Schedule: Full Listing

Below are the confirmed and scheduled talks at RailsConf 2008 (schedule subject to change).

Customize Your Own Schedule

Create your own RailsConf schedule using the personal scheduler function. Mark the tutorials, sessions, keynotes, and events you want to attend at RailsConf by clicking on the star next to each listing. Then click on "personal schedule" at the top of the page and get your own customized schedule generated.

Thursday, 05/29/2008

7:00am

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Thursday, 05/29/2008
Location: Outside Exhibit Hall E
Come refresh your body, mind, and spirit before you head into the day's sessions. Read more.

7:30am

Thursday, 05/29/2008
Location: Exhibit Hall E
Continental Breakfast (1h)

8:30am

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Thursday, 05/29/2008
Tutorial
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
Zach Dennis (Atomic Object), Drew Colthorp (Atomic Object)
Average rating: **...
(2.91, 11 ratings)
Refactoring is an essential part of a developer's life. It can be difficult to know when or what to refactor in a Rails application. This talk will present you with tools and techniques to help you tackle the worst offenders in your code base to keep your project moving along through development. Read more.
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Thursday, 05/29/2008
Tutorial
Location: Portland Ballroom 252
Neal Ford (ThoughtWorks), Patrick Farley (ThoughtWorks)
Average rating: ****.
(4.24, 25 ratings)
Ruby is the revenge of the Smalltalkers. Not since Smalltalk has a language had such powerful meta-programming facilities. While this may seem like a minor feature, it turns out that surgical meta-programming allows solutions to problems that are clearer, more concise, more maintainable, and take orders of magnitudes fewer lines of code. Read more.
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Thursday, 05/29/2008
Tutorial
Location: Portland Ballroom 255
Tom Locke (HoboCentral), James Garlick (HoboCentral), Scott Bronson (u32)
Average rating: ***..
(3.20, 10 ratings)
The Hobo framework adds a number of productivity enhancing features to Rails. Find out just how much productivity is improved by working through the development of a complete application during the tutorial. This will be a very hands-on session with the various features of Hobo being presented as they are needed to progress with the application. Read more.
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Thursday, 05/29/2008
Tutorial
Location: E145 - E146
Brian Hogan (NAPCS)
Average rating: ***..
(3.12, 17 ratings)
Do you often wish you knew how to make your web apps look better? This three-hour workshop will show you how to pick colors, select fonts, draw logos, and mock-up pages using the same techniques designers use. You'll then learn how to take that design and build your Rails layout. Read more.

10:00am

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Thursday, 05/29/2008
Event
Location: D135-136
Let's take advantage of having the Rails community all being in one place at the same time AND take the chance to give something back to the projects and community which we so greatly benefit from. Roll up your sleeves and prepare to learn, teach, and most importantly, contribute. Read more.

1:30pm

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Thursday, 05/29/2008
Tutorial
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
Chad Woolley (Pivotal Labs)
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 13 ratings)
This is a detailed step-by-step tutorial on quickly setting up a Continuous Integration (CI) environment for automated Rails testing with Test::Unit, JsUnit, and Selenium. All software and instructions are downloadable, including instructions for running everything in a VmWare VM. With these materials, anyone can set up a their own CI environment, regardless of their skill or access to hardware. Read more.
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Thursday, 05/29/2008
Tutorial
Location: Portland Ballroom 252
Tony Hillerson (Tack Mobile), Daniel Wanja (Nouvelles Solutions, Inc.)
Average rating: ***..
(3.40, 5 ratings)
Adobe's AIR platform offers developers familiar with web technology the tools to create desktop applications. Come and learn how to drive an HTML and a Flex AIR application with Rails using RubyAMF. Read more.
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Thursday, 05/29/2008
Tutorial
Location: Portland Ballroom 255
Stuart Halloway (Cognitect), Justin Gehtland (Relevance, Inc.), Jason Rudolph (GitHub), Rob Sanheim (Relevance, Inc.)
Average rating: ****.
(4.11, 9 ratings)
Take this opportunity to begin contributing to a Ruby on Rails open source project that interests you. Experts from the Rails community will be on hand to help you get started. Read more.
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Thursday, 05/29/2008
Tutorial
Location: E145 - E146
Brian Takita (Pivotal Labs)
Average rating: **...
(2.25, 20 ratings)
By going over a number of testing technologies, methodologies, and code, this talk will: * present a set of testing related situations and experience in solving a number of issues * raise the audiences' awareness over effective ways of communicating through tests * emphasize skills and courage to solve testing issues Read more.

