, more focussed workshoppy stuff in Copenhagen Ruby Brigade, another day. I love the format.