Annc: The Ruby Underground

16 December 2006

blogging java ruby web-20


Following on the heels of my last post, I'd like to announce the Ruby Underground. It's simply a selective aggregator of Ruby blogger content. There's already plenty of sources for generic ruby content. Tons of 20-something youngsters (yes, I'm old) are out there talking about Ruby on Rails and such.

The Ruby Underground tries to address a slightly different audience. Thus far, all contributors to the underground are either current or former Java hackers. They've been around the block a time or two and feel squeamish watching all the SQL that ActiveRecord throws. Yet, they have an affinity to the beauty of Ruby.

While "enterprisey" is typically a derisive term, I think the Ruby community could use some "enterpriseyness" to help bring it, um, to the enterprise.

Anyhow, the Ruby Underground, as noted, is just an aggregator. If you already read Bob, Brian, Dion, Kurt, Lance, Martin, Paul and Simon, it probably has nothing to offer you. On the other hand, you'll miss out when other bloggers are invited to be contributors.

100% Pure Ruby(tm)

26 September 2006

day-job java ruby technology tools

Picture 34.pngRecently I've been doing a fair amount of work in Ruby. And yes, I've felt super-productive. Particularly compared to Java.

The downside of working in Java is the 100% Pure Java(tm) mentality. In the search for a clean and cohesive system, we take the attitude that if it's not pure Java, it's crap. In Java, if we need something to happen periodically, we might examine TimerTask, decide it's insufficient and move on to Quartz. So we add it to our build, figure out the API, realize it conflicts with some other dependency. Well, damn.

With Ruby, it's scripty enough to not feel the need to have a 100% Pure Ruby(tm) mentality. A Ruby system needs something to occur periodically, we just open a pipe to crontab and hand that bit off to cron.

"But Windows doesn't have cron!"

Too bad.

Use a better operating system.

The majority of systems deploy to Linux or some other Unix-alike. Developing on a Unix-ish system only makes sense. You wouldn't prepare to drive an RV by tooling around in a Kia Sportage, now would you?

When you break free of the JVM mentality and assume a sensible host operating system, you realize that the OS itself is your virtual machine to play in. If it's in your $PATH and can be expected to behave reasonably well on any sane Unix-like OS, by all means, use it.

Back to the premise... Since Ruby is indeed "scripty" you can accomplish a crapload just using a pair of backticks, effectively not even using Ruby at all.

And you can do it without guilt or complication. Completely unlike punting to Runtime.exec(...). That always makes you feel dirty.

Perhaps Groovy and JRuby will help break the never-escape-the-JVM attitude. Give a developer backticks and easy pipes to subprocesses, and no telling what sort of nefarious things he might could do.

Oof Uncamp SF Recap

16 September 2006

codehaus events food java opensource web-20

Brian Topping had the foresight to bring his digital SLR and document the Oof Uncamp gathering last Tuesday evening. Attendees included some current and ex-ThoughtWorkers (Paul Hammant, Kurt Schrader), some guy from Ning (Brian McCallister), a cow-orker (Pete Royal) and a VP of something-or-another at Yahoo! (Sam Pullara). Plus our intrepid photo-historian, Brian Topping. Random partners and friends-of-friends were inbibing with us. Click the photo for even more photos.

Conversation ranged from why everything Yahoo! touches is so ugly to ranting about how freaking cold it was that night. By the time it was all over, Sam was talking about some ideas that involve fleeing the country, never to return. My reputation as Mr Perma-Beta was re-affirmed, and apparently is to blame for Radar's perma-stealth mode.

Yes, it's all my fault. I also cause cancer.

We befriended and inducted Cephus and Mongo as honorary hausmates. We doubt either of them own a computer, but they were nice guys, and the Codehaus Foundation needs some muscle on staff, in case we have some enforcing that needs doing.

Remember kids, any gathering of 3-or-more hausmates is an event. Or an un-event. 2.0.

The Lazy Coast

04 September 2006

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Picture 23.png My luxurious jet-set lifestyle is taking me to the San Francisco area in a week. September 10th through the 14th, I'll be in the general area of all things 2.0. I'm truly excited to finally get to meet my coworkers. Yes, I've worked for Radar Networks for just about a year now. No, I've never met a single coworker while employed with Radar Networks. I have met Peter Royal before, but that was before either of us worked for the company.