7:30pm

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Thursday, 05/29/2008
Location: D135-139, D141, E145-146
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 2 ratings)
Following the planned sessions during the day, it's time for RailsConf participants to take the floor. BoFs are informal conversations that you and other participants plan. Visit the BoF page for more details and to sign up to lead a BoF of your own. Read more.
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Thursday, 05/29/2008
BoF
Location: D133
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
Moderated by Mark Bates, Helium.com: With all the new frameworks popping up, it would be nice to know how they differ from Rails, and how Rails could potentially be improved because of them. Read more.
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Thursday, 05/29/2008
BoF
Location: D134
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 1 rating)
Moderated by Mike Subelsky, Otherinbox: In this session, we'll discuss common presentation problems in Rails applications, and how Presenters can help you solve them with fewer lines of code that are easier to understand and maintain. Read more.
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Thursday, 05/29/2008
BoF
Location: D135 and 136
Moderated by Ian McFarland and featuring: Josh Susser, Nick Kallen, Brian Takita, Parker Thompson, and Chad Woolley of Pivotal Labs: Come hang out with some of your favorite Pivots and gab about our open source contributions to the Rails ecosystem. Hear about our projects, give us feedback. Check out our projects at http://www.pivotallabs.com/labs Read more.
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Thursday, 05/29/2008
BoF
Location: D138
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 2 ratings)
Moderated by Jehuda Katz, Engine Yard: Merb fans: let's get together and talk about the hot new Ruby framework that's taking the community by storm. Have questions? Ideas? Want to chat with some of the developers? Be there or be square. Read more.

8:30pm

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Thursday, 05/29/2008
BoF
Location: D138
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 2 ratings)
Moderated by Yehuda Katz, Engine Yard: Last year, the jQuery Birds of a Feather presentation was packed with people dipping their toes into the idea of using jQuery with Rails. Since then, jQuery has exploded, surpassing Prototype as the most popular JavaScript framework, and its popularity in the Rails community has exploded. Come meet with a jQuery core team member and fellow jQuery users. Read more.

Friday, 05/30/2008

7:00am

Add to your personal schedule
Friday, 05/30/2008
Location: Outside Exhibit Hall E
Refresh your body, mind, and spirit before you head into the day's sessions. Read more.

9:00am

Friday, 05/30/2008
Location: Portland Ballroom
Announcements TBC

9:15am

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Friday, 05/30/2008
Location: Portland Ballroom
Joel Spolsky (Stack Overflow / Fog Creek )
Average rating: ****.
(4.33, 52 ratings)
Keynote Read more.

10:45am

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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
Dan Benjamin (Rails Machine)
Average rating: ***..
(3.55, 31 ratings)
Many of the people working with Rails are independent developers, doing freelance work or running small development shops. This makes sense - Rails provides a great framework for an indy developer, making it easy to work with with designers and other developers. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 252
John Lam (Microsoft), Jimmy Schementi (Microsoft)
Average rating: ***..
(3.09, 11 ratings)
Many folks have wondered whether IronRuby would run Rails. Our goal is to make a compliant, fast implementation of Ruby 1.8.x, and an important test is running Rails. Come to this talk to see how far we've come in making this happen. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 255
Andrea O.K. Wright (Chariot Solutions)
Average rating: **...
(2.04, 26 ratings)
In a blog post called "Multi-core hysteria and the thread confusion," DHH wrote that the advancement of "multi-core technology has caused quite a few folks to pontificate that the sky is falling for Rails because we're not big on using threads." He asserts that "It isn't." In this talk I will detail specific concerns community members have brought up and evaluate them, MythBusters-style. Read more.
Friday, 05/30/2008
Location: E145 - E146
TBC
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Friday, 05/30/2008
Products and Services
Location: D135-136
Craig McClanahan (Sun Microsystems, Inc.)
Average rating: ***..
(3.60, 10 ratings)
JRuby on Rails brings the agility of Rails to Java technology-based servers and applications, from the simplest web applications to the largest enterprise deployments. In this session, the developers will learn why GlassFish provides an easy-to-use, robust development and deployment platform for JRuby-on-Rails applications than the conventional Rails model. Read more.

11:45am

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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
John Straw (YELLOWPAGES.COM)
Average rating: ****.
(4.17, 23 ratings)
YELLOWPAGES.COM is the 33rd-largest website in the U.S., handling millions of searches per day. In four months, four developers turned 125,000 lines of Java into 14,000 lines of Ruby and successfully launched a redesigned site. This session discusses the entire process, starting with project management and ending with the technical details of breakneck scaling. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 252
Micah Martin (8th Light, Inc.)
Average rating: **...
(2.47, 19 ratings)
Web applications have changed the world. Their amazingly powerful and can be slick as snot. The technologies behind them however, leave much to be desired. Come commiserate about aspects of web apps that are painful and talk about why. Then learn how the pain can go away with an introduction to using LimeLight with Rails: the open source client side tool alluded to at RubyConf 2007. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 255
Ezra Zygmuntowicz (EngineYard), Jamie van Dyke (Fear of Fish), Tom Mornini (Engine Yard)
Average rating: ***..
(3.30, 23 ratings)
What are the day to day issues with Rails hosting. How can they be solved, and what are the best practise methods of avoiding them. Engine Yard have extensive experience with high volume Rails applications and would like to talk about what we've learned and what our customers have learnt. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: E145 - E146
Short adhoc presentations from the audience. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
Products and Services
Location: D135-136
Steve Sanderson (FiveRuns), Rich Kilmer (LivingSocial), Bruce Williams (LivingSocial), Adam Keys (Gowalla), Brian Dainton (PeopleAdmin)
This is not a typical product pitch. FiveRuns and InfoEther developers will offer an informal, interactive panel discussion about building a new FiveRuns hosted service. Hear from Bruce Williams, Adam Keys, Rich Kilmer and others how The Big Rewrite succeeded. Read more.

