Another great day in Chicago. It's kind of a catch-22: the content is great and there's always something going I want to see… but 12 hour days of sitting and listening are more than I can take!
There were two sessions today that I really enjoyed. The "Ajax On Rails" presentation, with full post from me today – so you can check that out there. The other was "Testing Migrations" with Glenn Vanderburg. While he (admittedly) didn't have all the answers, he shared some incites regarding his experience setting up these tests. Among other things he really stressed the importance of testing your 'downward' migrations – instead of waiting to test them when you need them (when everything's going wrong and you can't afford for them to fail!). He did make the point that at the moment testing migrations is not the cleanest thing possible – and it may not be worth testing as thoroughly as you might elsewhere.
Last year I had a realization at a conference: We were listening to a keynote while the hotel staff was picking up dishes from the tables. I don't remember the joke or even who delivered it but I do remember thinking it was funny – and I guarantee you that it was incredibly nerdy – everyone had a good laugh… then I thought about it a second and realized just how dorky those servers must have thought we were (and how wrong were they? probably not very!). On that note, I give you: the joke of the day:
During the introduction to his session, Steven Hammond delivered the following… "I should mention that I am the manager of a team of Java developers. Which to this group pretty much makes me the equivalent of a Dark Sith Lord". I guarantee any hotel employee that heard that + the laugh that followed will be telling that story at the bar tonight.
The day ended with a keynote from DHH. He reiterated that Rails is not intended to (and should not be intended to) be everything to everyone. By not wandering too far from CRUD some surprisingly powerful thing have happened already and will continue to happen. The primary illustration offered was tieing CRUD operations to HTTP in a more seamless fashion (i.e. if it's a get request, just do the read).
Probably the most notabable announcement was the introduction of ActiveResource. ActiveResource is a response to the realization that not all applications are simply database backed. Some will require MQ series, LDAP, and a multitude of countless others, I'm sure.