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

Author Archives: Peter Cooper

By Peter Cooper / June 11, 2011

I hang out in #nwrug on Freenode, the IRC channel of a Ruby user group here in the UK, and floated the idea of doing a PostgreSQL (a.k.a. Postgres) installation tutorial for Ruby Inside. Coincidentally, it turned out 37signals sysadmin Will Jessop was already working on one so, I present.. Setting up PostgreSQL for Ruby on Rails development on OS X by Will Jessop :-)

The Article..

Will’s post is a walkthrough of the process from sitting at an empty terminal prompt through to having a barebones Rails 3 app running on a Postgres powered database. It’s entirely Mac OS X focused, so don’t expect to enjoy it too much if you’re on Linux or Windows! Read More

By Peter Cooper / June 8, 2011

A few days ago I told the story of ruby-head (MRI) getting 36% faster loading, perfect for tackling those file-heavy Rails 3 apps. Awesome for Ruby 1.9.3 but not so good for us now, right? Todd Fisher to the rescue! He’s created a patch backporting the performance tweak to Ruby 1.9.2-p180.

Tip: If you’re still on 1.8, check out The Ruby 1.9 Walkthrough, a mega screencast aimed at Ruby 1.8.7 developers who want to learn all about what’s new, what’s gone, and what’s different in Ruby 1.9.2 and 1.9.3.

First, The Results

As the current production version of Ruby, a boost for Ruby 1.9.2-p180 should benefit most of you so I knew I had to share Todd’s work as soon as I’d given it a test run. Read More

By Peter Cooper / June 5, 2011

Xavier Shay is an Australian Rubyist who shares an issue with most of us: slow loading Rails 3 apps on Ruby 1.9.2! Unlike most of us, he put together a solution for ruby-head (what I’m calling 1.9.3 but isn’t technically*) that, in my own tests, slashed 37% off the boot time of my Rails 3.0 app. He shared his work just a week ago. Awesome! But some other developments have occurred since..

* Just because things are in ruby-head doesn’t mean they’ll definitely make it into Ruby 1.9.3. Pragmatically, though, ruby-head seems to have attracted the ‘Ruby 1.9.3′ moniker and it makes for a better headline. Read More

By Peter Cooper / May 28, 2011

You’ve given Rubinius a spin, right? And contributed code to the project? If you didn’t already know, Rubinius is an ‘alternative’ Ruby-sorta-written-in-Ruby implementation that’s production ready and has been going from strength to strength recently (I post about it quite a bit). And whatever your answers to those questions, the Rubinius team are kicking things up a notch by bribing you to get involved!

The Rubinius Rewards Program

The Rubinius team has announced the “Rubinius Rewards” program. The good part is that they have lots of “general availability” stickers and t-shirts available for anyone who wants to write in and claim one. Read More

By Peter Cooper / May 25, 2011

Ruby Inside wouldn’t be what it is without you, eager reader, but it’s time for us to thank the companies who help to keep Ruby Inside going by kindly sponsoring our work. Thanks to all of you! We take care not to accept sponsors who have little of interest to the Ruby scene so hopefully you’ll find out something useful from the below :-)

Jumpstart Lab – Rails Training Experts

Jumpstart Lab, headed by Jeff Casimir, is a training company specializing in Ruby on Rails. Their classes are usually two days long and while their prescheduled classes tend to be in Washington DC, where they’re based, they’ll travel anywhere if you have (or can find) at least six attendees. Read More

By Peter Cooper / May 17, 2011

Just over 3 years ago in May 2008, I wrote about New Relic for the first time. Since then they’ve grown rapidly and dominate the Ruby and Rails application monitoring scene with their RPM service. Today, they’ve made some major tweaks..

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of RUM (Real User Monitoring)

New Relic’s CEO Lew Cirne (whose name is an anagram of New Relic – geddit?) invited me onto a call to tell me about a new feature that they call “Real User Monitoring” (a.k.a. RUM). Essentially it’s a significant expansion to the things that the New Relic system tracks. Read More

By Peter Cooper / May 17, 2011

Ruby on Rails’ creator David Heinemeier Hansson is currently at RailsConf 2011 along with hundreds of other Ruby and Rails developers. In a first for RailsConf, there’s a live stream of some of the event which is was embedded below so you could watch DHH’s keynote.

DHH’s keynote starts started at around 9.15am Eastern on May 17, 2011 and while I had a embedded live stream here, I’ve now replaced it with the final archive video from YouTube:

If you can’t see the video above, you’re in a feed reader/similar that doesn’t support embedded streams and you’ll need to click through to Ruby Inside to view it. Read More

By Peter Cooper / May 11, 2011

I haven’t posted in a long time. Oops. But I have good (and soon to be exciting) reasons! Anyway, it all kicks off again right here with the announcement of a new Ruby podcast I’ve become involved in – it’s called Ruby Rogues.