I am tentatively thinking of a Tuesday (12 September) evening Codehaus Oof Uncamp Conference 2.0, where hausmates, sympathizers, collaborators and detractors can gather to do no camping but rather consume some Beers 2.0 . Though, who knows. Maybe we'll do it Wednesday, or Sunday. We're agile.

Locals will need to suggest some good location and pick my ass up near Chinatown.

We've got a thing, and it's called radar love..

28 August 2006

day-job java technology web-20

Picture 19.png My Day-Job has been secreted behind a wall of secret secrecy. It still is. But we have a new website tonight. There's a tad more information than previously disclosed, but only a little. You can learn a little bit about our investors and our management team. Meanwhile, we're still heads-down cranking out the best massively-scalable ferumnibiting osteobithorpolexer you'll ever have seen. I've already said too much. If I disclose anything else, I'll be sure to be receiving The Memo. And we wouldn't want that.

Hey mon, Gone to OSCon

24 July 2006

codehaus events java opensource technology

Picture 12.png Well, I've managed to procure both travel and lodging for OSCon in Portland this week. I still don't actually have a conference pass, but what is life without challenges? If you're an exhibitor or just a friendly soul who has a spare pass or would like to sponsor me, email bob@ this domain.

I'm arriving around lunchtime on Wednesday, and departing at the break of day on Friday. I think I'm going to the Jive Software party. Henri Yandell has suggested a haus party on Wednesday night, but we'll see how things pan out. I can be SMS'd on my shoephone, which can be found on my contact page.

Codehaus Basement

14 July 2006

codehaus java north-carolina technology

Picture 3.png I'm quite pleased to announce that the efforts of Dan Diephouse to get the Codehaus turned into a wheaties.jpgbonafide non-profit organisation has produced results. Now we are just awaiting certification from the IRS for our tax-exempt status. Paul Brown is our Director of Altruism, and will be coordinating our fund-raising activities. As always, I'm just the smiling face on the front of the cereal box.

Week in Review

18 June 2006

events java jboss

  • Flew to JBossWorld conference in Vegas
  • Lost $200 on slots
  • Wife won $240 on slots
  • Went to a party at the top of the world (with go-go dancers, see photos)
  • Hung out with Thomas Diesler, Mark Proctor, and Tom Bayeans. (Belgian farmboys are funny when drunk)
  • Helped present a Drools/JBoss Rules BoF
  • Saw Penn Teller
  • Flew home
  • Got food poisoning (Recovering, mostly complete)

JBoss, Rules, Vegas, Vegetarians

10 June 2006

codehaus events java jboss

Picture 12.pngDon't forget kids, next week I'll be at that JBoss conference, where I'll be pitching in on the JBoss Rules BOF, in Vegas, with that vegetarian Mark Proctor. And remember Mark, nobody likes a vegetarian. Though, maybe we like you a little bit for kicking ass and getting Drools 3.0 out the door. Rock on, you little British man, rock on!

Sanity, Slight Return

26 May 2006

codehaus disaster java technology web-20

Picture 6.png Through the kick-ass efforts of Ben Walding (pictured left with his, um, jaffles iron...) and major assists by Contegix, sanity has started to return to the haus. All repositories are capable of being open for business, pending the project despots decision. So, if CVS/Subversion is missing, go bug the project lead.

We've got all project mail flowing again, with a new web-based management piece for subscribing and unsubscribing. While the downtime sucked more than most things can suck, we're coming back with better tooling and infrastructure. This is mostly the result of not being willing to reconfigure all of our projects by hand. So we've scripted the heck out of things.

newhaus.pngWe're still working on personal and project webspace. Previous sites should be up, except those using plain HTML. Any Confluence-backed site is good to go. All projects are currently restricted from producing new distributions on, but we're quickly working towards a solution for that. Pretty soon the front page will return to its normally scheduled programming.

Plus, we've got a new logo. Everything goes better with a new logo.