1:50pm

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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
Jim Weirich (Neo Innovation), Joe O'Brien (EdgeCase, LLC), Chris Nelson (Christopher Nelson Consulting)
Average rating: ****.
(4.58, 19 ratings)
Sit in like a fly on the wall with a development team as they wrestle with the issues of data modeling versus object modeling. This is not your standard slideshow and talk, but a dialogue presented in three acts in which we explore the themes of simplicity and modularity as an application is developed. Watch the sparks fly as old-school objects modelers meet the Rails generation. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 252
Stephen Midgley (Hutz.com)
Average rating: ***..
(3.10, 20 ratings)
Complex, multi-column, multi-table searches are beyond ActiveRecord's capability. This talk will explore strategies for building and maintaining complex search structures in Rails. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 255
Mike Mangino (Elevated Rails)
Average rating: ***..
(3.89, 18 ratings)
A brief look at how to create (and scale) a Facebook application with Rails. We'll start by creating a simple Facebook application using the facebooker rails plugin. From there, we'll see some tips to scale it up to handle millions of users. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: E145 - E146
Yehuda Katz (Tilde Inc)
Average rating: ****.
(4.47, 19 ratings)
This session will cover using the DataMapper ORM with Ruby on Rails, and go in-depth into its code. It will focus on integration with Ruby on Rails and provide an advanced-level overview of the codebase and design philosophy. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
Products and Services
Location: D135-136
Guy Naor (Morph Labs)
Average rating: **...
(2.00, 1 rating)
Deploy your own application (or watch Guy deploy one) into a FREE Morph AppSpace. Guy will provide tips on multi-tenancy architecture and Rails features. Learn about using DB MIGRATE to initialize your database and how to use Capistrano to deploy from differently supported source code control systems. Read more.

2:50pm

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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
TJ Murphy (Mobian Design)
Average rating: ***..
(3.71, 14 ratings)
What happens when you combine the intensity and furor of gamers with the leverage of massive social networks? One slow rails app. This tutorial will walk through the tools used, the tools built, and the code written to bring Warbook from 1 to 1 million users and sustains it at over 16 million daily pageviews. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 252
Neal Ford (ThoughtWorks)
Average rating: ****.
(4.05, 19 ratings)
Using powerful languages makes the solutions in the GoF book look hopelessly complicated. This session shows how to solve the same problems concisely, elegantly, and with far fewer lines of code using the facilities of dynamic languages. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 255
Geoffrey Grosenbach (Ruby on Rails Podcast), Tom Preston-Werner (GitHub), Chris Wanstrath (Err Free), PJ Hyett (GitHub), Ben Curtis (Tesly, LLC)
Average rating: ***..
(3.79, 24 ratings)
Many developers have the skills to implement web applications, but often lack the business skills to make them profitable. Hear from five developers who have transitioned from full-time consulting to building financially profitable Rails-based web applications. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: E145 - E146
Michael Buffington (Grasshopper Labs), Joe O'Brien (EdgeCase, LLC)
Average rating: ****.
(4.57, 7 ratings)
Join Michael Buffington and Joe O'Brien as they conduct an open conversation about what they consider to be the ideal situation: productive and exciting coding sessions while remaining as far away from other developers as possible. We'll cover what technologies and techniques work (or not), and why Michael thinks that the Xbox 360 is an unlikely, but essential, tool for effective remote pairing. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
Products and Services
Location: D135-136
Evan Phoenix (Engine Yard), Brian Ford (Engine Yard), Wilson Bilkovich (Engine Yard)
Average rating: ****.
(4.18, 11 ratings)
Rubinius is a virtual machine built from the ground up to provide a robust, high-performance runtime for Ruby code. The Rubinius team is guiding the development of 20,000+ specifications that define the Ruby language. Read more.

