Ruby Weekly News 15th-21st November 2004


Tim Sutherland

(NB: I fixed all the google groups links in the previous weekly news editions.
We now use "clean" urls.)

Ruby Weekly News 15th-21st November 2004

A summary of the week's activity on the ruby-talk mailing list / the
comp.lang.ruby newsgroup. There were around 636 messages in 148 threads.
This summary is brought to you by Tim Sutherland (TimSuth).

Articles and Announcements

* [Learn To Program translated to Japanese]

Chris Pine reported that "Shin Nishiyama, a research associate at
Chiba University, has translated "Learn To Program" into
Japanese!" Chris created the original online English tutorial as a
way of teaching Ruby to non-programmers.

* [New issue of Rubyist Magazine]

On behalf of Sasada Koichi, Steve Brumbaugh announced Volume 3 of
the Japanese Rubyist Magazine. This edition includes tutorials on
Win32OLE, Nora and interacting with Java resources and a story
about "a group of five heroes known as the "Special
Programming/Debugging Rangers (SPD)" who battle bugs and ensure
the peace and safety of the programming gods." Translations of
this and previous volumes into English will appear in the Ruby
zine, due for launch in January 2005.

* [Talk about mainstream...]

Sitting in a hotel room in England, Dave Thomas decided to tune
into the quiz show [University Challenge] on TV. How is this
relevant to Ruby? Well, one of the questions was "Which
programming language was named after a precious stone by its
creator, Yukihiro Matsumoto, to suggest it is a jewel of a
language?" Unfortunately the Cambridge team answered "Perl"!

* [Ruby in the Rainy City]

Pat Eyler announced for Seattle.rb that the first Pacific
Northwest Ruby Meeting - Ruby in the Rainy City - is on Saturday,
11 December 2005 in Seattle. Everyone's invited.

* [Extending Ruby with C]

gabriele renzi found an [article by Garrett Rooney] at
It describes the process of writing C extensions in Ruby.

New Releases

* [Nitro 0.4.1]

George Moschovitis released a new version of his web application
engine [Nitro]. The rendering engine has been rewritten to support
Rails-style actions.

* [RMagick 1.6.1]

Tim Hunter updated [RMagick] to work with ImageMagick 6.1.3 and

* [SuperStruct]

Hal Fulton created [SuperStruct]. This is like OpenStruct, but
creates real classes and behaves like both Array and Hash (for
example, it remembers the order of the fields).

* [Rails 0.8.5: Better fixtures, shared generators, sendmail for AM,
lots of fixes!]

David Heinemeier Hansson announced the latest [Rails] release.
This includes contributions from 22 developers (especially Jeremy
Kemper who was responsible for a third of the changes). Among the
many improvements in this version is to do with the way
dependencies are handled. This will continue to evolve, with
[Needle] slated for inclusion in version 0.9.

* [Needle 1.2.0] [Needle-Extras 1.0.0]

Speaking of [Needle], Jamis Buck brought us another update of his
dependency injection container. Services can now have parameters
which are passed to the constructor block of the service. He also
introduced version 1.0.0 of Needle-Extras, a library containing
additional utilities and services for use with Needle.

* [rpa-base 0.2.3 ]

Mauricio Fernandez released [rpa-base] 0.2.3, the package manager
for the Ruby Production Archive (RPA). This is mainly a bugfix

* [postgres-pr (pure Ruby PostgreSQL)]

Michael Neumann announced the first public release of postgres-pr,
a client library for PostgreSQL, written in pure Ruby (the
existing client library is a wrapper around the C library). This
was received enthusiastically by several PostgreSQL users and
Michael later produced a compatibility library that enables the
use of postgres-pr with [ActiveRecord].

* [wxRuby 0.6.0]

Nick presented a new version of [wxRuby], the Ruby bindings to the
wxWidgets GUI library.

* [(Yet Another?) RSS::parser test suite]

Giulio Piancastelli ported Mark Pilgrim's Universal Feed Parser
tests to produce a test suite for RSS::parser.

* [FeedBlender 0.1.0]

Francis Hwang released [FeedBlender], a tool for aggregating
several RSS feeds into one.

* [RVG - a 2D drawing library add-on for RMagick]

Tim Hunter uploaded the first release of [RVG] - Ruby Vector
Graphics. This is an addition to RMagick that provides 2D vector


Interesting threads this week included:

[[SUMMARY] Countdown (#7)]

James Edward Gray II summarised last week's [Ruby Quiz] (write a program
that takes a list of numbers and a target integer and finds a way of using
arithmetic operations on the numbers to produce the target).

[[QUIZ] Object Browser (#8)], [[SOLUTION] Object Browser (#8)]

Jim Menard designed this week's [Ruby Quiz]. The problem was to write a
generic object browser that will "interactively browse a graph of
connected objects by showing their instance variables and letting me click
through to browse". Jamis Buck posted his solution which uses gtk2.

[mathn.rb is unacceptably slow (proposed replacements)]

erlercw found that Integer#gcd2 and the Prime class from mathn.rb are much
slower than they could be, and provided replacements that are thousands of
times faster. This was achieved by creating a cache of primes. Matz
announced he would merge the changes.

[The Poetry of Code]

Curt Hibbs referred us to a blog post by Robert Cottrell on [The Poetry of
Code], in particular Ruby. A quote:

a Ruby program
before I even notice
is already done

Pat Eyler

Well, if I can make the mistake in the actual announcement, not catching
my correction in an email follow-up is certainly excusable. ;)

* [Ruby in the Rainy City]

Pat Eyler announced for Seattle.rb that the first Pacific
Northwest Ruby Meeting - Ruby in the Rainy City - is on Saturday,
11 December 2005 in Seattle. Everyone's invited.

Whoops, this should be 11 December 2004. Thanks to the person who corrected
this on the Wiki page.

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