RubyConf: First Annual RejectConf

Ryan Davis and Jacob Harris came up with a fantastic idea of holding a RejectConf after the scheduled RubyConf sessions. RejectConf was held saturday night after Matz keynote and was made up of 5 to 10 minutes talks by rubyist whose session proposal was shot down by the RubyConf selection committee. RejectConf was definitely a high light of the conference and thanks to however brought the three cases of beer!!!

The first reject of the night was Steven Baker who gave a top ten list of why not to use RSpec. It seems that RSpec does not get any respect, in a very Rodney Dangerfield-like way. According to Steven, if you use RSpec that is great, if you don’t that is better yet. Here is the first reason why you should not use RSpec, Steven was drunk when he wrote it. The next reason, Documentation is overrated. Moving down the list to the second reason not to use RSpec, tests that don’t read anything like English prevent customers from pointing out glaring errors in business logic. And the top reason not to use RSpec, because explaining to new members of your team that you really can test something that doesn’t exist is fun.

Another interesting RejectConf was regarding RubyOSA. Earlier in the day there was a similar talk by an Apple engineer descriving how to leverage Mac OS X from Ruby. This talk demonstrated a small RubyOSA program that resized all application windows opened in a Mac. According to the speaker, this hack is useful when moving from a big monitor at work to a small screen at home.

Another great RejectConf talk was by Charles Nutter. Charles is a developer on the JRuby project and is currently working at Sun. Charles gave a ‘shock and awe’ demo of prototyping a Swing app using JRuby. From the irb console he dynamically created a swing application . Charles also showed off some early alpha JRuby context help, refactoring support in NetBeans. According to Charles, some of the NetBeans work to support JRuby is being developed by JavaPosse member Tor Norbye.

Perhaps one of the best RejectConf talk was the skit enacted by Adam Keys. I am not going to say much about Adam’s skit except that it was a cross been Star Trek and Python, Ruby, and Java language wars. I will say that the Federation were Rubyists and I think the I think that the Ferengis were Java developers. Hilarious. See a video of the skit at TopFunky.

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