4:25pm

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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
Erik Kastner (Kickstarter)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 7 ratings)
Microapps are a great way to test ideas, blow off steam and vet your crazy ideas. No longer is the "one off" app the sole domain of PHP. Camping, sinatra, merb and friends let you create the next great microapp in hours and days instead of weeks and months. In this session, we'll examine a few live microapps and even code up the skeleton of one live. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 252
Gregg Pollack (Envy Labs), Ryan Bates (Railscasts), Christopher Haupt (Webvanta Inc.), Michael Slater (BuildingWebApps.com), Geoffrey Grosenbach (Ruby on Rails Podcast), Mike Clark (The Pragmatic Studio)
Average rating: ***..
(3.50, 4 ratings)
A Panel discussion with Gregg Pollack (Rails Envy Podcast), Ryan Bates (Rails Casts), Chistopher Haupt (Learning Rails), Michael Slater (Learning Rails), and Geoffrey Grosenbach (Peepcode & Ruby on Rails Podcast). Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 255
Chris Wanstrath (Err Free)
Average rating: ***..
(3.93, 15 ratings)
There's more to launching an app than "cap deploy" -- the process is as much a psychological challenge as a technical one. So, what does it take to launch an app you can depend on and be proud of? With a handful of production launches under his belt, Chris will talk about the big picture and little details of bringing your site to life. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
General
Location: E145 - E146
Ryan Singer (37signals)
Average rating: ***..
(3.77, 26 ratings)
What's the UI process at 37signals like with respect to Rails? Ryan talks about how designers can move beyond HTML/CSS to take responsibility for views, helpers, and more. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
Products and Services
Location: D135-136
Bob Walker (GemStone Systems, Inc.), Avi Bryant (Dabble DB)
Average rating: ****.
(4.14, 7 ratings)
o We're working on a new Ruby VM which is built for scale and performance from the ground up, with some features we guarantee will blow your mind. Come see how far we've gotten and weigh in on our future directions. Read more.

7:30pm

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Friday, 05/30/2008
Location: Portland Ballroom
Charles Nutter (Engine Yard, Inc)
Average rating: ***..
(3.10, 10 ratings)
You think Sun is the Java company. Enterprise Edition. Steak and strippers. But Java's only part of the story, and the story is changing every day. In ten minutes, you'll get a whirlwind tour of a different Sun, one that gives hardware breaks to startups, open sources cornerstone software like Solaris, OpenJDK, ZFS and DTrace, and actively funds Ruby projects on and off the JVM. Read more.

7:40pm

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Friday, 05/30/2008
Location: Portland Ballroom
Average rating: ****.
(4.17, 12 ratings)
We'll be handing out several trophies to people we believe to be Ruby Heroes, and giving them the round of applause they deserve and might not get otherwise. Read more.

8:00pm

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Friday, 05/30/2008
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
Average rating: ***..
(3.78, 27 ratings)
Keynote Read more.

9:00pm

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Friday, 05/30/2008
Location: D135-139, D141, E145-146
Following the planned sessions during the day, it's time for RailsConf participants to take the floor. BoFs are informal conversations that you and other participants plan. Visit the BoF page for more details and to sign up to lead a BoF of your own. Read more.
Add to your personal schedule
Friday, 05/30/2008
BoF
Location: D133
Average rating: **...
(2.50, 2 ratings)
Moderated by Steve Bristol: Websites are measured on their design and UI. The quality of the code is almost irrelevant. Come learn about what makes good UI. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
BoF
Location: D134
Moderated by Mike Subelsky, OtherInbox.com: A case study in using Ruby to deploy, monitor, and manage a Rails app running on a cluster of servers in the Amazon Web Services virtual cloud. By using technologies like god.rb, Capistrano, and rufus-scheduler, Rails developers can build a very robust, flexible application ideally suited for deployment in a cloud. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
BoF
Location: D135 and 136
Moderated by Michael Slater, BuildingWebApps.com: Meet the creators of the Ruby on Rails podcast, Railscasts, RailsEnvy, and LearningRails, and explore the future of podcasting and screencasting for Rails developers. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
BoF
Location: D137
Yui4Rails is a plugin for easier integration of Yahoo's YUI components into a Rails application. Though fairly young in its implementation, this plugin plans to provide convenient helpers for all YUI components. We will go over what is there now, the development roadmap, installation/usage, the process of adding new components, as well as how best to work with the other YUI-related plugins. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
BoF
Location: D138
Take the pain out of developing on Amazon's web services: EC2 cloud and the unlimited S3 disk. Come see how you can utilize the PoolParty gem to automatically grow and shrink your computing cloud based on parameters you define. More details to be listed at http://poolpartyrb.com. Read more.
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Friday, 05/30/2008
BoF
Location: D139
RubySpecs are like the tempering fire that transforms your favorite implementation into a shining Ruby blade. Join us as we talk about history, status, goals, contributing and any other questions you have. Read more.

Saturday, 05/31/2008

7:00am

Add to your personal schedule
Saturday, 05/31/2008
Location: Outside Exhibit Hall E
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 2 ratings)
Refresh your body, mind, and spirit before you head into the day's sessions. Read more.

9:00am

Saturday, 05/31/2008
Location: Portland Ballroom
Announcements TBC

9:15am

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Saturday, 05/31/2008
Location: Portland Ballroom
Jeremy Kemper (37signals)
Average rating: ***..
(3.04, 28 ratings)
Keynote Read more.

