This year’s MountainWest RubyConf was incredible. There were a bunch of great talks, and the hallway track (though too short) was awesome. It was especially great to go hang out at the hacking suite put on by Engine Yard
I’m not going to go into too much detail about any of the talks until the video is released on Confreaks MWRC 2008 page. So far only Evan’s Keynote and Ezra’s have made it up (Gile’s talk was up briefly, but seems to have been pulled due to some audio problems).
Evan’s talk was a great peek behind the curtain at Rubinius development. Of course, since the process is so dynamic, it was kind of like peeking behind one of those clear shower curtains. Nonetheless, having Evan there as a guide pointing out the interesting bits and the philosophy made it quite interesting. It was a great kickoff to the rest of the conference.
Ezra’s talk focused on Merb and was more of a nitty-gritty kind of talk than Evan’s was. One bombshell that dropped was that there’s a Merb book in the works from Manning—I wonder if my predictions of a Ruby web framework to challenge Rails are finally going to come true. It was also interesting to hear Ezra talk about the different use cases for mongrel vs. thin or evented-mongrel.
Finally, there were a couple of neat things that won’t make the videos. We were able to raise over a thousand dollars for the Ruby Mendicant project. We didn’t raise enough money to get Steve Baker to Scotland, but it was pretty cool to have some of our speakers come up and say that they wanted to donate their honorarium to him. We even made a great donation on the local front, giving our leftover boxed lunches on Saturday (about 60 of them) to a local food pantry.
We had some great sponsors who made the conference possible. Addison-Wesley , Apress, and O’Reilly all donated books for us to give away in our binary lottery. Because of our sponsors, speakers, and attendees we ended up with a great conference. Thanks everyone!