Ruby Weekly News 2nd - 8th January 2006


Tim Sutherland

Ruby Weekly News 2nd - 8th January 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

* Red Letter: The Ruby Journal site takes shape, accepting proposals

"After a brief hiatus over the winter holidays, Red Letter: The Ruby
Journal is again making progress towards issue #1."

"The writer's kit is coming shortly. Many, many people asked for it.
We were very pleased with the number of responses to our initial

"We are currently accepting proposals for feature stories. While the
writer's kit is assembled, please feel free to send a three-five
paragraph proposal to [...]"

"We also want to choose six-seven columnists that would write
regularly for Red Letter."

See also Do you run a Ruby user group, SIG, or conference? in which it
was announced that the journal "will feature a Community page
dedicated to announcing Ruby events, user groups, SIGs, book and
product releases, conferences, and more."

* You want a Ruby extension? Talk to me, baby

Joe Van Dyk decided to improve his extension skills, and so asked for
"any C or C++ libraries out there that someone would appreciate an
open-sourced Ruby extension for?"

Lots of suggestions followed.

* Snakes and Rubies Video and Audio Online!

John W. Long announced the onlineness of video and audio from the
[Snakes and Rubies] Django and Rails event.

"Kudos to Jacob Kaplan-Moss and the rest of the team who handled the
recording and editing."

User Group News

* User groups in central England?

Ross Bamford wondered if there were any Ruby users groups in central
England, "specifically the East Midlands, Nottingham area".

There were not yet any replies.

* Toronto Ruby User Group meeting Sun 8 Jan 2005 [ed: 2006]

The Toronoto Ruby User Group's (TRUG) next meeting is on Sunday 8th
January 2006 at the Linux Caffe.

Chad Perrin: "Holy cow. You have a cafe just for Linux users?"
Austin Ziegler: "Yeah. You know how tolerant Toronto is ;)"
Sy Ali: "BSD users are welcome too. ;)"

* New Haven Rubyists Meeting 2005.01.11 [ed: 2006]

Gregory Brown announced the next monthly meeting of the New Haven
Rubyists: Wednesday 11th January 2006.

"This month's feature is a ORM panel discussion which will compare and
contrast Og, ActiveRecord, and Lafcadio."

"We also review a Ruby Quiz each month, and this month's featured quiz
will be the Sokoban one."

* An Orlando Ruby/Ruby_on_rails user group is forming

Steve Litt announced that Gregg Pollack is forming Ruby and Rails
users groups in Orlando (Florida), and those interested should get in

* Phoenix Ruby Users Group January meeting reminder

James Britt reminded the Phoenix Ruby Users Group that their meeting
was on Monday 9th January 2006.

* Any interest in a Milwaukee Area Ruby User Group

Tom Jordan is looking for others to form a milwauke.rb or waukesha.rb

* Ruby users in the SE Wyoming / W Nebraska region?

"Just curious to see if there's anyoue else out there yet from the
southeastern corner of Wyoming or the Nebraska panhandle?" asked Kirk
"A bit east of Chugwater, WY" Haines.

* January Ruby events in the SF Bay Area

Rich Morin announced some January Ruby events in the SF Bay Area: 10th
January has the San Francisco Ruby Meetup Group, and on the 25th is
the Beer & Pizza SIG.

"P.S. If you are planning a Ruby-related event in the SF Bay Area, be
sure to let me know about it (early) so that I can list it!"

Quote of the Week

David A. Black:
"I'm happy to say I don't know any true Ruby elitists."

Francis Hwang:
"Whatever, dude. That's because we're too cool to hang out with you."


Dice Roller (#61)

Matthew D Moss came up with this week's Ruby Quiz.

"Time to release your inner nerd."

Write a dice roller for D&D-like games that takes an expression like
"5d5-4)d(16/d4)+3" and the number of times to roll the dice, and returns
stats for your character.

"The meat of this quiz is going to be parsing the dice expression".

Matt Lawrence: "REAL gamers roll 100 sided dice (aka Zoccihedron)".

XML pretty printing?

Chris McMahon asked if Ruby has any libraries to make "pretty" XML?

James Britt said that REXML has options for outputting XML with
indentation, see e.g. REXML::Document#write.

ruby-dev summary 28027-28205

Takaaki Tateishi summarised the Japanese mailing list ruby-dev.