10:45am

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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
Michael Koziarski (Koziarski Software Limited)
Average rating: ***..
(3.53, 15 ratings)
Optimising a framework is a very different job than optimising your rails application. You can't just 'throw memcache in front of it' or disable features. The benchmarks you choose will also drastically affect your results, potentially leading to pointless optimisations that don't help real users. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 252
Scott Chacon (GitHub)
Average rating: ****.
(4.38, 26 ratings)
Git is a fast, efficient and distributed source code management system. This talk will demonstrate how Git works, how to use it to manage a Rails project and demonstrate Capistrano's new Git SCM module. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 255
Nathaniel Talbott (Spreedly, Inc.)
Average rating: ***..
(3.87, 15 ratings)
This talk is all about classic hacking: whipping up some code just because you can, because you "need" it, because you want to explore something new and shiny. We're going to talk about some specific hacks, talk about how to hack, and talk about why your boss, clients, and even your significant other should love it when you hack. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: E145 - E146
Aaron Batalion (LivingSocial)
Average rating: ****.
(4.62, 8 ratings)
When working on scaling Rails to millions of users/day with complex personalization, caching becomes essential. This talk will cover edge caching, edge side includes (ESI) in Rails, and partial page caching higher in the stack. It will also cover ESI as a fabric for assembling heterogeneous applications into a single, cacheable web experience. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
Products and Services
Location: D135-136
Chad Wathington (ThoughtWorks), Adam Monago (ThoughtWorks)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 1 rating)
Join Chad and Adam to see how Mingle 2.0 can be used to run just about any project or collaboration effort under the sun. They will show you how Mingle 2.0 builds on the effective flexible platform of the first release. Read more.

11:45am

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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
Blaine Cook (Poetica), Bradley Taylor (Webster Clay), Ezra Zygmuntowicz (EngineYard), Jim Meyer (LinkedIn), Kevin Lawver (AOL)
Average rating: **...
(2.90, 10 ratings)
A diverse panel of experts offer their perspectives on scaling Rails apps in the real world and how the choices we make (or don't make) as developers affect our application's scalability. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 252
Ben Scofield (Heroku)
Average rating: ***..
(3.24, 25 ratings)
Designing RESTful systems in Rails carries many benefits. It is not a problem-free approach, however; there are accessibility issues with the standard conventions, and some functions are more difficult to map to resources than others. In this session, we'll look at solutions for these (and other) problems that arise when you take REST beyond the standard examples. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 255
Jon Dahl (Phronos)
Average rating: ***..
(3.91, 11 ratings)
Rails makes synchronous, request-driven processes a breeze. But what happens when you need to do something a little more complex or time-consuming? Enter asynchronous processing. We will investigate several ways to bring asynchronous processing to Rails, including cron, BackgrounDRb, AP4R, daemons, and Amazon SQS. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: E145 - E146
Michael Latta (TechnoMage)
Average rating: **...
(2.30, 10 ratings)
The session is a nuts and bolts look at what is required to build a model that is composed of several other models and functions with Active Record. This "virtual" model can then be used like a regular model where the user wants to interact with the virtual view. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
Products and Services
Location: D135-136
Nick Sieger (Sun Microsystems, Inc.)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
JRuby is becoming an increasingly popular deployment platform for Ruby on Rails applications. We'll discuss how deployment with JRuby can make your deployment and management pains go away. Topics will range from installation, gems and library compatibility, packaging, configuration, and post-deployment tuning and troubleshooting. Read more.

1:50pm

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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
Dave Fayram (Powerset, Inc), Tom Preston-Werner (GitHub)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 5 ratings)
Fuzed is a Rails server stack written in Erlang that can replace standard mongrel/reverse proxy architectures. It focuses on reliability and ease of deployment in distributed environments. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 252
Dan Manges (Braintree Payment Solutions), Zak Tamsen (n/a/)
Average rating: ****.
(4.43, 21 ratings)
Moderate to massively parallelized tests leveraging multi-core processors. ActiveRecord tests without a database. Yaml-less test data. With leveraging several open-source tools including DeepTest, Selenium Grid, and UnitRecord, in conjunction with techniques such as Model Factory, this session will show how to move beyond the plain vanilla Rails strategy to achieve optimal application testing. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 255
Scott Fleckenstein (Get Satisfaction)
Average rating: ****.
(4.22, 9 ratings)
The EventMachine gem provides a simple reactor-style programming model that allows a ruby programmer to quickly create servers, from custom DNS servers to full blown web-servers. In this talk I will explore the possibilities of this gem (pun intended) as well as present a set of tips you can take away to make your own servers better. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: E145 - E146
Short adhoc presentations from the audience. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
Products and Services
Location: D135-136
James Lindenbaum (Heroku), Orion Henry (Heroku), Adam Wiggins (Heroku)
Average rating: ****.
(4.25, 4 ratings)
What is Heroku really? What can I build? Where is this going? What's the difference between Heroku and a cloud computing platform like Amazon? What if I want to build really serious stuff? By popular request, the Heroku team will answer your questions and talk about the future of Heroku. Read more.

