Ruby Weekly News 5th - 11th December 2005


Tim Sutherland

Ruby Weekly News 5th - 11th 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.]

Articles and Announcements

* Houston ruby and / or rails user group?

Keith Lancaster has left his job to launch a startup, with Rails as
the primary technology, and is "looking for like-minded folks in
Houston, Texas. Does anyone know if there is a user group (ruby and/or
rails) in Houston? If there is not, would anyone be interested in
participating in one?"

* RWB: call for feedback|developers

Pat Eyler issued a call for feedback and developers for the Ruby Work
Bench (RWB) project, which provides performance and load tests for

He doesn't have enough time to add all the features he wants, and also
needs feedback from people for even more ideas.

* XML Transformations using REXML

James Britt: "Toot toot! That's the sound of my own horn."

The 30th Anniversary edition of Dr. Dobb's Journal - January 2006 -
includes an article [Transforming XML & the REXML Pull Parser]
by (guess who) James Britt.

* interesting book sales news

Pay Eyler linked to an article on the O'Reilly Radar entitled
[Ruby Book Sales Surpass Python].

DHH posted his take on it, noting that at the moment there is only one
published book on Rails, and one recent Ruby book.

"Compare that to the wealth of titles available for Python, Perl, and
Java. Now imagine what those numbers will look like when the market
is flooded with new titles in the beginning of the new year."

* Phoenix.rb : Phoenix Ruby Users Group

James Britt, the refresher of the Phoenix.rb Users' Group, is
proposing a meeting for the 19th of December. Contact him if you're

* CLOSING SHOP! XML:Tools, bindings for libxml and libxslt

Trans announced that he would no longer be hosting the libxml and
libxslt bindings, and requested that a new maintainer step forward.
Ross Bamford said he'd give it a go.

* Subversion support on RubyForge

Tom Copeland: "RubyForge now supports Subversion! Yup, at long last,
we've got all the pieces in place so that you can use either CVS or
Subversion for your version control."

And yes, existing projects using CVS can be converted over.

Replies included !, !! and even in one case !!! exclamation marks. I
think that means people are happy.

* Ruby Code & Style is looking for articles.

James Britt said that the online journal Ruby Code & Style is looking
for articles for its second edition.

| We focus on bringing high-quality articles, written by Rubyists all
| over the world, showcasing the strengths of Ruby and the ingenuity
| of its users in solving real-life, non-trivial problems.
| We're looking for technical Ruby articles primarily geared toward
| experienced Ruby developers. Submissions are peer reviewed by our
| remarkable advisory board, which includes eminent members of the
| Ruby community [he's not kidding - Ed].

* Ruby: A New Danger

Hampton posted a 200MB video he created showing that Ruby is dangerous
(for Fortran programmers). Recommended, oh yeah.

Don't let Lispers or Smalltalkers watch it though.


One-Click Ruby Installer

The one in which Curt Hibbs says the One-Click Ruby Installer won't be
updated to Ruby 1.8.3, but will sync with 1.8.4 when it is released at the
end of December.

Kalah (#58)

Mark Van Holstyn created this week's Ruby Quiz - to create a player for
the board-game "Kalah".

:) Sharing a Shower Moment :)

Surprisingly, not spam. Duck wisdom, the best of which was Ezra
Zygmuntowicz's "If a duck quacks in the woods... Does anyone.respond_to?
his calls?"

IL Generator syntax proposal

John Lam is rewriting his Ruby <=> CLR (.NET) bridge, with the plan to
write as much of the code as possible in Ruby, rather than in Managed C++.
To this end, he had prototyped some syntax for an IL (Intermediate
Language) generation library.

He went on to implement the proposal, see [RbDynamicMethod first drop].

An example for converting CLR exceptions into Ruby ones:

create_ruby_method('convert_clr_exception') do
ldstr 'error'
newobj 'Exception.ctor(String)'
catch_ex 'Exception'
call 'static ExceptionHelper.RaiseRubyException(Exception)'

Detecting control-c?

