Home > Conferences, Ruby On Rails > Pune Rails Meetup #2

Pune Rails Meetup #2

It was great to be a part of the Pune Rails Meetup which was held yesterday (19th December, 2009) at ThoughtWorks, Pune. It was an idea initiated by Anthony Hsiao of Sapna Solutions which has got the Pune Rails community up on their feet. Helping him organize was a pleasure!

It was great to see almost 35 people for this meet — it was a probably more than what we expected. It was also heartening to see a good mix in the crowd – professionals in rails, students working in rails and students interested in rails – not to forget entrepreneurs who were very helpful.

Proceedings began with Vincent and Anup from ThinkDRY gave an excellent presentation on BlankApplication – a CMS++ that they are developing. I say CMS++ because its not just another CMS but has quite a lot of ready-to-use features that gets developers jump-started. There were interesting discussions regarding how ‘workspaces’ are managed and how its indeed easier to manage websites.

After this technical talk, I spoke next on my experience at the Lone Star Ruby Conference in Texas. I tried to keep the session interactive with the intention of telling everyone how important it is to know and use Ruby effectively while working in Rails. Dave Thomas’s references to the ‘glorious imperfection’ of Ruby did create quite a buzz. To quote a little from Dave’s talk:

name {}

This is a method which takes a block as a parameter but the following line is a method which takes a has as a parameter! A simple curly parenthesis makes all the difference!

name ( {} )

Similarly, the following line is a method m() whose result is divided by ‘n’ whose result is divided by ‘o’

m/n/o

but add a space between this and its a method m() which takes a regular expression as a parameter!

m /n/o

It was nice to see everyone get involved in these interactive sessions. More details about my experience at LSRC is here.

After this there was another technical talk about a multi-app architecture  that has been developed by Sapna Solutions. Anthony and Hari gave a talk on this and it was very interesting to see it work. Using opensource applications like shopify, CMS and other social networking apps to work with a shared-plugin and a single database, its possible to create a mammoth application which is easily customizable and scalable.

Hari did mention a few problems like complexity in migrations and custom routes which they currently ‘work-around’ but prefer a cleaner approach. Some good suggestions were provided by Scot from ThoughtWorks regarding databases. I suggested some meta-programing to align models. Working with git submodules and ensuring rake scripts to sync up data, this indeed seems to have a lot of potential.

There were some new entrepreneurs from VectorBrook who have already developed a live application in Merb which they discussed and explained details of. It was good to hear about how they managed performance and scalability testing. The Q&A forum which was the next event was extremely interactive. Some of the discussions were:

Which are really great CMS in Rails?

There were some intense discussions regarding RadiantCMS, Adva and even BlankApp. The general consensus was a ‘programmable CMS’ Vs WYSIWYG. Those who prefer more of the content management prefer CMS’s like Drupal, Joomla. Those who prefer more customization via programing and code, prefer Radiant. This topic could not close and is still open for discussion.. Do comment in your views – I am a radiant fan ;)

What about testing? Cucumber, Rspec, others?

Usually its still adhoc – testing is expensive for smaller firms — so adhoc blackbox testing is what is done. I opined that cucumber and rspec ROCK! Cucumber is great for scenario testing and testing controller logic and views. Rspec is great for Direct Model Access and Cucumber can make great use of Webrat for browser testing.

In Rpsec, when do we use mocks and stubs?

It was suggested that mocks and stubs should be used when there are no ready model and code. If the code is ready, its probably just enough not to use mocks and stubs directly. Comments welcome on this!

How do you do stress testing?

Stress testing, concurrency testing and performance testing can be done using http-perf. It was interesting to note that ____ have actually done their own implementation for stress and concurrency testing. I recommended they open source it.

How are events, scheduled job and delayed jobs handled?

This was my domain :) Using delayed_job is the way to go. Following the leaders (github) and using Redis and resque would be great too but definitely not backgrounDrb or direct cron!

What project management tools do you use? Pivotal Tracker, Trac, Mingle?

Pivotal tracker suits startup needs. Mingle rocks but becomes expensive. Scott ? ;) Dhaval from TW mentioned how easy it was to co-ordinate an ‘mingle’ with their 200 strong team over distributed geographies.