2:50pm

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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
Adam Wiggins (Heroku)
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 4 ratings)
Got a Rails app that needs even more speed? Adam Wiggins of Heroku will show you how to write a custom Nginx module to bring blinding speed to critical code paths (and do HTTP tricks that can't be done with Rails and Mongrel alone), using examples from Heroku's own authentication module ngx_heroku_gate. Dust off your C compiler and prepare to push the limits of nginx, Rails, and HTTP. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 252
David Chelimsky (DRW Trading)
Average rating: ****.
(4.11, 19 ratings)
Learn how to write customer-facing executable user stories and scenarios with RSpec's new Story Runner. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 255
Ola Bini (ThoughtWorks)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 3 ratings)
In the beginning of 2007, ThoughtWorks decided to commit to using JRuby for several projects. This presentation will describe the results of this decision, including lessons learned and case studies. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: E145 - E146
Justin Gehtland (Relevance, Inc.)
Average rating: ***..
(3.62, 13 ratings)
Exploring the evolving face of application development, building applications out of highly-granular pieces, and solutions out of highly-granular applications. We'll look at the architectures, technologies and techniques that enable this trend, from Ruby metaprogramming to single-sign-on providers to robust messaging infrastructure. And we'll do it in code. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
Products and Services
Location: D135-136
Shelby Sanders (CodeGear), Al Mannarino (CodeGear)
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 2 ratings)
SCome see how to code, test and deliver high-quality Ruby on Rails applications faster and better using CodeGear’s 3rd Rail Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Read more.

4:25pm

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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
Philippe Hanrigou (ThoughtWorks)
Average rating: ****.
(4.29, 7 ratings)
Building, deploying, and maintaining large-scale Ruby on Rails applications involves overcoming a variety of vexing problems that prove difficult to investigate using just the traditional Ruby stack. This session features field-tested tools and techniques that can used to in these situations, focusing on techniques for DTrace, strace, gdb, lsof and XRay. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 252
Josh Susser (Pivotal Labs)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 14 ratings)
When Rails was first released, there was just one framework for testing applications and things were simple, if not always ideal. Now there are enough frameworks that choosing which one to use for your Rails application can be a difficult decision. This presentation provides a survey of the major Rails testing frameworks and compares their strengths and weaknesses in various areas. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 255
Adam Pisoni (Geni.com)
Average rating: ****.
(4.80, 5 ratings)
Skynet is an open source Ruby implementation of Google's Map/Reduce framework, created at Geni. With Skynet, one can easily convert a time-consuming serial task, such as a computationally expensive Rails migration, into a distributed program running on many computers. Learn how Geni uses Skynet to send email newsletters, build reverse indexes, invalidate caches, and run other asynchronous jobs. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
General
Location: E145 - E146
Patrick Farley (ThoughtWorks)
Average rating: ***..
(3.80, 20 ratings)
Rails programmers are Ruby programmers. In this session we'll cover some useful Ruby metaprogramming techniques as used in real world Rails applications and extensions. Then we'll dig deep into MRI and JRuby source to gain a nuanced understanding of the implementation details of Singletons, Mixins and the Ruby Object model. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
Products and Services
Location: D135-136
Robert Dempsey (Atlantic Dominion Solutions)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
Many have heard the terms agile development, self-managing teams, and many others tossed out but never explained. This session will go into the details involved in agile development and scrum, and inform you on how agile can be implemented in a company to address the many challenges they face. Read more.

5:30pm

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Saturday, 05/31/2008
Location: Portland Ballroom
Kent Beck (Three Rivers Institute (TRI))
Average rating: ***..
(3.46, 24 ratings)
Keynote Read more.

7:30pm

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Saturday, 05/31/2008
Location: D135-139, D141, E145-146
Following the planned sessions during the day, it's time for RailsConf participants to take the floor. BoFs are informal conversations that you and other participants plan. Visit the BoF page for more details and to sign up to lead a BoF of your own. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
BoF
Location: D138-139
Moderated by Chad Fowler: A lot of computer programmers are also musicians. If you're one of them, bring an instrument (or your voice), and let's make some music. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
BoF
Location: D133
Moderated by Steven Bristol, Less Everything. Named routes is one of the greatest part of Rails. As we move to more and more ajaxed UI it would be great if we could use the same named routes goodness in Javascript. Come learn how using the horribly named Less Js Routes plugin developed by Steven Bristol of Less Everything. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
BoF
Location: D134
Moderated by Mark Reynolds, Five Runs: Whether you’re a Developer or IT guru, we want to discuss your hurdles, complaints and (yes) successes when it comes to implementing Rails. We’ll be on the lookout for ways Dev can collaborate with IT better, and we’ll try to identify ways organizations can minimize the pain in deploying and maintaining Rails. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
BoF
Location: D135 and 136
Moderated by Yan Pritzker of CohesiveFT: Yan will talk about the benefits of using virtualization for development and deployment, and show how to build virtualized servers using the free Elastic Server On-Demand service. Read more.
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Saturday, 05/31/2008
BoF
Location: D137
The goal of this BOF is two fold. Firstly, We would like to discuss ways to strengthen Rails community and to make Rails a popular platform for the enterprises located in this part of the world. Secondly, it will serve as discussion and networking opportunity for professionals coming from Asia as well as other parts of the word to share their experience. Read more.

