July 9-12, 2009, Metropolitan Hotel, Toronto, Canada

People who program in Ruby aren’t like other coders

We are the artists, philosophers, and troublemakers. We realize that the fringe of today is the mainstream of tomorrow. We grease the engines of progress, even when we're working outside of the machine.

FutureRuby isn't a Ruby conference, but a conference for Rubyists. This is a call to order - a congress of the curious characters that drew us to this community in the first place. We have a singular opportunity to express a long-term vision, a future where Ruby drives creativity and prosperity without being dampened by partisan politics.


Living with 1000 open source projects

Dr. Nic Williams (Mocra)

I will be a developer for another 37 years; and by that time I might have created or maintained 500 to 1000 open source projects. In the last 3 years it is already a become maintenance challenge and in another 37 years I may be begging to retire. That is, unless we can solve the problem today: how to go from 1 to 1000 open source projects and still enjoy yourself.

This talk will challenge much of the dogma of open source and will make you rethink what is open source? And how the hell do you live with it once its written?

How To Work Less

Giles Bowkett (Archaeopteryx/ENTP)

Giles Bowkett is a champion kickboxer and competition tango dancer. He
sells drugs on the Internet and has amazing abs. We may be
exaggerating here. However, we can say without exaggeration that Giles
is going to teach you something remarkable. Everybody knows the 37
Signals story of building an app in your spare time. What a lot of
people can’t figure out is how to set aside any spare time in the
first place. We operate in an industry which values overwork. Giles is
going to teach you How To Work Less.

Building Native Mobile Apps in Rhodes

Adam Blum (Rhomobile)

Rhodes is an open source Ruby-based framework for building locally executing, device-optimized mobile applications for all major smartphone devices. These applications work with synchronized local data and also take advantage of native device capabilities such as GPS, PIM contacts, camera, and SMS. Yet you write the majority of your interface with high productivity in HTML and Ruby. Rhodes allows you to write an app once and it will then run on all iPhone, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian and Android smartphones. During this session we’ll build a sample app for all mobile devices, from scratch, in minutes.

Between the battleship and the Failwhale

Paul Dowman (EC2 on Rails/GigPark)

If you don’t engineer a battleship will you be swallowed by the Failwhale? Where’s the middle ground? A discussion on the philosophy and practice of staying light and nimble without falling down under load.

Programming Life

Austin Che (MIT/Synthetic Biology)

I will discuss a programming language that makes Ruby look like
child’s play. The language of life, DNA, has shown its robustness
and expressiveness through billions of years of pervasive
use. Engineers have recently begun to use DNA to reprogram life to
create a myriad of novel biological systems. Biology is currently
at the tip of a revolution similar to that of electricity and
magnetism at the beginning of the 20th century. The electrical
engineering revolution has allowed non-physicists to program in
high-level languages like Ruby by distilling classical physics
into a set of engineering design principles. Similarly, the
emerging field of synthetic biology applies engineering principles
to biology. Efforts to bring modularity, interchangeable parts,
abstraction and standardization to biology is beginning to allow
non-biologists to quickly and predictably design and build
biological systems. Soon, it may become child’s play to program
with DNA.

How Capitalism Saves Ruby From Corporatism

Nathaniel Talbott (Terralien)

The revolution isn’t free – none ever is. If we want to keep Ruby real
and not have the life sucked out of our community by soulless
corporations we have to learn to take value and turn it into cash. And
yes, we *can* learn!

Lean & Mean Tokyo Cabinet Recipes

Ilya Grigorik (AideRSS)

Tokyo Cabinet offers a great many features right out of the box: key-value store, ordered traversal, attribute search, schemaless data structures, and even indexing. We’ll explore these features with hands on examples and then delve into the advanced and little known feature of TC: ability to script it with Lua! We’ll explore a number of lean & mean recipes to take TC to the next level. A cache server you say? Perhaps a graph database?

Fighting the Imperial Californian Ideology

Jesse Hirsh (Openflows Network)

It is important that we understand the history of Imperial California
and the means by which its ideology infects us all. From Hearst and De
Young to Kevin Kelly and Chris Anderson the Californian Ideology is
the hegemony that prevents other great cities or ideas from rising.
Intrinsically we fight these ideas with our own, yet doing so blindly
prevents us from seeing who struggles with us, and with whom we stand
in solidarity. This presentation will help Future Ruby understand it’s
role in ending California’s reign.


