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

Author Archives: Peter Cooper

By Peter Cooper / October 22, 2010

windows-ruby.jpgBack in August, Microsoft seemed to get tired of IronRuby so its project leader Jimmy Schementi jumped ship while asking the Ruby community to step up and get involved in its future. Today, Microsoft has announced new leadership for IronRuby (and IronPython) and has effectively jettisoned it into the community as a true fully open source project.

So who’s in charge of IronRuby now? Jimmy Schementi, naturally, and Miguel de Icaza, the founder of the Mono and Gnome projects and generally all round super famous open source dude.


Schementi has written about what the leadership changes and Microsoft’s announcements mean in the greater scheme of IronRuby’s development. Read More

By Peter Cooper / October 21, 2010

appstoreformac.pngAt its “Back To Mac” presentation yesterday, Apple unveiled the Mac App Store, an equivalent of the iOS App Store for the Mac. Given the relentless development and improvement of MacRuby and the power it brings Rubyists in developing complete OS X applications, I’m convinced that the time is right for Ruby to make a big splash on the OS X GUI app development front.

When I mentioned the above observation on Twitter, Geoffrey Grosenbach of PeepCode pointed out:


He’s right, but things like app stores have a funny way of acting as catalysts for developers to come out of the woodwork and try new things out. Read More

By Peter Cooper / October 20, 2010

It’s time for us to thank the companies who help keep Ruby Inside (and often other Ruby sites) going by sponsoring our work. Luckily, they’re all pretty interesting in their own right and have some worthwhile products and services to check out.

Joyent — Public Cloud Hosting for Rails

Joyent is a leading infrastructure provider to some of the fastest growing businesses on the web, including those in the social gaming, digital agency, publishing, eCommerce, and iOS industries. Joyent helped customer AKQA, an agency for many of the world’s leading brands, scale on demand to meet wildly successful online campaigns. Read More

By Peter Cooper / October 19, 2010

We talked about the road to Passenger 3 a few months ago but Phusion have now reached the end of it with the final, production release of Passenger 3.0.0! Congratulations to the team.

Phusion’s Passenger is the de facto way to deploy Ruby based webapps (a statement backed up by Hampton Catlin’s Ruby Survey) so if you haven’t yet made the jump, 3.0.0 provides a good excuse. It’s as stable as ever but there’s even more performance and a ton of new features, as covered in Phusion’s four “technological previewblog posts.

RVM users will also be happy to learn that it’s now reasonably easy (and I say “reasonably” because you’ll still need to do some reading) to deploy Passenger to cover multiple Ruby versions. Read More

By Peter Cooper / October 13, 2010

Have you seen Michael Hartl’s It’s a free online “book” that walks you through from start to finish with building either a Rails 2.3 or Rails 3.0 app (though a $39 PDF rendering is also available). After finishing the book, Michael set to work on some screencasts covering the same ground in video form and it’s now released: the The Ruby on Rails Tutorial screencasts, clocking in at over 15 hours of content, are now live.

Michael’s project is the latest in a line of self publishing efforts in the Ruby and Rails communities and it’s gone down a storm on Hacker News. Read More

By Peter Cooper / October 10, 2010

9 months in the making comes RSpec 2.0, the latest major version of Ruby’s most popular behavior driven development (BDD) framework (now at a gem install rspec near you). Kudos to the 82 contributors and RSpec’s team lead, David Chelimsky.

What has RSpec 2.0 got that RSpec 1.x doesn’t?

  • Modularity. RSpec has been split up into multiple gems each with a particular focus like mocks, core, and “expectations.” The theory behind this is that you could pick and choose parts from other frameworks, though I suspect most users will not benefit from this.
  • Totally new runner. RSpec 2.0 has borrowed heavily from the Micronaut, a BDD framework that adds more metadata and more structure to test suites.
  • Read More

By Peter Cooper / October 8, 2010

Just a month ago, David Heinemeier Hansson welcomed Rails’ newest core team member, Santiago Pastorino. Strikingly, Santiago only started to contribute code to Rails earlier in the year and it’s not every day that DHH is trumpeting someone else’s productivity, so I had to catch up with him and learn his story.

When did you first get into Ruby programming and how did it occur?

I started around mid 2008 when I decided along with my friend José Costa to start our company WyeWorks. I wasn’t deeply familiar with Ruby and Rails at the time since we had to do a bunch of stuff to keep the company alive and focused on what we already knew. Read More

By Peter Cooper / October 5, 2010

The MacRuby team has announced the release of MacRuby 0.7. No significant feature releases but stability and performance boosts are always particularly welcomed in alternative Ruby implementations.

To me, the most exciting “new” feature is the exposing of MacRuby’s built-in “sandboxing” functionality through a Sandbox class. Sandboxing goes a lot further than Ruby’s typical safe mode features, since it blocks activities performed by all of the libraries and system services called by your app’s process too.

