This Week in Ruby (June 26, 2008)

This is the 11th episode of This Week in Ruby, please consider subscribing to my feed so as to not miss any weekly installments.

This edition begins with some bad news: Several vulnerabilities that affect the main Ruby implementation have been discovered. There is no reason to freak out, but they are serious. An ill-intended person could take advantage of these vulnerability and execute arbitrary code. Matasano has a few practical examples which illustrate the vulnerabilities in question. To learn more head over to the official advisory. Unfortunately, the suggested upgrades (except those for Ruby 1.8.7) are currently not working for many Rails developers, who’re reporting segmentation faults. The Phusion team has created a patch that was reported to be working, but it would be nice to see the Ruby Core Team verify and incorporate it quickly. If you’re running a version of Ruby that shipped with Mac OS X, don’t upgrade yet. Instead wait for Apple’s Software Update.

RubyGems 1.2 was released and it’s much more responsive than previous versions of it were (no more bulk updates just to install a new gem). To upgrade run: sudo gem update --system (without sudo if you are on Windows). After a substantial refactoring, Mocha 0.9 – a framework for mocking and stubbing – was released this week. A new BitNami RubyStack version was released (1.2 beta) as well, which adds a lot of goodies to the package, including but not limited to NGINX, Thin, Rack, EventMachine and so on. Speaking of EventMachine, check out EventMachine: Fast and Scalable Event-Driven I/O Framework published by InfoQ. Last week they also published an interview with yours truly, in regards to the Ruby Benchmark Suite. I regret that the shootout testing hasn’t started yet as promised, but Murphy’s law got in the way.

For those interested in improving their language-fu, there were a numbers of interesting articles: Using select, reject, collect, inject and detect, Enumerating Enumerable, Macros, Hygiene, and Call By Name in Ruby Eliminating code duplication with Metaprogramming. Also noteworthy, this piece on working with Microformats from Ruby.

A Ruby Community Announcements group was started in order to provide a fast ML for announcements only. It’s for those who’d like to stay in the loop, but wish to avoid the high volume of messages in Ruby-Talk.

The erubycon conference about Ruby and the Enterprise will be held between August 15 and 17 (‘08) in Columbus, Ohio. They still have a few seats available, so if this topic is of interest to you, grab a spot while you still can.

Finally, if you’re hiring Ruby talent or plan to look for a Ruby job any time soon, take a peek at these 15 fundamental questions for Ruby interviews. They’re somewhat basic, but the article is a good staring point nevertheless.


From the world of alternative implementations and frameworks, I found this article on Rubinius FFI, an introduction to MacRuby as a replacement for RubyCocoa, and the announcement of Merb’s run_later” method for backgrounds tasks, all to be informative.

To keep the good times rolling, the second edition of This Week in Rails is available on the official Rails blog.

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  1. Jonathan June 26, 2008
  2. Antonio Cangiano June 26, 2008

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