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This Week’s Top Ruby News: JRuby 1.6.5, A New Prag Prog Book, Fast Specs, Rails Style Guide and More

By Peter Cooper / October 27, 2011

This week brings us a new JRuby release, some Ruby 2.0 news (but you knew that already, right? ;-)) and a new BDD library that seems to have struck a chord with the people I'm following on Twitter. Also, my Ruby Reloaded course is now also over half booked out so if you're curious, definitely check it out now.

Without further ado, here's a round up of the top Ruby news and releases from the last week, courtesy of Ruby Weekly:

Headlines and Releases

JRuby 1.6.5 Released: Rounding out Ruby 1.9 Support
The primary goal of JRuby's 1.6.x series is to round out the Ruby 1.9 support by fixing any reported incompatibilities. This continues with JRuby 1.6.5 and all JRuby users are encouraged to upgrade. 1.6.5 brings updates to RubyGems, fixes to 1.9 encoding and improved fiber performance.

Prag Prog Book 'Build Awesome Command-Line Applications in Ruby' in Beta
I haven't checked it out yet but the Pragmatic Programmers have announced the first beta release of a book by David Copeland about building well-formed command line applications in Ruby.

@CodeWisdom: Inspirational Programming Quotes via Twitter
I've started a new account on Twitter called @CodeWisdom, that's dedicated to sage programming related wisdom and quotes, as well as links to discussions on best practices and techniques. If you're on Twitter, follow along.

Ruby 2.0 Implementation Work Begins: What is Ruby 2.0 and What's New?
Ruby 2.0 is the next major version release of MRI Ruby, the de facto official Ruby implementation. What's it about and what might it include? Ruby Inside takes a look.

Articles and Tutorials

Connection Management in ActiveRecord (and How To Improve It)
Aaron 'tenderlove' Patterson talks about database connection management in ActiveRecord, how he's not pleased with it, and how he wants to step towards fixing it to be more like File's API.

Fast Specs!
Continuing the popular and recent string of posts about making your test or spec runs faster, Les Hill brings us more fast speccing goodness (RSpec specific, in this case) and shares a Rails app that implements his techniques.

Rails is Not Your Application
Speaking from the Uncle Bob bible, Nicholas Henry argues that Rails applications are better structured with a 'service layer' to better separate key application functionality from the restrictions of a framework. He presents a good case.

A Modern Guide to Threads (in Ruby)
Mike Perham recently spoke at RubyConf 2011 on some advanced threading-related topics. In this article, he explains, from a Ruby perspective, some gotchas with threads and why he thinks you should simply try and avoid them.

The Rails Style Guide: Rails 3 Advice in a Single README
The Rails Style Guide is a Rails 3-focused style guide presented in a single README file on GitHub. It covers a lot and is rather opinionated technology wise but is an easy read and you should pick up a few tips nonetheless.

A Quick Introduction to Rack
Satish Talim of RubyLearning presents a thorough introduction to Rack, the popular library that abstracts HTTP servers and requests in most common Ruby frameworks and webapp libraries.

Screencasts

Generating Spine Scaffolding with Rails
A super quick introduction to integrating Rails and Spine. Want to build a Rich Internet App in less than 8 minutes? Alex MacCaw shows you how to do it with Rails and the Spine JavaScript library.

Rails 3: Beginner to Builder - An 8 Part Rails Course Shared Online
Rails 3: Beginner to Builder was a course given by Richard Schneeman at the University of Texas over eight weeks and he's now shared the videos, slides, and other materials on his blog.

Libraries and code

Spinach: A New BDD Framework (Alternative to Cucumber)
Spinach is a new BDD framework that aims to resolve a number of perceived pain points with the popular Cucumber system. This blog post sums up the differences, pros and cons. Maybe it's the ideal way forward for you too?

GCC Installer for OS X (Without Xcode)
Gotten sick of needing to install Xcode when setting up RVM or just compiling Ruby on a new Mac? The osx-gcc-installer project can help you skip the pain by just giving you gcc in one hit.

High Voltage! Using Rails 3.1 for Static Sites
Nick Quaranto of Thoughtbot wanted to use Rails 3.1 in deploying a static site to take advantage of Rails' features and asset packaging. In this post, he demonstrates using the 'High Voltage' Rails engine to do just that.

Watch Tower: Track How Much Time You Spent at the Directory and File Level
WatchTower helps you track how much time you spend on all of your projects, at the project, directory, and file level. It's built in Ruby and supports TextMate and Xcode on Mac OS X.

Jobs of the Week

Last but not least..

Turbocharge Your Ruby Skillset With My Online Ruby Reloaded Course
Are you an intermediate Rubyist looking to boost your Ruby skillset with things like test driven development, OO design, building libraries and learning some of the lesser known nooks and crannies of Ruby? My Ruby Reloaded course runs in November and December and is now just over half sold out. If you want to join, check out this page for more info soon and use the code "SHOW" for $80 off the usual rate.

Other Posts to Enjoy

Twitter Mentions