If MacRuby hasn’t been on your radar recently, it’s also worth checking out the new MacRuby-powered Control Tower server that’s based on Rack and takes full advantage of MacRuby’s concurrency facilities. Read More

By Peter Cooper / September 29, 2010

Infinity Test is a new library by Tomas D’Stefano that pitches itself as a “flexible alternative to Autotest.” If you want your project’s tests (both RSpec or Test::Unit are supported) to be automatically run when changes are made, this is a great place to start.

The big benefit of Infinity Test is the support for testing across multiple Ruby implementations, powered by RVM (a candidate for Ruby project of the year, if ever there were one). For example, if you have some Test::Unit tests that you want to be run on Ruby 1.8.7, JRuby, Ruby Enterprise Edition, and Ruby 1.9.2, you could run:

infinity_test –test-unit –rubies=1.8.7,jruby,ree,1.9.2

There’s also a configuration file system with its own DSL to build more complex automated testing systems with customized notification systems and callbacks. Read More

By Peter Cooper / September 27, 2010

Charles Max Wood of Teach Me To Code Screencasts has put together a 13 minute screencast demonstrating how to use some Ruby metaprogramming magic along with Rack in order to build a small Sinatra-esque webapp framework. Watch the HD version at Vimeo or download the video to get the best quality.

Charles is also trying to raise a little money to help him get to RubyConf and do some coverage from there. If you enjoy this screencast, I’m sure he’d love a few bucks (and might sing your praises into the bargain). Read More

By Peter Cooper / September 26, 2010

Let’s straight into it. There are currently 10 great positions being advertised on the Ruby Inside jobs board. Here’s a roundup:

CTO of Nurph at Nurph (a Twitter chat startup)
London / Remote, United Kingdom

User Interface Designer in the Solar Industry at Enphase Energy
Petaluma, California

Experienced Rails Developer at Daily Burn (a fitness webapp)
New York, New York

ProFounder Front end Developer at ProFounder Financial
Los Angeles, California

Lead Software Developer – New Media at America’s Test Kitchen
Brookline, Massachusetts

Rails App Support Engineer at Engine Yard (who hasn’t heard of these guys!?)
San Francisco, California

Software Engineer at HealthCentral
Arlington, Virginia

Lead Ruby on Rails Developer at TCI
Mountain View, California

Lead Software Engineer at HealthCentral
Arlington, Virginia

Sr. Read More

By Peter Cooper / September 24, 2010

Version 1.1 is the latest release of Rubinius, a Ruby implementation based around a C++ and LLVM virtual machine but with the bytecode compiler and majority of the core written in Ruby itself. It’s often called a “Ruby in Ruby.” We celebrated and explained the background to Rubinius’ 1.0 release 4 months ago.

The Rubinius 1.1 release brings the typical benefits to the table — performance improvements, bug fixes, improved memory usage, and increased stability (notably with Rails 3) — and brings together 546 commits from 16 developers led by Evan Phoenix. More technically, additions include block inlining within the JIT system, a new GIL algorithm, a “report” system for VM crashes, and better checks for detecting bad extensions. Read More

By Peter Cooper / September 20, 2010

It’s time for us to thank the companies who help keep Ruby Inside (and often other Ruby sites) going by sponsoring our work. Luckily, they’re all pretty interesting in their own right and have some worthwhile products and services to check out (and Linode recently put their prices down!).

Interested in sponsoring Ruby Inside & 17 other Ruby sites? Click here to learn more.

Recurly — Subscription Billing In 3 Easy Steps

Recurly is a recurring billing service, ideal for webapps and other subscription based systems. Recurly’s goal is to help you boost your monthly subscription revenue without getting in the way. Read More

By Peter Cooper / September 20, 2010

Read Ruby is an online “book” about Ruby 1.9 in a mostly referential style. It’s licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license so is reasonably “free” if you want to make and share changes, as long as you’re not doing so for profit.

The author stresses that the book is in “a very rough state” but it looks pretty good to me so far. There are 19 chapters covering broad topics like strings, character encoding, IO, files, and objects in general. Notably, the book is heavily focused on syntax rather than instruction.

The book’s source files are hosted on GitHub if you want to get involved. Read More

By Peter Cooper / September 14, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about, a “good looking, up-to-date Ruby documentation” site powered by YARD. Well, as of YARD 0.6 you can get the same greatness that provides applied to your local machine’s collection of gems in just a few steps. Try it out – you won’t regret it.

Step 1: Install YARD. Install the yard gem with sudo gem install yard or similar.

Step 2: Run the YARD server. Run yard server –gems. Take note of the hostname and port given in the output.

Step 3: Get browsing. Visit, where the IP address and port should be replaced with those provided by the YARD server. Read More