Ruby Weekly News 20th February - 5th March 2006


Tim Sutherland

Ruby Weekly News 20th February - 5th March 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.

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Articles and Announcements

* RubyConf 2006, October 20-22, Denver!

David A. Black: "The directors of Ruby Central, Inc. are pleased to
announce that the sixth International Ruby Conference (RubyConf 2006)
will be held in the Denver, Colorado area, October 20-22, 2006."

* Registration now open for Silicon Valley Ruby Conference

David A. Black also announced that registration is open for the
Silicon Valley Ruby Conference, to be held April 22-23rd 2006. (It's
unrelated to RubyConf.)

"This event is a co-production of SDForum and Ruby Central, Inc."

* Writers needed for The Ruby Bookshelf project

Julian I. Kamil asked for help for converting open-licensed Ruby
documents (tutorials etc.) into his Pandora format ("a simple web
document and application platform written in Ruby").
... - a good understanding of usability principles to be able to
convert existing (sometimes hard to read) contents into Pandora
books that are more structured, more readable, and more usable; and

* Rails on the Mac - Apple Article

Jim Freeze linked to an article at that introduces
Ruby on Rails on MacOS X.

* Ruby metablog for Korean rubyists

Minkoo Seo proudly announced, "a meta blog for Korean
rubyists, whose primary goal is to provide useful documents and
information to Korean Ruby programmers."

* Canada on Rails announces location, and a site redesign

Nathaniel S. H. Brown announced that Canada on Rails have decided on a
location for the upcoming conference YVR06 (mid-April 2006), and
redesigned their website, eh.
BCIT Downtown Campus has been chosen, with a maximum capacity of 300
people. With already over 50% of the seats filled, be sure to
register soon or you might miss out on one of the most exciting
technical events to come to Vancouver.

YVR06 will be twice the size of the last conference by Open Source
Events held last June, and with 4 times the amount of speakers,
during the two days. All for only $250 with the early bird discount.

User Group News

* Toronto Ruby User Group, 5 Mar 2006 Meeting

Mike Stok said that the Toronto Ruby User Group were having their
March 2006 meeting on Sunday 5th at the Linux Caffe.

* Calgary Ruby Users Society (CRUSERS)

Alexey Verkhovsky announced that the CRUSERS (Calgary Ruby Users
Society) had their first meeting on Feburary 23rd, featuring a Watir
presentation by Paul Rogers and donuts thanks to ThoughtWorks Canada.

"So, if you like Ruby and live in Calgary, you are most welcome to
join us."

* First Pune Ruby Group Meet

Dibya Prakash announced the first Ruby / RoR meeting for the Pune Ruby
Group: February 25th 2006. (Pune is a city in India.)

As well as introductions to Ruby and Rails, agile development and
reverse engineering will be discussed.

* March Ruby events in the SF Bay Area

Rich Morin sent out the list of Ruby events in the San Francisco Bay
Area in March 2006.

"Sadly, no South Bay Ruby events have been announced. C'mon, guys,
make something happen..."

There are events on the 14th and 22nd.

* Next meeting of codefesters in Columbia Maryland

The codefesters of Columbia, Maryland are meeting every Monday.
Initially they met to learn Rails together, but have now expanded into
non-Rails Ruby.

"At this time we've got some people working on the rails project and
other folks learning how to do Test Driven Development with Ruby."

Quote of the Week

* Re: [QUIZ] Current Temperature (#68)

Dave Burt's entry in the "Current Temperature" Ruby Quiz. You'll just
have to read it.


is there a seperate mailing list for novices?

John Maclean: "After having writen many lines of bloat.... Is there a
seperate list for noobs for embarassingly simple questions and such?"

Patrick Hurley:
To second what has already been said, don't run away, join the fun. This
is a nice place, because matz is nice. Start asking questions and soon
you will be answering them as well.

_No_ Ruby Weekly News 20th - 26th February 2006

Tim Sutherland announced a week without Ruby Weekly News.
(Hey, that was last week.)

Did you know that anyone can contribute to the next newsletter, simply by
going to, clicking the "contribute" button, and
then summarising a few threads?

It's especially helpful now that there are SO MANY threads every week ;-)


A question was asked about "Capistrano", which provides this newsletter
with an excuse to note that this is the new name of SwitchTower.

The renaming is due to an unpleasant company sending a Cease & Desist
letter to Jamis Buck, saying they have a trademark on "SwitchTower"
(apparently they have a product relating to web conferencing that involves
what they call a "SwitchTower Network").

AJAX Patterns Blog

Pat Eyler:
Christian Gross, the author of AJAX and Best Practices, runs a blog at and has started a poll asking which language he
should port his AJAX patterns to next. (They are currently available for
Java and .Net).

If anyone's interested in seeing Ruby up next, you might head over to
the blog and cast your vote.

Three days later there was a new post on Christian's blog, wondering what
was going on. The poll went from 10 votes total, with PHP leading, to more
than 150 votes, 91% of which were for Ruby.
I thought, this can't be, what we have here is a situation where one
person voted over a hundred times. Thinking that this was the case I
inspected the log files. At that point I was awe-struck because the IP
addresses that voted were scattered throughout the Internet.

What happened? I think one of two things; One person who hacked using an
army of "bots". Or somebody told somebody else in a Ruby forum and said,
"Hey folks VOTE!". Until I know better I am thinking the latter. Even
now it seems that Ruby people seem to be adding their votes. What does
this mean? Ruby! Not that I am complaining, but interesting that the
Ruby community is very active!

dirty ranges

You dirty, _dirty_ ranges.

Dirk van Deun came across some interesting behaviour when he modified
range = "a".."z" "a".."z"
range.min[0] = "b" "b"
range.max[0] = "y" "y"

# Editor note: All irb session outputs in this summary have been reformatted
# and tweaked.
# If you're confused by the [0], then observe that
# s = "hello"; s[0] = "j"; puts(s)
# results in "jello".
# The examples could be rewritten to use foo.replace("xxx") instead of
# foo[0] = "xxx".

George Ogata said that the correct way to modify endpoints (if you must)
is with Range#begin and Range#end.
#begin and #end are direct accessors to the endpoint objects, whereas
#max is calculated, taking into account end-closedness. It should not be
surprising, then, that #max and #end return different objects.

Regarding the common feeling of Don't Do That (George: "Ranges themselves
are immutable, so changing their value indirectly like that is kinda going
against the grain"), Dirk van Deun said that it's more subtle than that.
["a", "b", "c", "d", "e", "f", "g", "h", "i", "j", "k", "l", "m",
"n", "o", "p", "q", "r", "s", "t", "u", "v", "w", "x", "y", "z"]
ary[0][0] = "z" "z"

There were a couple more posts pondering having range clone the endpoints.

Current Temperature (#68)

Caleb Tennis came up with the week's Ruby Quiz.
Write a Ruby program such that given a certain argument to the program it
will return the current temperature of that location. People living in
the United States may be interested in temperature by ZIP code:

$ ruby current_temp.rb 47201
The temperature in Columbus, Indiana is 32 degrees F.

Other locales may want to use their own mailing codes, or city names:

$ ruby current_temp.rb madrid
The temperature in Madrid, Spain is 12 degrees C.

New Releases

Second drop of RubyCLR bridge

John Lam released the second version of his RubyCLR bridge, which provides
for Ruby integration with .NET 2.0 (other bridges out there only use .NET
1.1 features).

"To show off its features, I've built a non-trivial all-Ruby Windows Forms
2.0 RSS Reader application that's in the distribution."

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