Sunday, 06/01/2008

7:00am

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Sunday, 06/01/2008
Location: Outside Exhibit Hall E
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
Programmers do a lot of sitting, so come refresh your body, mind, and spirit before you head into the day's sessions. Read more.

9:00am

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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
Hongli Lai (Phusion), Ninh Bui (Phusion)
Average rating: ***..
(3.83, 6 ratings)
Phusion Passenger (a.k.a. mod_rails) enables people to deploy their Ruby on Rails applications in an upload-and-go manner, very reminiscent of the PHP way of deploying, while retaining stability/robustness and performance. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 252
Obie Fernandez (InfoQ)
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 1 rating)
Most Rails conference talks, programming blogs and reference books try to teach you the "right way" to code your applications. The thing is, the right way to code an application is very dependent on the context in which you are coding it. Unfortunately, most of us learn those things via cold, hard experience. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 255
Evan Phoenix (Engine Yard)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
Come and chat with Evan Phoenix and other CS nerds We'll discuss Ruby, C++, whereever the conversation takes us. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: E145 - E146
Neal Ford (ThoughtWorks)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 5 ratings)
Using powerful languages makes the solutions in the GoF book look hopelessly complicated. This session shows how to solve the same problems concisely, elegantly, and with far fewer lines of code using the facilities of dynamic languages. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: D135-136
Micah Martin (8th Light, Inc.)
Web applications have changed the world. Their amazingly powerful and can be slick as snot. The technologies behind them however, leave much to be desired. Come commiserate about aspects of web apps that are painful and talk about why. Then learn how the pain can go away with an introduction to using LimeLight with Rails: the open source client side tool alluded to at RubyConf 2007. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: D138-139
Stephen Midgley (Hutz.com)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 2 ratings)
Complex, multi-column, multi-table searches are beyond ActiveRecord's capability. This talk will explore strategies for building and maintaining complex search structures in Rails. Read more.

10:45am

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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
Rick Bradley (OG Consulting), Yossef Mendelssohn (OG Consulting), Kevin Barnes (OG Consulting)
Average rating: *....
(1.90, 10 ratings)
As veterans of maybe the largest enterprisey Rails project ever written, the panelists have written, tested, re-tested, and rewritten more legacy and new-legacy code than your mom has baked nasty green-pepper-with-ketchup-and-saltines meatloaf. Now tackling Ruby and Rails projects as a consulting team, they share their "insights" on software and politics with the old guard, startups, and now you. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 252
Ezra Zygmuntowicz (EngineYard)
Average rating: ***..
(3.73, 11 ratings)
This is a talk about what it takes to *really* scale Ruby applications. We will not only examine all the aspects of hardware and web server configurations, we will also look at scaling the ruby interpreter itself. Including performance quirks of MRI and how Rubinius is set to fix a lot of these problems. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 255
Aaron Bedra (Relevance, Inc.)
Average rating: ***..
(3.25, 16 ratings)
Security is often overlooked when developing software. Take a look at the little demons that can haunt your application with security expert Aaron Bedra. He will show you not only tips and tricks to secure your Rails code, but guide you through the entire stack and help you make safe decisions as to how to maintain / run it. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: E145 - E146
James Lindenbaum (Heroku)
Average rating: ****.
(4.25, 4 ratings)
Mongrel is a pure-Ruby webserver, so why aren't you hacking it? Learn how to tailor Mongrel specifically for your app with custom Mongrel handlers and GemPlugins. Extend mongrel_rails, run filters on static assets, or parallelize high-volume actions - all with direct access to your underlying Rails app. Get hands-on with well known Mongrel add-ons, plus app-specific examples from Heroku's code. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
Products and Services
Location: D135-136
Lewis Cirne (New Relic, Inc.)
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 1 rating)
You've heard all the myths and misinformation from the pundits: "Rails Can't Scale." "Rails Can't Perform." "Rails is ok for prototyping, but not for real websites." The truth is that rails can perform and it can scale exceptionally well - but only if you have a proper understanding of how your application behaves, and you apply good design principles when building and tuning your site. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
Products and Services
Location: D138-139
Denis Lussier (EnterpriseDB)
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 1 rating)
The Ruby Enterprise Stack (RubyES) from EnterpriseDB is a complete package to start developing Enterprise class web application. In this session, the requirements and challenges of an Enterprise web application will be discussed and how RubyES can elevate those challenges. Read more.