Process.exec has been added to Ruby 1.9, and patches were also merged
allowing Intel's compiler to compile Ruby on IA64. (But some tests still

Talking to Java Code from Ruby

Kevin Brown was using YAJB (Yet Another Java Bridge) to utilise the Java
library JasperReports from Ruby, but was getting a "No such method" error
when trying to call a particular overloaded method.

"So is there a way to specify types for overloaded methods, or do I need
to use RJB?"

| I would like to use yajb because it's pure ruby and pure java, meaning
| no compiling, and installs are easy. The communication being slow makes
| almost zero difference to me because I won't be doing very much
| communication, just spawning off processor hogs with the thing.

Masashi Sakurai said that the error was correct - Kevin was passing the
wrong parameters to the method, and he supplied a fixed version of his

"The yajb tries to search the overloaded method as java does. So, giving
appropriate arguments, you can choose the method."

In the meantime, Kevin had got it working with RJB, and had presumably
made the same fix somewhere along the line.

Another milestone for Ruby!

Jeremy Henty reported from the Jifty home page:

| Jifty is written in Perl. If you're familiar with Ruby, Perl might feel
| like Ruby's quirky big brother.

"You know you've arrived when people try to describe Perl by comparing it
to you!"

Almost ...

05jan2006 #perl6
15:05 <obra> My plan worked perfectly. the perl as ruby's quirky brother
comment was intended to get ruby people to laugh
15:05 <audreyt> #
15:05 <audreyt> obra++ # evil genius

Jifty is a web application framework for Perl, featuring continuations,
form-based dispatch ("you never need to write form handling logic"), and a

Ruby PDA implementation?

We accidently reported on an old Ruby-on-mobiles thread last week, but
this one's definitely fresh, and has more information than the old one.

gregarican re-asked about Ruby on PDAs, and Jason Tell linked to his blog
post showing success at running Ruby on an iPAQ with the Windows Mobile
operating system.

gregarican gets Wince::Strerror exceptions with various operations. Does
anyone have an idea?

New Releases

KirbyBase 2.5.2

Jamey Cribbs made a new release of KirbyBase, a pure-Ruby database
management system that uses plain text for all its files.

KBTable#insert behaviour has changed. If the user specifies nil for a
field then nil will be used, rather than the default value of the field.

Subversion 1.3.0 released.

Kouhei Sutou noted the release of Subversion 1.3.0, which now comes with
complete Ruby bindings.

RForum 0.2

Andreas S. announced the second version of RForum (web forum sofware that
also integrates with mailing lists).

Many improvements were made, including new stylesheets and support for the
Ferret search engine.

Rote 0.3.2 released

"Rote is a lightweight, powerful documentation and templating system that
provides an easy-to-use Rake-based build for your software documentation
and other static text for the web."

Several new features were added, and bugs fixed.

Family Connection 1.0

Duane Johnson released 1.0 of Family Connection, "an easy-to-setup online
hub for your family that includes a Family News section, and an Address

SwitchTower 0.10.0

Jamis Buck announced a new version of SwitchTower, fixing "several
longstanding issues", as well as adding some new functionality.

"I anticipate one (or at most two) more releases before 1.0."

| SwitchTower is a utility that can execute commands in parallel on
| multiple servers. It allows you to define tasks, which can include
| commands that are executed on the servers. You can also define roles for
| your servers, and then specify that certain tasks apply only to certain
| roles. It was developed primarily to ease the pain of deploying Rails
| applications to multiple machines, but can be used for a great deal more
| than that.

Rio 0.3.7

Rio now supports pipe syntax and behaviour, and has improved treatment of
Windows paths.

Rio is a "Ruby I/O convenience class wrapping much of the functionality of
IO, File and Dir."

An example:

Create a tab separated file of accounts in a UNIX passwd file,
listing only the username, uid, and realname fields
rio('/etc/passwd').csv(':').columns(0,2,4) > rio('rpt').csv("\t")


| Bravo !
| ... Because :
| . It is very useful.
| . It is well documented.

Instant Rails 1.0 Final has been released!

Curt Hibbs announced Instant Rails 1.0 Final.

| 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 is for Windows, but there are plans for ports to Linux, BSD, and
| OSX.

The Final release is the same as the Release Candidate 1.

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