Ruby Weekly News 30th January - 5th February 2006

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Tim Sutherland, Feb 7, 2006.


    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.learn 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."


    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)

    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)

    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 }

    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

    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

    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",

    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

    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."
    Tim Sutherland, Feb 7, 2006
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