William E. Rubin asked how to detect when a user presses ctrl-c (i.e.
sends the INTerrupt signal), and Joe Van Dyk said that this will do it:

trap("INT") do
puts "got signal INT"

Equation graphing software?

Steve Litt pondered creating graphs of equations like y=x**2+5 from Ruby.

Eric Lavigne suggested gnuplot, by having Ruby output gnuplot commands,
and G.Durga Prasad noted the rgplot Ruby library for tighter integration.

For non-Ruby solutions, Dan Diebolt pointed out GNU Octave (a free
software clone of Matlab), which uses GNU Graph for graphics. You can also
use Graph separately. (Kevin Brown is currently writing a Ruby binding for


Nate Agrin asked if anyone else was using the "rflickr" library to access
the Flickr API, as he was having some problems with flickr.auth.getToken.

"it would also be nice to get anyone who is working on rflickr to form
some sort of breakout group, so we could pass information around a bit

There were no replies after 6 days.

Oniguruma -- when?

Hal Fulton enquired as to when the new regular expression engine Oniguruma
would be merged into Ruby. It provides features beyond the current engine,
such as look-behind, named and non-captured groups and support for many
character encodings.

Phil Tomson said you can configure Ruby 1.8.3 at compile time to use it,
while James Edward Gray II said that the word was that it wouldn't be
default until Ruby 2.0, for fear of breaking compatibility.

Calling ASP C# web service from Ruby?

mmm was getting encoding errors when trying to call a SOAP web service
running under ASP.NET, from Ruby.

Tsume said that

soap_client.default_encodingstyle =

would fix the issue, caused by non-standardness in Microsoft's SOAP

The problem was also behind the thread Ruby SOAP client communication with
Microsoft .NET webservice.

Semi-OT: Red Crystal - Ruby is taking off everywhere

Patrick Hurley remarked that the International Red Cross and Red Crescent
Movement have adopted the "Red Crystal" as a new emblem. Ruby really is
everywhere now!

New Releases

lazy.rb 0.2

MenTaLguY released a new version of his lazy evaluation library lazy.rb.

Object#inspect no longer forces the evaluation of a promise, Kernel#force
was renamed Kernel#demand, and a new API for lazy streams was added.

FireRuby 0.4.1

Fixes to FireRuby to support 64-bit platforms were added by Peter Wood,
with help from David Walthour.

FireRuby is a library for accessing the Firebird open-source relational
database system.

Rails RC5 (0.14.4): Next stop one-oh (really, this time!)

David Heinemeier Hansson said that Rails RC 5 is out, and this one really
is the last before the 1.0 release.

"We've fixed a ton of major, minor, and aesthetic issues and now have a
package that we would be very proud to call 1.0."

|!| So upgrade, dammit! Now. And stand by as we finish setting up the
|!| fireworks planned for next week's release of the long-awaited 1.0. It's
|!| magical times, my friends, and the spellcasting is just getting started.


CLOSING SHOP! XML:Tools, bindings for libxml and libxslt
Ross Bamford said he'd give it a go.

UPDATE. Sean Crittenden, the original author of the bindings,
appearently frequents these parts quietly. He's come back out and will
remain project head of the libxml/libxsl projects on Rubyforge, but Bob
Showalter will take on active management and Ross Bamford will be
active senior developer. Also, the license looks like it will change to
MIT too (yeah!)

So after long last, Ruby will finally have fresh and well maintained
binding to libxml2!!!


James Britt

Trans said:
UPDATE. Sean Crittenden, the original author of the bindings,
appearently frequents these parts quietly. He's come back out and will
remain project head of the libxml/libxsl projects on Rubyforge, but Bob
Showalter will take on active management and Ross Bamford will be
active senior developer. Also, the license looks like it will change to
MIT too (yeah!)

Minor correction: Sean's last name is Chittenden


-- - Ruby Help & Documentation - Ruby Code & Style: Writers wanted - The Ruby Store for Ruby Stuff - Playing with Better Toys - Building Better Tools


Minor correction: Sean's last name is Chittenden

Ah, that would be a typo. Thanks for correcting James.


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