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

By Peter Cooper / November 14, 2010

appsumo.pngAppSumo is an intriguing “bad ass developer bundle” that brings together $1543 of credit for ten different Web app development related resources (most are Ruby focused or have Ruby APIs) for a mere $47 purchase.

The services include:

  • Twilio – an API driven telephony service (I use this — it’s great)
  • Heroku – the Ruby webapp hosting environment
  • Hoptoad – the errors notification service
  • New Relic – the performance monitoring and application management service
  • As well as Recurly, SendGrid, MongoHQ, SauceLabs, Infochimps and Linode.

Sadly I’m already signed up with most of these services and most of the credits are for new or upgraded accounts only, but if you want to give any of the above services a try or want to build a new app that relies on them, this looks like a steal. Read More

By Peter Cooper / November 10, 2010

If you’ve been following the Ruby scene for a while you’ll have heard of Gregory Brown. He’s the author of O’Reilly’s Ruby Best Practices, creator of the Prawn PDF library, and the head honcho of the Ruby Mendicant University. He does a lot of community funded Ruby work and his latest attempt to help fund his work is Practicing Ruby, an e-mail newsletter and discussion group dedicated to helping intermediate Rubyists to sharpen their skills.

Each week, Gregory will choose a topic that he thinks trips up intermediate Ruby developers from time to time and dig deep into it by sending background information along with discussion points and questions for readers. Read More

By Peter Cooper / November 10, 2010

In Making CI easier to do than not to with Hudson CI and Vagrant, Dr Nic Williams (of EngineYard) presents a walkthrough of setting up a VM-based continuous integration system in order to reliably test your apps across multiple setups:

It’s typically good stuff from everyone’s favorite doctor of Ruby. Read More

By Peter Cooper / November 10, 2010

herokufacebook.pngHeroku, a popular Ruby webapp hosting platform that’s picked up $13m in funding, has today unveiled their new Facebook App package. The package is aimed squarely at people wanting to develop Facebook apps and brings together several of Heroku’s main offerings in a single, discounted monthly package.

Facebook apps represent a sizable portion of the close to 100,000 apps currently being hosted on Heroku, so the company felt it was time to target them directly. The package offers a Ronin-level dedicated database, 20 worker/dyno processes, 1GB of Memcache, New Relic Gold, and $200 of “platform credit” to add other features (such as SSL or the Sendgrid e-mail system). Read More

By Peter Cooper / November 3, 2010

rom.pngA few days ago, Burke Libbey, a Winnipeg based Ruby and Rails developer, gave a presentation called Ruby’s Object Model: Metaprogramming and Other Magic to the Winnipeg.rb Ruby user group. I though it was interesting enough to embed here.

Presentations about metaprogramming and how the Ruby object model works are hardly anything new, but Burke has approached it in a friendly, easy to understand (though terse – but that’s why it’s a presentation) fashion, despite including the relevant C from MRI on the slides. Topics covered include how classes and objects are represented and related to each other, how singleton classes work, how method lookups work, and.. Read More

By Peter Cooper / October 26, 2010

chronic.pngTom Preston-Werner has pushed out version 0.3.0 of Chronic, the popular natural language date and time parsing library for Ruby. It’s a significant release because the last was 0.2.3 back in July 2007! Grab it now with gem install chronic

Despite the long time between releases, Chronic hasn’t gone without attention. It’s been sitting on GitHub and attracting patches for years, but Tom (who’s already pretty busy, y’know, running GitHub) has now decided to bundle it up and push it live.

What does 0.3.0 get you?

  • Improved time-zone support
  • Handles “on” in phrases like “10am on Saturday”
  • Now ignores commas (which could throw it off before)
  • Supports “weekend” and “weekday”
  • Allows numeric timezone offsets (e.g.
  • Read More

By Peter Cooper / October 22, 2010

treetop.pngTreetop is one of the most underrated, yet powerful, Ruby libraries out there. If you want to write a parser, it kicks ass. The only problem is unless you’re into reading up about and playing with parsers, it’s not always obvious how to get going with them, or Treetop in particular. Luckily Aaron Gough, Toronto-based Ruby developer, comes to our rescue with some great blog posts.

Aaron, who has a passion for messing around with parsers and language implementations, recently released Koi – a pure Ruby implementation of a language parser, compiler, and virtual machine. If you’re ready to dive in at the deep end, the code for Koi makes for good reading. Read More

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

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