Saturday, October 21, 2006

RubyConf 2006: Day One

I did take notes, but Kevin Tew has been doing a better job than I did, so I sent him a copy of my notes to combine with his and create a better report. Nick Sieger also did an incredible job of note taking, so you might look there as well (I'll be linking to Nick's reports until Kevin gets our notes posted). So, instead of a detailed report of various talks, I'd just like to point out some of my thoughts and impressions.

Although all the talks were good, three really stood out to me on the first day; Takahashi-san's (yes, that Takahashi), Evan Phoenix's, and Zed Shaw's.

First of all, it was incredible to see Takahashi's presentations — 306 slides for a ~40 minute presentation! Getting the back story of Ruby was pretty cool too. I loved the (translated) chat log of the naming of Ruby. Who knew it might have been 'coral' instead. (Going with Ruby was the right choice matz.)

Evan's talk about rubinius was something I'd been looking forward to, and he didn't disappoint. rubinius is an implementation of Ruby in Ruby that translates itself into C. This allows all kinds of research opportunities, and should be leveragable (is that a word?) by all of the other ruby implmentations.

Earlier in the day, Zed mentioned to me that he wasn't going to swear during his talk ... I wanted to see it just to see if he could make it. He did (nothing stronger than minor scatology) — he also gave a great talk about the basics of Fuzz testing and RFuzz. Among other things, he mentioned my defunct RWB project and that he is in fact pulling some of the reporting ideas from it into the next release of RFuzz. He also convinced me that I need to fuzz r43, and learn more statistics so that I can make real sense of the results.

The coolest thing about RubyConf is meeting all the people though — and new. John Lam and Hal Fulton were both actively taking pictures throughout the day (what else would you expect?) Eric Hodel and Ryan Davis were there with a large contingent from the Seattle.rb. A big group of us (matz, Koichi, John Lam, Charles Nutter, Evan Phoenix, Ryan Davis, Eric Hodel, Kevin Tew, Nathaniel Talbott, Paul Brannan, Tim Bray, Zed Shaw, and I) held a Ruby Implementers Summit over dinner — lot's of interesting ground was covered, and some shared objectives were laid out (especially around testing and writing a specification).

I'm really looking forward to today's activities.

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