Potomac Ruby Hackers Hackfest 7/12 "After Action" Report

We had four participants today: Colin (Macdon?), Jim Kingdon, David James (but of course), and myself. Colin is fairly new to Ruby although an experienced programmer so we spent the first bit just discussing Ruby in general, some known Ruby issues (threading, GC, etc.), and then the growing glut of Ruby gems (class libraries). I love talking Ruby with people of varying experience levels so having someone new-ish to Ruby made me happy.

After a seeming eternity of wracking our brains for a hacking project, I believe that the kudos go to Jim for suggesting basic statistical analysis of GitHub. This sounded a beautifully horizontally and vertically scalable activity that would be relatively novice as well as experienced Rubyist friendly. Of we went to the races.

For those new-ish to Ruby, Git is a software version control system that has grown as a meme in the Ruby community – although not without reason. Linus wrote it to support the often highly concurrent and distributed development of the Linux kernel. Git has only grown in popularity since. GitHub is a most excellent site that supports open source software development, using Git, freely (as well as commercial projects at some cost).

I paired up with Colin for a bit, rarely hesitating, as usual, to share the goodness of Ruby with another programmer. We hammered out the basic structure for the project and pushed it on up to GitHub. From there, Jim and I banged out several commits over the period of the hackfest with Colin riding shotgun. It was the first time that I’d do truly concurrent development with Git. As we had agreed to a single GitHub repository, the experience felt somewhat SVNish to both Jim and I; however, I still find Git’s explicit control over change status much more comfortable.

David spent the session plying with dm-rest-adapter with me occasionally popping over to explain some weird-ass piece of code or another that I’d put in there. If I were epileptic, I’m hoping that dm-rest-adapter gets some more contributors. It’s a sad and lonely place for me (well, ok, lonely anyway – but I’m enjoying the largely SQL-free goodness of DataMapper).

We now have the beginnings of a tool up on GitHub that Jim and I (when I’m not working on dm-rest-adapter, for another post, jrsplenda, or maybe even jarjar_stinks – although I’m waiting for someone else who shall remain nameless for now to put the last finishing touches on JarJar…) will continue to work on. Obviously all our welcome to participate – especially locals! Feel free to join us on the Google Group and on #prhackers on irc.freenode.net.

Posted by evan on Saturday, July 12, 2008

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