Friday, March 31, 2006

ruby on my mind

URUG (the Utah Ruby Users Group) is getting big enough that we're looking at forming local subgroups. It looks like we'll be starting with a Salt Lake City group (encompassing the Salt Lake Valley) and a Utah Valley group. The Salt Lake group looks like its got plenty of support from the get go. Those of us who live a bit further south may have to recruit a bit to get a solid group of people. I'm pretty sure we can get things going though.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

rewrite, rewrite, rewrite

The publication rights on my IBM DeveloperWorks articles (including articles about Test First Development, Profiling and Optimizing Ruby Code, and Debugging Ruby Code) have reverted to me. A friend of mine is a certified translator, and has offered to help me make them available in multiple languages. I'm tempted to update and polish them, add some more content (probably some case studies), and sell the combined result as a self published book. (With the contents available as PDFS and under some kind of open license). Would anyone be interested in something like this? I'm not fooling myself that this will make me rich, but it might help support a reading and writing habit that's becoming an expensive hobby.

Next Article Submitted

I just submitted next weeks article at Linux Journal, it should be up at the beginning of the week. In addition to covering several of the many newsworthy happenings of the last bi-week, I spent some time talking about the pair programming Sean Carley and I have done. What I didn't mention was the fantastic help that zenspider and Eric Hodel have been as Sean and I have been slogging our way through really complex code like ParseTree and Ruby's internals. I've got a blog post started for that. I don't know if it will end up here or at O'Reillynet's Ruby blog.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

New Article at Linux Journal

I've started writing a bi-weekly series aboutRuby for the Linux Journal. The first article is here. I'll be posting notes here when the others go on-line. The first article covers some recent enhancements to ZenTest, and a nice tool called rcov from Mauricio Fernandez. If there's something else you'd like me to write about let me know. Either here, or at the LJ site.

Ping Pong Pairing (or something remotely like it)

I spent some time the other night ping pong pairing with a friend in St Louis. (We're working on a not quite secret project — the Dryer Fluff release of checkr, think lint for Ruby.) He'd write a test, then I'd implement the code to make it work. I'd write a test, and he'd make the code pass. Back and forth over several quick (and a couple of longer) iterations. It was a great way to code. It would have been nice to be colocated with him though, being a couple thousand miles apart is a bit of an impediment to real pairing.

The other cool thing was touching base with zenspider and Eric Hodel on some ParseTree issues while they were at the seattle.rb hacking night. It was kind of like a distributed multi.rb hacking night.

Another call from my son

This morning he called to tell me he'd written a pair of Ruby programs without any outside prompting. A Celsius to Fahrenheit converter, and one to go Fahrenheit to Celsius. I wish I'd been able to do stuff like that in Jr. High. (Of course that would have meant having regular access to a computer back then.

time to get a move on

(13:45:19) ryan: you have a linky for YOU?
(13:47:10) pate: umm, but I need to add lots of content
(13:48:05) ryan: better hurry because you just went live. :)
(13:48:13) pate: heh
(13:49:01) pate: nothing like some subtle nudging to get someone moving, huh?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Zarro Boogs Fond

I was riding the bus in to work this morning, when my son just called to tell me he'd written his first program "without a bug". I'm excited for him, but I also realize that this is a big teaching moment. Even though his code contains no syntactical errors (a big step for him), it's still not quite bug free -- it looks like tonight's programming lesson is going to be about bugs and debugging (oh, and probably formatting numbers).

Good job Mike!

Coming, Spring 2006

Not much to look at right now, but I've got some content tucked away and a batch of CSS and design to whip up. In a little bit, this site should be ready for the maddening crowd.