This Week in Ruby (May 5, 2008)

This is the 6th episode of This Week in Ruby, please consider subscribing to my feed so as to not miss any weekly installments.


Jamis Buck released Net::SSH 2.0, Net::SFTP 2.0, Net::SCP 1.0, Net::SSH::Gateway 1.0 and Net::SSH::Multi 1.0. If you would like to learn why this matters, please head over and read his announcement.

maglev.gifGemstone is working on a Ruby VM, that’s similar to Rubinius, called MagLev. InfoQ has a nice interview with their Project Manager Bob Walker. These guys are serious and are heavily investing in this project. Their tagline is “Ruby that scales&tm;” and it’ll be interesting to see their announcement at RailsConf in less than a month. Speaking of alternative VMs, my The Great Ruby shootout is now six months old so an update is due soon. I don’t have much spare time, especially now that I’ve accepted an offer to write an exciting book about Rails, but I’ll try to publish a new edition of the shootout in May.

James Edward Gray II has a nice article about the Ruby bundle for Textmate, the popular text editor for Mac OS X. If you are new to Textmate and/or Ruby, it’s a must read.

Rubyhoedown will take place on August 8 and 9 in Huntsville, Alabama. Registration is now open. Yehaww!

Mack Framework

Mark Bates, decided to move away from ActiveRecord for his Mack Framework. Since his first announcement, Mark decided to compromise and let DataMapper be the default ORM, while still allowing ActiveRecord as a possible choice for those who prefer it. DataMapper is definitely gaining momentum, and I feel that Rails’ focus on ActiveRecord is the biggest limit to DataMapper’s widespread appeal.


David announced to the community that Rails 2.1 RC is imminent. In case you’re wondering what’s new, you can take a peak at the repository on GitHub, or read this RailSpikes article. In short, the article mentions six noteworthy changes to Rails. Rails 2.1 will create necessary directories if they don’t exist, in order to “play nice” with the Git and Mercurial source control systems. Improved support for time zones was added, thereby transforming a real pain in the neck into something easy by tracking Time objects with their time zone. They also added support in ActiveRecord for partial updates and dirty objects. Timestamped migrations, better gem dependency and unpacking, and text helpers which are usable outside of the view, complete the aptly titled article “Rails gets more mature”.

For those of you who’d like to contribute to the Rails project, there is now a guide on how to create and test patches with Git. Perhaps just as important, the official Documentation Project for Rails, which is hosted at GitHub as well, is looking for contributors. But before providing your help, ensure that you head over to their wiki and read the documentation conventions.

This week Capistrano 2.3.0 and Webistrano 1.3 were released, further improving the deployment process for Rails.

HoboFields is an interesting plugin that allows the programmer to define the fields in their model, by generating the migrations for you. Give it a spin! 🙂 Another plugin, worth pointing out, is TextMate Syntax Highlighting, which simplifies the process of publishing beautifully highlighted code.

The Rails performance company New Relic received $3.5 Million in investment funds from Benchmark Capital. As I said back at the time of their investment in Engine Yard, Benchmark is doing the right thing by covering their other investments in the many startups who’ve adopted Ruby on Rails as their framework of choice.

Our goal as a company is simple: to make Rails developers’ lives easier and enable their web applications to scale and perform exceptionally well” — Mr. Cirne, CEO of New Relic.

Do you happen to need a whole team of Rails developers? A London based team of six is available for hire. My guess is that it won’t take long before they are snapped up.

A new Rails book

The Art of RailsToday there is a new book on the Rails scene. The Art of Rails by Edward Benson went on sale. I didn’t have a chance to read it yet, of course, but I get a feeling that it’s going to be an enlightening one. In fact, it appears to be targeted at intermediate Rails developers, who’d like to learn more about issues such as design, code style, and project maintenance. In that sense, it’s a unique book and far from a “me too” Rails book. The table of contents seem promising as well. If you’ve got $25 to invest in your career, give it a shot!

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  1. austin_web_developer May 6, 2008
  2. Ted May 6, 2008
  3. Sam Smoot May 6, 2008
  4. Antonio Cangiano May 7, 2008
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  7. Diabolo May 20, 2008
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  10. adit September 12, 2008

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