Recap of the last MontrealOnRails

I’m sorry for all of those who prefer my regular tutorial-like posts. This one is just a recap of the last MontrealOnRails conference that was held last tuesday in the StandoutJobs offices. (Psst! They’re hiring… so if you know your Rails, you might want to get in touch with them!). I went there along with Dan Simard, the other brain behind TimmyOnTime.

3 presenters talked to the audience :

#1 Gary Haran

Gary made an introduction of the popular javascript framework Prototype, which is nicely integrated with Rails. With Prototype, writing javascript is easier, faster, and more ruby-like. The only thing Gary seemed to dislike about Prototype is the name. Like he said, it’s confusing because Prototype is already a reserved keyword in javascript. (and if I can add my 2 cents, it’s probably one of the most boring product name in the world). That insignificant detail aside, you should really take a look at this library.

#2 François Beausoleil

François talked about Piston, an interesting ruby library that allows your svn repositories to be up to date with the code you do not own (i.e. 3rd parties). Say for example that you’re working on a Rails application and that you have installed a plugin called foobar. What if the folks who maintain foobar released a new version and that you want to have it in your svn repository? The answer : piston update vendor/foobar. The up-to-date remote files will then be copied in your vendor/foobar directory. The next time you commit, your repository will have a fresh copy of the latest foobar version!

#3 James Golick

James talked about 2 pretty slick Rails plugins : make_resourceful (warning, its a PDF!) and shoulda.

make_resourceful ease the creation of your RESTful controllers. With just a few lines of code, you get a functional Create, Read, Update and Delete function for your entity.

Nothing is better than an example :

That ultra readable and short code above will create all the basic actions for your restful controller.

Shoulda is basically a set of macros that seems to really cut the time one can spend writing functional and unit tests. Say for example that I want to test if the flash is currently set to “Thank you for your payment!” when a user has sent his payment, I could just use the shoulda macro should_set_the_flash_to “Thank you for your payment!” and bingo, I’d be fine!

I also had the chance to talk with great people like Marc-André Cournoyer, Fred Ngo, Gary Haran, James Golick, Daniel Haran and a few others that I unfortunately don’t remember the name.

All in all, this edition of MontrealOnRails was a great success. Thanks to StandoutJobs for hosting this event, to the presenters and to everyone who showed up.


  • macournoyer

    Nice writeup Frank!

    Thanks for the ad for the job, hope we can find someone good from it!
    See you soon

  • Frank

    Thanks Marc-André,

    It was nice to meet you in person. Again congrats for refactormycode! My next article will be a “Rubyize this” and I won’t miss the opportunity to plug your project (like if you needed that… :) )