Category Archives: Go Ruby!

In Case You Missed MerbCamp

I’m working on a long post about Merb, but I figured I’d post a link to MerbCamp videos from the event in October. I was unable to attend, so these videos are really, really nice to be able to watch.

It also looks like they were able to stream some of the event live, and people participated in the conversations over IRC. Way cool.

I’ve now watched almost every video posted on the site. My favorite videos include:

  • Keynote by Ezra Zygmuntowicz – Ezra reviews the core tenets of Merb and introduces Nanite. Nanite is a really cool library for scaling the backends of web apps. Basically, when you build a web app, you want to be able to respond to the browser quickly. However, some tasks take some power to process, so you can kick these tasks out to Nanite Agents. You can have as many machines running as nanite agents as you want. They can be located anywhere, and can be added as needed. Very cool.
  • MerbSlices by Daniel Neighman – This is something I’ve wanted to see in Rails and other frameworks for a long time. Basically, it provides a way to build reusable applications. So, I have frequently had clients ask if I could just add a forum, a blog, or some kind of CMS to their site. Integrating authentication and user accounts across a custom site to a forum (like vBulletin) or a blog (like WordPress) is a real pain. If a forum slice or a blog slice would be a great mixin to a custom site.
  • Using Multiple Databases with Merb by Wesley Beary – Wesley talks about an experimental site that he’s got on Github that uses CouchDB and a RDBMS together. As I mentioned in a previous post, CouchDB is one of the newer technologies that I’m following. Pretty cool. I wouldn’t recommend sharing images though like he talks about in his presentation just for the reason that the port may be blocked on some networks. I’m sure there are other security implications as well.
  • jQuery on Merb by Yehuda Katz – Yehuda shows some good examples of how to get by in life without JavaScript helpers, like the ones we often rely on in Rails. This was also a good introduction to jQuery.
  • Learning from Django by Edward O’Connor – A good presentation on similarities between Django and Merb. Fun to learn about why Django is cool.
  • Keynote by Yehuda Katz – Yehuda talks about future goals for Merb and why Rubyists don’t need to be ashamed about Ruby.

I have to admit that I was disappointed in the “From Rails to Merb” video. While the discussion was interesting, I was really hoping someone would address good strategies for migrating a site to Merb. Oh well.

Overall, there is some great content at the MerbCamp site, and this would have been a very fun event to attend.