Ruby Weekly News 3rd - 9th January 2005

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Tim Sutherland, Jan 12, 2005.


    Ruby Weekly News 3rd - 9th January 2005

    A summary of the week's activity on the ruby-talk mailing list / the
    comp.lang.ruby newsgroup. This summary is brought to you by Tim Sutherland

    Articles and Announcements

    * [Deadline extended for Codefest Grant program]

    David A. Black announced:

    "The deadline for the Ruby Central Codefest Grant Program is being
    extended to January 30 (instead of January 15).

    There's been a lot of talk here over the years -- and quite recently
    -- about missing libraries. Well, that's why the grant program
    exists :) This is a good time to think concretely about how you
    might bring about a meeting and fill what you think is a gap.

    Keep in mind that grant money can be used for travel. This can make
    it easier for someone from another area to participate in the project."

    * [RedHanded]

    This isn't a specific "article or announcement" but
    whytheluckystiff has been making many interesting posts to his
    blog RedHanded. It's definitely worth checking out and is updated
    regularly (multiple posts per day at the moment!) Posts include
    ideas on grants for the Ruby Central Codefest Grant Program
    discussed above.


    Interesting threads this week included:

    [Need an extra EAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASY GUI for Ruby]

    Victor Reyes wanted a way of creating a GUI for Ruby using a simple
    drag-and-drop interface, rather than by writing code. This is similar to a
    thread covered last week [GUI toolkit which separates UI specification
    from driving logic].

    Henrik Ronellenfitsch pointed out the [Ruby/GTK2-Bindings] and the Glade
    GUI Designer. Glade can output an XML file representing the GUI which is
    then loaded by the Ruby program.

    Florian Gross said:

    "There's visualWx which can create Ruby code representing a wxWidgets
    GUI. It's still in development and a bit rough on the edges, but it
    already looks very promising:"

    The Ruby binding for [WxWidgets] also supports XRC, which is the XML
    format outputted by many wxWidgets GUI designer tools.

    Richard Dale wrote:

    "QtRuby/Korundum can be used with Qt Designer to design the GUI for Qt and
    KDE apps. You can then either generate ruby code from the .ui files
    produced with the rbuic tool, or read the UI in at runtime with the 'qui'
    extension. Qt Designer support is integrated with ruby projects in the next
    version of the KDevelop IDE."

    Shashank Date added that there is FormDesigner for VisualuRuby (a GUI
    system for Windows only).

    Victor concluded "I guess I have many choices to play with" and
    Electricmew added another, suggesting [WideStudio].

    [ruby-dev summary 25261-25372]

    Minero Aoki posted the latest summary of the Japanese mailing list

    "Tanaka Akira posted a patch to record GC-related information:

    * the total number of GC invocation
    * the number of GC invocation, when an object is collected
    * the location where the last GC is yielded

    This patch might help you if you are interested in GC internals."

    Patches fixing some bugs were also posted and discussed.

    [Mailing list gateway getting reportted at SpamCop]

    Dennis Oelkers wrote:

    "during the last few days we are receiving SpamCop-reports concerning the
    submission of mails originating from one of our host repeatedly. We found
    out that all of those reports are related to someone (or something)
    submitting mails from ruby-talk which were forwarded by the Usenet <->
    mailing list gateway running at our site, so SpamCop determined the
    gateway as the origin of those mails.

    Those mails were not even close to uce, they are just 100% legitimate
    comp.lang.ruby postings, and it seems that the person (or the script?)
    submitting those postings to SpamCop is always the same."

    Dennis asked for help with dealing with this issue, worried that he may be
    forced to shut down the usenet->mailing list gateway. Note that all posts
    going through this gateway have the following header:

    "Received: from Usenet via a Usenet to mail gateway located at
    TU-Berlin.DE. This service provided as a courtesy to the
    ruby-talk mailing list. If this message is SPAM, its ultimate
    origin is Usenet, not this gateway program. All subscribers
    to the ruby-talk mailing list agree to receive the Usenet
    postings made to comp.lang.ruby via this gateway. Please see"

    Hopefully SpamCop will do the right thing and ignore the abuse reports.

