Ruby Weekly News 12th - 18th December 2005


Tim Sutherland

Ruby Weekly News 12th - 18th December 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.]

User Group News

* Ruby group in Orlando Florida

Steve Litt wants to know if there are "any Ruby User Groups in Orlando
Florida, or anywhere in Orange or Seminole County Florida?"

* Seattle.rb RubyGems Hackfest this weekend!

Eric Hodel announced the second Seattle.rb RubyGems Hackfest, on
Saturday 17th December.

* Utah Ruby Users Group, December Meeting

Jamis Buck said the Utah Ruby Users Group's next meeting is on the
21st December 2005 at Neumont University.

"We will be doing some pair/team programming exercises, so bring a
laptop if you have one."


stable sort_by?

Patrick Gundlach wanted a "stable" sort_by method.

(Jim Weirich: "A stable sort will leave items in the original order if
their keys are equal.")

Robert Klemme gave a technique for doing a stable sort with Ruby's built
in Enumerable#sort_by method.

Simply change
enum.sort_by {|x| calculate_key(x) }
enum.sort_by { |x| [ calculate_key(x), i+=1 ] }


Daniel Schüle asked where to find Math::pI, saying "am I missing some
module with math constants or are the users .. me in this case :) supposed
to define them on our own?"

Ara T. Howard replied: Math::pI.

Is there any chemistry-related ruby application?

Hanjo Kim, working in the "cheminformatics" field, asked if Ruby has any
applications related to Chemistry.

Bil Kleb thought that the SciRuby site might have something, and Tanaka
Masahiro said there is a "ChemRuby" library that is being funded and

RRobots (#59)

Simon Kroeger came up with this week's Ruby Quiz (which turned into a
two-week special):

| RRobots, Inc. is always looking for new talented pilots. Recently they
| lost so many skilled employees in a show battle against one of their
| competitors that they decided to try something new.

Write an AI for a robot that competes against others on a battlefield. A
competition between submitted AIs then takes place on 27th December 2005.
(Make sure you submit your entry before then.)

ruby-dev summary 27761-28026

Koichi Sasada posted the latest summary of the Japanese list ruby-dev,
used to co-ordinate development of Ruby itself. (The equivalent English
list is ruby-core.)

It includes a note of denial-of-service (DoS) vunerabilities in WEBRick
and Ruby's bundled XML-RPC library (found by Akira Tanaka). "Problems were
fixed on ruby 1.8.3, so it is recommended for all to use ruby 1.8.3 or
later. There are also patches for ruby 1.8.2."

Ruby 1.8.4 preview2 was released.

The summary also covered:

* Complex<=> issues.
* rb_funcall2 calling protected methods (for C extensions).
* The addition of a Ruby/Tk example.
* Improved super behaviour in a particular case.
* A request for a GC method to cause the garbage collector to be run
"always". (For debugging.)
* A suggestion for adding time literals like 19850412T101530.


robertj asked if Ruby had a String#to_sym method for getting symbols from

Nobu: String#to_sym (added in Ruby 1.8 as an alias for #intern.)

Purpose of Ruby Talk

Gary Allum asked what is the "purpose" of the ruby-talk mailing list (and
its bi-directional usenet mirror comp.lang.ruby) - i.e. which topics is it
acceptable to discuss?

James Britt said that questions specific to particular applications or
libraries are best sent to their specific mailing lists, where available.
(In particular, Rails questions should go to the Rails list.)

Otherwise, it's the right place for Ruby questions. (Daniel Cedilotte
noted there is the ruby-core mailing list for development of the Ruby
interpreter and standard libraries.)

Chad Perrin: "As far as I can tell, there's no specific topic focus to
ruby-talk-just some "anti topics" that get summarily directed elsewhere."

Several people said that ruby-talk is a very friendly place, and requested
that we all help keep it that way :)

New Releases

Ruby SNMP 0.6.0

Dave Halliday following "tons" of feedback on the previous version,
released Ruby SNMP 0.6.0, with several enhancements and fixes.

eric 3.8.1

Bugs were fixed in Detlev Offenbach's Eric3, a Ruby and Python IDE.

ruby queue : rq-2.3.1

Ara.T.Howard released ruby queue 2.3.1, "a tool used to create instant
linux clusters by managing sqlite databases as nfs mounted priority work

Rote 0.3.0 (doc/web)

Ross Bamford released Rote 0.3.0, a Ruby templating / documentation

Instant Rails 1.0 preview6

Curt Hibbs released Instant Rails 1.0 preview6.

| Instant Rails is a one-stop Rails runtime solution containing Ruby,
| Rails, Apache, and MySQL, all preconfigured and ready to run. No
| installer, you simply drop it into the directory of your choice and run
| it. It does not modify your system environment. This release of Instant
| Rails for Windows, but there are plans for ports to Linux, BSD, and OSX.

Rant 0.5.4

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