Ruby Rogues is a new Ruby podcast chaired by Charles Max Wood (of Teach Me To Code fame) and featuring David Brady (Tourbus), James Edward Gray II (Ruby Quiz), Aaron “tenderlove” Patterson (of Nokogiri, Ruby core and Rails core fame), and me. It’s recorded each Thursday (though there’s only one episode so far) and, over time, the line up will probably vary a bit due to our various conflicting schedules. Read More

By Peter Cooper / April 14, 2011

Maybe I’m weird (actually, there’s no maybe about it) but when I first heard about Rails 3.1 getting CoffeeScript and Sass out of the box, I wanted to see how it worked and how smooth the process would be. So like quite a few people on IRC I’ve seen, I installed edge Rails (currently 3.1.0-beta) and got playing. (Yes, it’s PRE-RELEASE. Expect mischief!)

I hit a couple of stumbling blocks on my way so I thought I’d explain what I found to be the smoothest way through to getting to play with the new Rails 3.1 goodies. I’ll only take you as far as making some changes and seeing the results, though – you’re on your own from there! Read More

By Peter Cooper / April 13, 2011

Guess what? Yep, the forthcoming Rails 3.1 is going to be bringing in a few new friends as dependencies: CoffeeScript, jQuery, and Sass. What does this mean? Why has this been controversial? I’m going to quickly run through the details here.

jQuery – A Non-Controversial Switch

It was back in March (2011) when David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Rails, dropped an interesting nugget of info on Twitter:

A lot of Rails applications lean on JavaScript to provide client-side and AJAX functionality. Till now, the Prototype library had been included in Rails by default as a way to make various things easier to achieve across different browsers, but jQuery has become significantly more popular over the last few years. Read More

By Peter Cooper / April 6, 2011

Today there are *drumroll* 18 new jobs to share from the Ruby Jobs board from companies like Expedia, Brightbox (the British Rails hosting guys) and LivingSocial.

To promote a job, see the Post A Job page. A bonus is your ad gets into the 4500 subscriber Ruby Weekly for free. In terms of overall reach to Rubyists, nothing beats what we can offer with Ruby Inside, Ruby Flow, Rails Inside and Ruby Weekly.

So, there are some beauties in here.. they spanning the USA and UK and one even includes a $10K signup bonus:

Rails Software Engineer with MS stack experience – Bellevue, Washington

Expedia, Inc (you know, the travel site) is looking for a Software Development Engineer with a minimum of 2 years’ Web development experience with a proven ability to design and deploy Rails based apps in a corporate environment. Read More

By Peter Cooper / March 29, 2011

As an outspoken and opinionated guy, David Heinemeier Hansson (a.k.a. DHH), creator of Rails, is no stranger to a little bit of controversy. He frequently sets off interesting debates on Twitter from his @dhh account. The latest is, perhaps, the most involved yet and has been rattling on for a couple of hours today.

So what’s the beef? RSpec and Cucumber versus.. Test::Unit. It’s no secret that DHH is a happy Test::Unit (and fixtures) user. Last October he tweeted:

But here’s what kicked off today’s debate:

Naturally, this brought a plethora of heckles, support, snark, and questions from DHH’s followers, including:

More specifically, though, DHH noted that this gist comparing some Test::Unit tests to RSpec triggered his statements. Read More

By Peter Cooper / March 25, 2011

I started Ruby Inside in May 2006 as a promotional vehicle for my then in-progress book, Beginning Ruby. It eventually went on to be published by Apress and is now on its second edition having sold quite a few copies.

It’s typical to choose someone who’s better known than you in the field to write a foreword for you to lend some legitimacy to your book and I only had one choice: Why The Lucky Stiff. As with many Rubyists, Why was a hero of mine and I wanted to go with the unusual route of an illustrated foreword. Surprisingly, Why readily accepted the challenge. Read More

By Peter Cooper / March 24, 2011

apple-ruby-3.jpgMacRuby’s lead developer and Apple employee Laurent Sansonetti has today released MacRuby 0.10 (yep, that’s ten), the latest version of the Mac OS X-focused Ruby implementation. 0.10 is the latest stepping stone on the way to a forthcoming 1.0 release.

Getting MacRuby

You can grab MacRuby 0.10 from the downloads page or directly at Beware, though, that the binary installer download will only work on 64 bit Intel-powered machines running OS X 10.6 or higher.

New Features, New Possibilities

0.10 is not a major release but a few things stand out in the release notes for 0.10 amongst all the usual performance tweaks and bug fixes:

  • Support for the new MacBook Pro hardware (SandyBridge processors).
  • Read More

By Peter Cooper / March 15, 2011

It’s a newsflash! JRuby 1.6.0 has been released today. Congratulations to the JRuby team. 1.6 is a significant and much awaited release and comes after a 9 month push of over 2500 commits.

Hit up the official release post for the full run-through but here are some of the highlights of the release:

  • Windows has been added to the JRuby team’s continuous integration system meaning that Windows support is only going to get better
  • Ruby 1.9.2 language and API support (with the exception of Encoding::Converter and ripper)
  • Built in profiler
  • General performance improvements
  • Experimental support for C extensions (with provisos)
  • RSpec is no longer included (worth mentioning in case it catches you out..)

You can download binary and source releases direct from if you want to get up to date or update RVM with rvm get head and rvm reload before running rvm install jruby-1.6.0 :-)

Fingers crossed for some great JRuby tutorials and guides coming along in the next couple of months. Read More