Ruby Weekly is a weekly newsletter covering the latest Ruby and Rails news.

Author Archives: Peter Cooper

By Peter Cooper / September 2, 2010

In Turn your Android Phone Into a Remote Spy Camera with Ruby in 15 Minutes, Mike Leone demonstrates how to use Ruby, Sinatra and Scripting Layer for Android (SL4A) to build and deploy a phone-hosted “spy camera” Web service.

SL4A is a system that allows you to run “scripting language” scripts and interactive interpreters on the Android platform. It currently supports JRuby, Python, Perl, Lua, JavaScript, BeanShell, and Tcl. Mike demonstrates how to set up a Sinatra project to use SL4A to run on an Android phone using JRuby. Upon receiving a request, Mike’s app takes a picture using the phone’s camera and serves it back over HTTP. Read More

By Peter Cooper / August 30, 2010 is a new, automatically updated Ruby documentation site by Loren Segal and Nick Plante that builds upon their earlier success with (which we posted about in 2009). It’s powered by YARD, a tool that puts out great looking Ruby documentation (there’ll be more about YARD in a post later this week). automatically generates documentation for all gems on (it updates its index once per day) but it does GitHub-hosted projects too. For to automatically update with documentation for your Ruby-related GitHub project, use the “Add Project” link on and then add as one of your post-commit hook URLs in your repository’s settings – on each future commit, your latest documentation will be built on Read More

By Peter Cooper / August 30, 2010

RubyKaigi is Japan’s “home” Ruby conference and the organizers have just put 27 videos from the RubyKaigi 2010 conference online. Unfortunately I can’t link to them individually as they’re embedded on a single page, so head over to and check them out.

Presentation titles include: Ruby 2.0, Ruby API is Improved Unix API, Rocking The Enterprise With Ruby, Mapping the World with DataMapper, The Necessity and Implementation of Speedy Tests, A Metaprogramming Spell Book, Conflicts and Resolutions in Ruby and Rails, and User Experience for Library Designers.

Two caveats: 1) Be aware that some of the presentations are in Japanese (unsurprisingly) although most of the slides include English and, of course, any Ruby is still readable. Read More

By Peter Cooper / August 30, 2010

DHH rings the bell and announces that Rails 3.0 (final) has been released after two years of determined effort by the Rails core team (and, significantly, Merb team members, since Rails 3.0 is heavily influenced by the Merb merger). Grab it now with gem install rails –version 3.0.0 or, if you’re in no rush, Rails 3.0.1 might come along within a week or two.

The Videos

DHH gives a quick roundup of some of Rails 3′s new features but like Emma Watson’s head PhotoShopped onto yet another naked body, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. If you’re really fresh to Rails 3.0, though, Gregg does an admirable job of boiling everything down into a digestible format with his (free!) Dive Into Rails 3.0 screencast series:

Ryan Bates has also produced a fistful of his typically succinct but precise RailsCasts videos on a wide array of Rails 3.0 topics. Read More

By Peter Cooper / August 29, 2010

EuRuKo is the brand of Europe’s principal Ruby conference series and EuRuKo 2010 took place in late May. Why, then, am I posting about it in August? First, I’m a strong supporter of EuRuKo and promised to post a roundup of the event here. Secondly, it turns out it took a while for the videos to all be uploaded ;-) Third, I’ve taken my time in getting round to it. Nonetheless, there are some amazing presentations you can watch and they’re still fewer than three months out of date!

One of the event’s organizers, Ela Madej, gives a summary:

While there are 37 videos on offer, some standouts include:

By Peter Cooper / August 25, 2010

It’s time to unveil my latest project: Ruby Weekly, a once-weekly e-mail roundup of 10-20 Ruby related links with a few sentences on each. It’s had a brief alpha testing period and it’s now ready to roll.

Click here to subscribe to Ruby Weekly – it’s a one click process. It’s also ultra simple to unsubscribe if it’s not eventually to your taste.

As well as featuring links and (very) brief summaries, the weekly e-mail will also occasionally include new event, book, and job announcements and, if something significant is going on in Rubyland, a few paragraphs of editorial. The aim, though, is to keep the e-mail reasonably brief, in a plain format, and, above all, useful. Read More

By Peter Cooper / August 24, 2010

SimpleCov builds on the ideas presented in Aaron Patterson’s recent, and awesome, Writing a Code Coverage Tool with Ruby 1.9 blog post. The result is a powerful yet straightforward code coverage tool that puts out some well formatted stats. Read More

By Peter Cooper / August 23, 2010

Jeremy Evans (of Sequel fame) has created home_run, a performance-focused C reimplementation of Ruby’s Date and DateTime classes. They work out to be significantly faster than the native Ruby classes while retaining compatibility (mostly).