    [[QUIZ] LCD Numbers (#14)]

    In [Ruby Quiz] this week, the task was to write a program that displays
    LCD style numbers at adjustable sizes in simple ASCII-art with '-' and

    People posted solutions under that thread, and also under [1] and [2].

    whytheluckystiff made a post on his RedHanded blog [LCD Numbers Duke It
    Out] which listed one of the solutions that was less than 300 characters

    [[SUMMARY] Cryptograms (#13)]

    Glenn Parker summarised the previous week's Ruby Quiz.

    [Garbage collector]

    Eustaquio Rangel de Oliveira Jr. asked

    "Hey, how often the garbage collector runs?
    When all the memory becomes full?
    Or there is a pre-defined interval?"

    Charles Mills answered

    "It basically runs when a certain amount of memory is used - see
    malloc_increase and malloc_limit in gc.c. Also, if malloc() fails or
    attempts to open a file fail do to memory limitations the gc will be

    He also gave links to GCAndMemoryManagement and GCAndExtensions which
    cover this topic.

    There was further discussion of the GC when Martin Pirker said since a
    conservative garbage collection scheme is used,

    "So, can one help gc?
    e.g. if an Array or Hash is no longer needed, does an Array.clear or
    Hash.clear actually zero all internal pointers to help/speed up gc?"

    Lothar Scholz and Michael Neumann replied, saying that Ruby is only
    conservative when scanning the C stack (see GCAndExtensions) and not the
    heap, so Array.clear will not help.

    New Releases

    * [Lafcadio 0.6.0]

    Francis Hwang made a new production release of [Lafcadio], an
    object-relational mapping library for use with MySQL. Querying has
    been improved.

    * [aeditor-2.0]

    Simon Strandgaard made an initial "barebones" release of the
    second incarnation of [AEditor]. The website still lists the 1.x
    branch as the one to use.

    * [QtRuby 1.0.6/Korundum 3.4 beta1/KDevelop HEAD]

    Richard Dale annouced updated Ruby bindings for the Qt and KDE GUI
    APIs, plus improved Ruby support in the KDevelop IDE. Changes
    include more #inspect and #pretty_print methods for assisting

    * [Logtails 0.1] [Logtails 0.2]

    Bauduin Raphael was "happy to announce the first public release of
    [logtails], a graphical tool to open several tails on log files",
    using KDE GUI libraries. Version 0.2 was later released with many
    improvements to the GUI.

    * [Rails 0.9.3: Optimistic locking, dynamic finders, Ruby 1.8.2

    David Heinemeier Hansson declared that the [Rails] web application
    framework has been updated to work with Ruby 1.8.2. "Dynamic
    finders" have been added so that e.g. Person.find_by_user_name can
    be used without having to write any code. Microsoft SQL Server and
    IBM's DB2 are now supported by ActiveRecord. Many other changes
    have also been made, check the post for details.

    * [Ruby/GSL 1.6.0]

    Yoshiki Tsunesada's [Ruby/GSL], a binding to the GNU Scientific
    Library, was updated to support GSL-1.6.

    * [SQLite3/Ruby 0.9.0]

    Jamis Buck changed his [SQLite3/Ruby] binding to use a C extension
    by default instead of DL, due to some limitations which exist in
    the current DL version. This fixes some stability problems with
    the previous version.

    * [Ruby Vector Graphics 0.2.0]

    Tim Hunter introduced the second alpha release of [Ruby Vector
    Graphics], an add-on library to [RMagick] which adds SVG-style
    drawing support.

    * [ParseTree 1.3.2]

    Ryan Davis announced a new version of [ParseTree], a library that
    returns an s-expression parse tree for Ruby code.

    * [rubytorrent 0.1]

    William Morgan was happy to release [RubyTorrent 0.1], a pure-Ruby
    BitTorrent peer library. In the thread, Paul Duncan gave a patch
    which added require 'open-uri' and replaced with open.
    This change adds support for remote URLS and will be incorporated
    into the next release.

    * [Announce SiSU - publishing for e-documents, books, libraries,
    relational databases]

    Ralph Amissah writes "SiSU is a (command line) text processing
    program that produces structured electronic documents from a
    simple marked up input file (using a markup syntax similar to
    smart ascii that I claim to be simpler than the most elementary
    html) in multiple output formats, from html, and structured XML,
    to pdf via LaTeX".

    * [win32-open3 0.2.0]

    Daniel Berger improved win32-open3, which adds Open3 for Win32
    Tim Sutherland, Jan 12, 2005
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