11:45am

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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
Scott Barron (EdgeCase), Chad Humphries (Relevance, Inc.)
Average rating: **...
(2.91, 11 ratings)
Have you ever wanted to know why a part of your application is slow? How about how long that query takes? Wouldn't it be nice if you could get this type of information for ruby, rails, and the database server in one place? You can now with DTrace on OSX 10.5. We'll show you how to best use this tool-chain to debug, profile, and gather more information about your application. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 252
Matt Wood (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute)
Average rating: ****.
(4.60, 5 ratings)
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute played a central role in sequencing the human genome. Learn how we're using Ruby and Rails to quickly build and deploy the next generation of genomic sequencing platforms: high throughput, scalable, multi-petabyte. Twitter have it easy. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 255
Adam Keys (Gowalla)
Average rating: **...
(2.89, 9 ratings)
The best way to learn is by falling down. Unfortunately, some things you can only learn by falling down. Based on real world failure, find which parts of Rails sound good at first, but can get tiring once you use them a lot. Discover how to better interact with customers and teammates. Find out how to learn more, faster. All this without actually embarrassing yourself. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: E145 - E146
Short adhoc presentations from the audience. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
Products and Services
Location: D135-136
Emil Marceta (E-Xact Transactions)
Average rating: **...
(2.50, 2 ratings)
E-xact's Payment on Rails suite allows for simple integration with existing Rails and other platforms. Using these services (ActiveMerchant/E-xact provider, Payment Forms Plugin, Authorize.NET, InternetSecure, REST, SOAP) allows developers to integrate payment processing easily, stay PCI/DSS compliant, and focus on the core of their applications rather than manage payments. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
Products and Services
Location: D138-139
Thorsten von Eicken (RightScale, Inc)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 1 rating)
Learn from the experience in deploying a dozen different complex web services on Amazon EC2 and how different companies leverage the power and flexibility of EC2, including scaling to thousands of servers to survive a facebook onslaught. This talk will discuss recently introduced EC2 features, how to use them, and how to put everything together into a scalable architecture. Read more.

1:50pm

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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
Josh Owens (Four Bean Soup), Chris Selmer (Intridea, Inc.)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 4 ratings)
So you want to build a Rails app quickly? Competitors in the Rails Rumble had 48 hours to design, develop, and deploy a complete application. We’ll take you through the development processes of the winning four-man Tasty Planner team, and compare it with those of the one-man Your Pet Records team. We’ll discuss techniques, short-cuts, helpers, and Rails plugins that helped speed development. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 252
Chad Pytel (thoughtbot, inc.)
Average rating: ****.
(4.19, 16 ratings)
This talk will cover several of the more advanced Active Record features by presenting code samples and walking through a best practice refactoring of that code, using the tools given to us by Active Record ('the Rails way'). Some of the topics that these refactoring examples will touch on include Callbacks and Observers, Complex data models, Validations, and other tips, tricks, and gotchas. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 255
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 1 rating)
Open Discussion with JRuby Developers and Users Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: E145 - E146
Nick Kallen (Pivotal Labs)
Average rating: ****.
(4.91, 11 ratings)
Ever wondered how has_many, belongs_to, etc. really work? The secret sauce is the Proxy pattern, whereby one object acts on behalf of another, intercepting and transforming messages. In this tutorial, you will learn advanced features of ActiveRecord associations, how to monkey-patch these associations to do your bidding, and how and when to implement the Proxy pattern in your own metaprograms. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: D135-136
Andrea O.K. Wright (Chariot Solutions)
In a blog post called "Multi-core hysteria and the thread confusion," DHH wrote that the advancement of "multi-core technology has caused quite a few folks to pontificate that the sky is falling for Rails because we're not big on using threads." He asserts that "It isn't." In this talk I will detail specific concerns community members have brought up and evaluate them, MythBusters-style. Read more.
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Sunday, 06/01/2008
General
Location: D138-139
Geoffrey Grosenbach (Ruby on Rails Podcast), Tom Preston-Werner (GitHub), Chris Wanstrath (Err Free), PJ Hyett (GitHub), Ben Curtis (Tesly, LLC)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 3 ratings)
Many developers have the skills to implement web applications, but often lack the business skills to make them profitable. Hear from five developers who have transitioned from full-time consulting to building financially profitable Rails-based web applications. Read more.

2:45pm

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Sunday, 06/01/2008
Location: Portland Ballroom
David Heinemeier Hansson (37signals), Jeremy Kemper (37signals), Michael Koziarski (Koziarski Software Limited), Rick Olson (GitHub)
Average rating: ***..
(3.41, 17 ratings)
Q&A with the core developers of Rails. Your questions; their answers. Read more.
News and Coverage
co-presented by Ruby Central, Inc. O'Reilly
  • Engine Yard
  • Sun Microsystems
  • FiveRuns
  • GotThingsDone
  • Heroku
  • ThoughtWorks
  • Atlantic Dominion Solutions
  • Blue Box Group
  • CodeGear
  • E-xact
  • ELC Technologies
  • EnterpriseDB
  • GemStone Systems
  • Intridea
  • Morph Labs
  • RightScale
  • TechRepublic

Sponsorship Opportunities

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at RailsConf, contact Yvonne Romaine.

Download the RailsConf Sponsor/Exhibitor Prospectus

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Program Ideas

Post your suggestions for speakers, topics, and activities on the RailsConf wiki or send an email to rails-idea@oreilly.com.

Press and Media

For media-related inquiries, contact confpr@oreilly.com.

Contact Us

View a complete list of RailsConf 2008 contacts.