Jeremy makes the surprising claim that “the standard library Date class is slow enough to be the bottleneck in much (if not most) of code that uses it”, but goes on to prove the point with a Rails related benchmark where retrieving all objects for two different models gets a 2x and 3x speedup with home_run loaded.

I hope that Jeremy ultimately aims to get his work included into MRI (as happened with FasterCSV replacing CSV in the stdlib) as standard. Read More

By Peter Cooper / August 18, 2010

Yuki (Yugui) Sonoda has just announced the release of the stable version of Ruby 1.9.2!

Ruby 1.9.2 passes 99% of RubySpec and, if you haven’t already given it a go, offers worthwhile performance increases over Ruby 1.9.1 and significant performance improvements over the 1.8.x series.

Intriguingly, Ruby 1.9.2 is only considered to have full, verified support on Debian Linux on 32 bit Intel architectures, with support for OS X 10.5 and 10.6, FreeBSD, Windows, and Solaris considered “best effort.” Linux distributions other than Debian are listed in the lower “perhaps” category for support, so running your own tests is more essential than ever before moving to 1.9.2 in production. Read More

By Peter Cooper / August 18, 2010

In Skinny Daemons, Dave Hrycyszyn presents a practical walkthrough of how he builds what he calls “skinny daemons” – small, HTTP based daemons to perform single tasks that are then packaged up into gems for easy installation (across multiple servers, for example). It’s a practical demonstration and holds your hand the whole way. Useful stuff.

An example of a skinny daemon is enigmamachine, a video processor Web service using ffmpeg to convert videos to profiles of your choice. Read More

By Peter Cooper / August 14, 2010

Back in June, I did a comparison of Mongoid and MongoMapper, the two best known MongoDB libraries for Ruby. Now, Ben Myles has brought another to the fore: Mongomatic.

I haven’t given it a try myself yet, but Ben’s done a good job of presenting it, along with example code, so check it out if MongoDB is your bag.

If you want more MongoDB related news, check out’s #mongodb tag. Lots of great stuff there. Read More

By Peter Cooper / August 14, 2010

SunnyConf is a single-track, one day conference taking place Sept. 25th in sunny Phoenix, AZ. There will be 8 speakers and a keynote, as well as lightning talks. Speakers include:

Check out the official SunnyConf Web site to see other speakers and keep up to date on the conference. Tickets are priced at $100. A limited number of seats are available, so get your tickets now!

If you missed out on RubyConf, which sold out just a few days ago, this could make for a good tonic. Read More

By Peter Cooper / August 13, 2010

Aaron Patterson (of Nokogiri fame) has written a post for the AT&T Interactive blog about writing a code coverage tool with Ruby 1.9:

It turns out that Ruby 1.9 already comes with support for code coverage monitoring. Aaron looks at how it works and improves how we interact with it a shade. Read More

By Peter Cooper / August 11, 2010

In “So You Want To Be a Ruby Dev” Kevin W Gisi presents a tongue in cheek narrative of a new Ruby developer being guided through the choices they have to make. (It’s being discussed on Hacker News too – some good comments there.)

He asks a lot of questions: Which Ruby implementation to use? Which Web framework? Which Gems? Which version of Rails should you use? Which database adapter? And he caps it off with a conclusion of sorts:

I like Kevin and I saw merit in his satirical tale (for without any merit something is not satire), but right away my gut felt his conclusion was bogus. Read More

By Peter Cooper / August 7, 2010

In April, we wrote about IronRuby hitting 1.0 and Microsoft’s “3 years with Ruby [paying] off.” It’s sad, then, to read today that program manager Jimmy Schementi is leaving Microsoft citing a rapidly decreasing interest in dynamic languages (other than JavaScript) at the software giant.

Schementi left Microsoft at the end of July and is on his way to work at a NYC-based financial technology consulting firm. I’m sure most Rubyists would be quick to join me in congratulating Schementi and the rest of the IronRuby team (including John Lam, who left in 2009) for making significant strides in a company and environment where the obstacles were piled high. Read More