Which SCM do you use? git, svn, cvs?

People have been very comfortable with git and more and more are migrating from svn to git.  It was heartening to see that nobody uses CVS :) Jaju (I have have misspelt) gave an excellent brief about how code and diffs can be squished and ‘diff’ed with another repository before the final merge and push to the master. Dhaval gave an idea about how they effectively used git for managing their 1GB source code (wow!)

Some pending questions – probably in next meet-up

  1. Which hosting service do you use and why?
  2. TDD or BDD?

Suggestions are welcome!

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  1. December 20, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Great summary. Thanks. Traveling from Mumbai turned out to be rather difficult because of time constraints.

  2. December 21, 2009 at 2:53 am

    Awesome to see a rails meetup across the world and find that there is so much in common. Waiting for Ruby conference in India in future. :)

  3. December 21, 2009 at 7:32 am

    Derek, the first-ever Ruby Conference in India is at Bangalore March 20-21, 2010 – http://www.rubyconfindia.org/

  4. December 21, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Gautam, Your presentation was very nice.. & thanks for summary.
    some more questions..
    What environment best suits for rails development ?
    (os/ruby,rails versions/editor, etc….)

    • December 21, 2009 at 8:40 am

      @Sandip
      OS: My choice: Mac OS (Leopard / Snow Leopard). Ubuntu would be second choice. I would personally avoid development on windows as it becomes a little slow.

      RoR environment: nginx + passenger (Rails 2.3.4 with Ruby 1.8.7) Would also recommend trying Ruby 1.9 but not on live sites (yet).

      Editor: My choice: VIM !! “People” tell me Eclipse is good, Emacs, RadRails etc. take a pick!

  5. Girish Sonawane
    December 21, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Thanks for the summary, Gautam.
    I really wanted to attend this… Is there a forum/site where these kind of events are announced?

  6. December 21, 2009 at 10:10 am

    @Girish The Pune Rails Meetup is on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pune-Rails-Meetup/81545672229 Become a fan and keep up-to-date.

    Alternatively you can add @PuneRailsMeetup to your twitter to get updates. Also search for #prm hash-tag on twitter to keep updated with comments, feedback and other details.

  7. Amit Kulkarni
    December 21, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Rails MeetUp was really good.All the topics and discussions were fantastic.I particularly enjoyed the Q&A session where lots of interaction took place.
    This really helps in communicating with other people and your own doubts gets cleared.
    It would be really good to have some Testing discussions which can help us to make testing more effective.

  8. Sanjay Chitnis
    December 23, 2009 at 3:54 am

    >> What project management tools do you use? Pivotal Tracker, Trac, Mingle?

    “Redmine” is like Trac and based on RoR.

  9. Aniket Mundada
    December 23, 2009 at 4:47 am

    hello…m an 2009 passout IT engineer……can u please give me some info about ruby on rails training, r u guys starting some training??????

    • December 23, 2009 at 10:01 am

      @aniket http://www.rorlearning.com is a site which has recently started RoR training — but I have on feedback on it.

      We do conduct training but its not our core competency. If you have an decent enough crowd, we can arrange (on behalf of Pune Rails Meetup) a RoR basics workshop.

  10. Minakshi Meshram
    December 31, 2009 at 7:48 am

    Hello sir,
    I m persuing MCA, Can u tell me about ruby on rails? As u mention above that u can arrage workshop, inform us also because we r also interested in RoR.

    • December 31, 2009 at 7:52 am

      I would recommend you contact your Place Officer or Head of Department. If you, your college or a group of colleges is able to gather a sufficient group of interested Rubyists, we can organize a mini-workshop as part of the Rails meetup.

      As I have mentioned before – we do not do training, we are just passionate programmers who want the Rails community to grow ! Do keep me posted.

  1. December 20, 2009 at 10:22 am
  2. December 20, 2009 at 9:17 pm
  3. December 21, 2009 at 7:30 am
  4. December 21, 2009 at 11:39 am
  5. December 21, 2009 at 2:59 pm
  6. December 30, 2009 at 4:25 pm

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