Rails Conf 2009 Day 2 - DHH Keynote

Guest Author

Rails Conf Day 2 start with DHH's
keynote. The room was packed (close to 1200 attendees) and SRO. It was
interesting to know that 70% of the attendees are first timers and only
a handful have attended for all 4 years in a row. This is my href="http://blogs.sun.com/arungupta/entry/sun_rails_conf_2007_keep">second
in the US.

Here are the notes from DHH's keynotes:
  • Stop fretting about whether you are upto date with the
    latest in Rails. Don't need to re-write your application everytime
    something new comes up.
  • Gallery of "normal wounds"
    • Rails isn't enterprise ready, James McGovern "some
      consutant, architect, or bullshit title of a big company". Can't win
      the world with better arguments, some things take time.
    • Multiple frameworks like Grails, Sails, Biscuit, Monorail
      seem to give the impression Java is easier
    • Switch back to PHP after 2 years on Rails y Derik Severs
    • The failed whale, "the twitter debacle" that Rails
      doesn't scale.
    • Merb - "the most credible alternative to Rails". Even
      though emotions can run high, the underlying principles are still the
  • Fundamental principle of Rails are still the same, it's
    better and faster
  • Philosophy of Rails3
    • Buck up all the unicorns - it's not going to be a rewrite
      f everything
    • No holy cows - "There is nothing secret in Rails,
      everything is up for public debate"
    • Have tasty burgers: it's all pre-assembled and use it the
      default way, otherwise pick/choose whatever you like. Allow people to
      make individual choices and still be together in one community.
  • Progress of Rails 3 - Ton of Rails 3 code in the
    repository, no alpha release
    • New Router: Faster route by subdomains, user agents, more
      Route to other Rack machinery. Mount multiple applications like Sinatra
      and Django using this router. Much simpler routing API. "Ruby is not
      about fewer lines of code, it's about expressive lines of code."
    • XSS protection: Flipping the convention such that all
      outputting views will be escaped, so "<%=raw" will not escape it
      and "<%" will escape it by default. HTML helpers "html_safe" may
      be used too.
    • JavaScript goes unobstrusive and agnostic: Will adopt
      HTML 5 custom attributes such as "data-remote" and "data-method"
      attribtues will simplify "link_to_remote", "remote_form", "link_to".
    • More agnosticism: Action ORM is a slim wrapper around
      other ORM tools, Generators (SoC project)
    • Great refactoring (bulk of the work): Abstract Controller
      + Action Dispatch, Active
      (also GSoC project) underpins Active Record, Cherry picking from Active
      Support, Speedy callbacks
  • Real secret to high productivity
    • Most developers treat requirements as stone tablets,
      don't treat requirements as gospel, instead renegotiate requirements.
    • Use Twix instead of a fine Belgian chocolate, it doesn't
      really matter most of the time.
    • Programmers are like puppies who want to fetch the same
      ball again and again, bark back instead
    • Calling people programmer is like a blackbox, we are not
      those boxes. Instead we should be treated as partners, work with our
      stakeholders to get the job done.

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Comments ( 4 )
  • OnRails.org Tuesday, May 5, 2009
    [Trackback] Slides of the presentations can be found here as they are released Follow "official" news on Twitter. DHH Keynote notes. Video links to come soon. Some good notes from day1. Please tweet links to @danielwanja for any good blog articles that does live c...
  • Jos&eacute; Valim Tuesday, May 5, 2009

    Arun Gupta, great write up!

    It's excellent for those who couldn't be there like me. Maybe you would like to add that the ActiveRelation is a SoC project too. :)


  • Arun Gupta's Blog Wednesday, May 6, 2009
    [Trackback] This is a follow up post from David's keynote. Attended Women in Rails panel discussion. The panel, Sarah Mei, Lori Olson, and Desi McAdam (from L to R), had a very interesting discussion around the genuine problems and possible solutions...
  • Arun Gupta Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    Thanks Jose, updated the blog!

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