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    Notes from the July Meeting of the Memphis Ruby Users Group

    by Daniel Pritchett

    Our local Ruby group got together again at Coroutine's Memphis office at the end of July with a good crowd and two all-new presentations. We had around 15 people show up for pizza and talks, including several new faces! Thanks everyone for making it a memorable meetup. This month's presentations were from regular attendee Jason Charnes and from me, Daniel Pritchett.

    Crowd shot of Jason's presentation

    Jason gave us a great walk through of his experience learning different statically typed languages in school and then drifting towards dynamic languages for his personal projects (and for work!). His presentation covered some of the highlights of the Ruby language and the Ruby ecosystem, from the natural-language feel of Ruby to the many libraries freel available via rubygems. See Jason's slides here.

    I put together a second presentation on xray-rails, a gem that helps me regularly when working on views for larger Rails projects. The functionality of xray is pretty simple when explained, but I had a good time digging into the internals of the gem to see how exactly it manages to inject HTML and JavaScript to views as they're rendered so that you can trace the source of each page element to a source template.

    Elsewhere in Memphis tech...

    • Java User Group organizer Thomas Langston dropped in on July's meeting. Their August meeting is coming up in ten days!
    • HackMemphis (September 14) is getting closer and still seeking volunteers and sponsors.
    • This year's TechCamp Memphis will be on November 2 at Southwest Tennessee Community College. There is an open call for presenters. Send in a proposal today - I did!

    How can I participate in the next MRUG meetup?

    There's lots of ways to help out: show up, give a presentation, bring a friend, follow us @MemphisRuby on Twitter. The next meetup time and location will be posted on Meetup soon.

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    Catch up with the Memphis Ruby Users Group

    by Daniel Pritchett

    May meeting: Static sites in Ruby, JS testing tips

    Last week's second Memphis Ruby Users Group meeting featured great presentations from two local developers, Josh Lewis and Jordan Kasper. I was interested to learn that both presenters work fully-remote dev jobs.

    Josh showed us Fast Sites with Middleman, a gem for generating static web pages in Ruby. Josh built the presentation as a small site using Middleman and a presentation library called impress.js. You can find the presentation source on his github repo! We discussed a few options for static site hosting such as github pages and possibly Heroku.

    Jordan gave a live demo of some of the tools he's using to test his JavaScript applications: Grunt for running JS tasks (test suites!), PhantomJS to execute DOM tests in a headless JS engine, and QUnit for simple assertions. You can find a longer writeup of Jordan's JavaScript testing strategies on his blog. There were a lot of similarities between this JS testing style and some of the Ruby testing we do here at Coroutine!

    April's inaugural meeting: Background jobs with Resque, Android dev in Ruby with Ruboto

    Our inaugural MRUG meeting had a great crowd of nearly twenty people. Friends from @MemphisPython showed up to support the Memphis developer scene. Our two presentations were from Mike Cochran and Daniel Lissner.

    Mike started us off with a dive into asynchronous Ruby job processing with Resque. He recommended that a Resque-based job processing workflow pass minimal information - say a primary key for looking up a record that needs processing - to the Redis messaging server. Mike gave us a really neat look at how he's running a production app on Heroku using a Redis add-on to handle their worker queue. Since Heroku bills by the second he can dynamically spin up a bunch of workers when his backlog gets too big, and then shut them down when the backlog starts to shrink to a manageable level. Mike's Resque slides are available for you to look over.

    Daniel's talk took us through a crash course on building Android apps with Ruby using the Ruboto framework. Ruboto is able to expose all of the Android APIs via JRuby, so you won't be limited in the same way you might be by other mobile dev frameworks which only implement a subset of the native functionality.

    Elsewhere in Memphis tech...

    • Community organization for HackMemphis is ongoing with weekly meetings and a target date of September 2013.
    • Congratulations to the SeedHatchery 2013 cohort on their recent demo day!

    How can I participate in the Memphis Ruby Users Group?

    The one thing that keeps a community like this going is participation. Attend any meetings you can and invite your dev friends. Presentations are always welcome - we still have a speaker slot open for June!

    Follow @MemphisRuby for regular updates on upcoming meetups. Information on upcoming events will be at Meetup.com.