Joseph Wilk (Cucumber)

Saucy Multilingual Cucumber seeks Fun and Frolics. Good-looking
plaintext acceptance testing framework seeks meaningful relationship
with devs, testers and non-techies too. Cucumber to my friends, Cuke
to my lovers, I yearn to help you strive towards your business value.
Very open minded, I enjoy a good web framework but am willing to get
funky with whatever tickles your fancy (iPhone, Erlang, GTK and even
Java). Most of all, I’d love to watch you, erm, refactor, and I can
keep you safe while you achieve your business and coding dreams. Must
speak one of my 23 languages or help me learn a new one. P.S: Don’t be
shy, Joseph Wilk knows me as intimately as anyone – he’s been like a
father to me – he’ll show you how to treat me right. Don’t worry
though – I’m easy to pick up and I don’t bite (unless you want me to).

Ruby Go Mobile Web

Brian LeRoux, Brock Whitten, Rob Ellis (Phonegap/Nitobi)

The future of Ruby is the same as the future for all computing: the
mobile web. Ruby developers need to make sure they are prepared to
take their skills mobile. And, currently, building mobile web
applications is a pain in the ass. In this presentation, Brian LeRoux,
Brock Whitten and Rob Ellis will introduce shortcuts for building
device neutral mobile applications with PhoneGap and other techniques
for smuggling our precious Ruby onto iPhones, Androids and elsewhere.

Transc/Ending Encoding

Collin Miller (WhatTech)

Much of what code editors do cover up for the gross impedance mismatch between machines and code. The artifacts of code misshape language design, system architecture, “the community”, and the craft as a whole. Cast off the robes of the textual high-priesthood and think about constructing programs instead of encoding them.

Open Standards for an Open Web

Molly E. Holzschlag (Opera Software ASA)

As the Web enters its unruly, rebellious teenage years, turmoil ensues. Will proprietary and closed application formats such as Adobe Flex and Microsoft Silverlight determine the path of the Web’s maturation? Or will the progressive, free and open standards model emerge as the more powerful, flexible identity? Always the rebel, Molly reveals the passionate, confusing and ultimately more powerful world of emerging Web standards such as HTML5, CSS3, SVG and how they each play into a free and open Web.

Introduction to Cappuccino

Francisco Tomalsky (280 North)

Francisco is a co-founder of 280 North and the creator of the Objective-J programming language. 280 North is bringing desktop-class applications to the browser with their new open source framework, Cappuccino. They recently launched 280 Slides, the first application built on Cappuccino. Before 280 North, Francisco was an early member of the iPhone team at Apple, working on Mobile Safari and Maps.

Version Control: Blood, Brain & Bones

Anita Kuno (Nutritionist/Programmer)

Usain Bolt revealed his nutrition sources to a Canadian journalist; KFC, McDonald’s and Chinese Food. If the world’s fastest man doesn’t bother eating healthy food, why should we? Ah, because we know something he may not. We know about Version Control!

Crimes Against Humanity, Writ Small

Matthew Knox

The Milgram experiments revealed a number of exploitable weaknesses in human psychology, and demonstrated that our collective human intuition drastically overestimates the difficulty of getting ordinary people to do extraordinarily awful things. I’m going to talk about those weaknesses, their exploitation, consequences, and aftermath.

Failure: An Illustrated Guide

Avi Bryant (Dabble DB)

The description of FAILCamp says “If you want to succeed, fail
faster”. While designing Trendly, our new product, we failed faster
and more frequently than ever before – and I have the chat logs and
screenshots to prove it. Watch me pack 6 months of failure into a 30
minute trip from initial idea through mockups, experiments,
epiphanies, implementations and re-implementations (in Smalltalk,
Java, Ruby, Python, JavaScript and ActionScript!) on the way to – we
hope – success.

# Polyglots Unite!

Foy Savas (The Merb Way)

In a world were the boundaries of bytecode define your allegiance, one speaker will challenge our assumptions and defy our prejudices while writing a talk summary that reads more like a movie trailer. Because though the future is coming, who knows if it’ll be ours? Will the right tool for the job prevail or are we facing what seems to be the inevitable rise of the virtual machines? Foy will tell us where he thinks we’re all going and how we might avoid such disaster.

Programming and Minimalism

Jon Dahl (Tumblon)

Art, music or words, and software too find limits freeing. Is less more?

Terrible Noises for Beautiful People

Misha Glouberman

Misha Glouberman is a performer and artist based in Toronto. For the past several years, he has presented a series of events called Terrible Noises for Beautiful People. These are participatory improvised sound events, where groups of non-musicians make sounds together. Misha will talk a bit about these events, and see what sorts of sounds the FutureRuby conference can make. You can read more about these sound events at www.schooloflearning.org

Artisanal Retro-Futurism and Team-Scale Anarcho-Syndicalism

Brian Marick

In the past, the Agile movement gave unconventional people cover while they sneaked odd and productive ideas (like using Ruby) into projects. But today, Agile is sick. Here’s what’s gone missing and how, in the future, the spirit of this conference might revitalize Agile.