Community

Posts tagged with "Community."
  • 21

    AUG
    2014

    Asking Better Questions

    I've been playing with some Rust lately and learning a bunch of new concepts.

    As part of my experimentation, I built an RPN calculator in the language, just as an exercise that would require a moderate amount of code to be worked out. Honestly, I don't fully understand everything that I had to do to get this code working yet. Maybe 20% of it came about as me following instructions from what seem to be very helpful compiler errors.

    I wanted to start attacking these concepts that I didn't understand to increase my knowledge. Of course, I was impatient. I had some working code and I knew what I was missing, so I jumped into IRC, pointed at the code, and asked some not-at-all complete questions. All I got was crickets.

    This isn't a failing of the Rust community. It's a lesson I have to relearn every now and then. You have to take the time to present a good enough question that answering it is easy enough and worth it. It's hard work to get your head around 100 lines of code and, even if you do, you'll still be missing plenty of context if the question isn't really well formed. Given that, most people just ignore the question. That's probably for the better too, because any answers provided likely would have missed the points I really needed help with.

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    In: Rusting | Tags: Community | 0 Comments
  • 4

    JAN
    2008

    Dave Thomas is Definitely the Sammy Sosa of Programming

    There is a debate raging in the Ruby community that I don't want any part of. I'm not going to engage in any of the mud slinging and there will be no debate here. Commenters have been warned. What I do want to do is to share some simple uncontested facts about a man I am lucky enough to know.

    Sammy Sosa is famous for one thing: hitting home runs. In the entire history of the game of baseball five players have managed to hit over 600 home runs and Sammy is one of them. If that wasn't amazing enough, he has hit at least one home run against every single Major League team and in 44 Major League ballparks. Baseball fans everywhere love to watch Sammy Sosa at bat.

    Now if I had to name five programmers who get me as excited about programming as Sammy Sosa does about baseball, Dave Thomas would definitely make the list. Dave does exactly what Sammy always does: continually preforms the hardest tasks of his profession while making it look easy to the fans. Allow me to give a few examples.

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  • 10

    SEP
    2007

    I Enjoy the Regional Conferences

    I have to say that the Lone Star Rubyconf was just great. I'm hoping that's representative of the other regional Ruby conferences as well and from what I've heard it is.

    I was at the official Rubyconf last year and I'm comfortable saying that the Lone Star Rubyconf competed well on content. We had great keynotes from Charles Nutter and Zed Shaw (though he's wrong about that don't love your language point); we had presentations from icons of the community, like Hal Fulton; we had popular topics covered by the experts, like the RSpec presentation from Mr. RSpec, David Chelimsky; and we had the wonderfully practical technical talks, like Evan Short's smooth coverage of Domain Specific Languages.

    While you do have to consider it a small minus to miss seeing Matz and a few other key Rubyists, the conference countered with a terrific small community feel. Everyone was open and friendly. You could easily approach anyone and chat them up about nearly any topic. Several people approached me and I loved it.

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  • 16

    FEB
    2007

    The Ruby VM: Episode I

    Hello and thank you both for agreeing to answer my questions. To begin, would you please introduce yourselves and tell us about your role in Ruby's development?

    Matz:

    I am the designer and the first implementer of the Ruby language. My real name is Yukihiro Matsumoto, that sounds something like You-Key-Hero Matz-Motor in English. But it's too long to remember and pronounce, so just call me Matz.

    I have been developing Ruby since 1993. It is now quite complicated and has performance problem. I have had vague plan of rewriting the interpreter for long time, but I have never been motivated enough to throw out the current interpreter and start developing new one.

    Then Koichi came in with YARV that seemed to have much brighter future than my vaporware - it runs - so I asked him to take a role of the official implementer of the core. Although I enjoy both designing and implementation of the language, I don't think I am gifted for language implementation. So I thought that it might be the time to focus on designing when I saw YARV.

    ko1:

    Thank you for your interest in YARV and me. BTW, I'm thinking what "YARV" stand for. Because it is not Yet Another. Someone proposed that "YARV ain't RubyVM". If YARV means "YARV ain't RubyVM", what is YARV?

    I'm Koichi Sasada. Koichi is given name, and "ichi" means "one" in Japanese. So I use "ko1" as my nick. I'm an assistant at Department (...snip...) of Tokyo. My research interest is systems software, especially operating system, programming language, parallel systems, and so on. And I'm a member of Nihon Ruby no Kai (Ruby Association in Japan). I plan(ed) some Ruby events like RubyKaigi and am an editor of Rubyist Magazine. I also develop(ed) Nadoka, Rava, Rucheme, and some projects. Say, I'm a developer of YARV: Yet Another RubyVM.

    My role in Ruby's development? To steal VM hacking pleasure from Matz?

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  • 16

    FEB
    2007

    The Ruby VM Serial Interview

    I have really enjoyed reading Pat Eyler's Rubinius Serial Interview and Nick Sieger's spun-off JRuby Serial Interview. It's very educational to read what the developers have to say about their projects and ideas.

    The more I read though, the more I wanted the equivalent content for the official Ruby VM. I asked Matz and Koichi if they would be willing to answer questions from me and they agreed to do so. We are now ready to share their responses with the community.

    This will be a serial interview as Pat Eyler calls them. We will deliver regular episodes until I run out of good questions or Matz and Koichi get sick of me bothering them, whichever comes first. I will ask the questions in the interview, but feel free to make suggestions in the comments to this article.

    One last note: we are not promising any kind of schedule for the episodes. Matz and Koichi are heroically providing their answers in English. We want to respect how much work that is and give them all the time they need to do that. Personally, I cannot thank them enough.

    Read more…

  • 12

    DEC
    2006

    news_to_mail.rb

    [Note: You need to know what the Gateway is before reading this article.]

    The second half of the Ruby Gateway runs as a cron job every five minutes and is expected to move all new newsgroup messages from the NNTP host to the Ruby Talk mailing list. The cron invocation is simply:

    ruby /path/to/gateway/bin/news_to_mail.rb /path/to/news_to_mail.log
    

    This side of the Gateway is not piped any messages and exit codes from it are not monitored. It needs to tend its own affairs.

    The Code

    Here's the source:

    GATEWAY_DIR  = File.join(File.dirname(__FILE__), "..").freeze
    DATA_DIR     = File.join(GATEWAY_DIR, "data").freeze
    LAST_ID_FILE = File.join(DATA_DIR, "last_news_id.txt").freeze
    PID_FILE     = File.join(DATA_DIR, "pid.txt").freeze
    
    $LOAD_PATH << File.join(GATEWAY_DIR, "config") << File.join(GATEWAY_DIR, "lib")
    
    # ...
    

    The script begins by locating the root directory of the Gateway source and the data sub directory, building constants for two external files it will interact with, and adjusting the $LOAD_PATH so that it can require needed resources.

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  • 5

    DEC
    2006

    mail_to_news.rb

    [Note: You need to know what the Gateway is before reading this article.]

    There are two halves to the Ruby Gateway. One half runs as a qmail filter for an email address on the Ruby Talk mailing list. Every message sent to that address is piped through this filter with a shell script like:

    ruby /path/to/gateway/bin/mail_to_news.rb /path/to/mail_to_news.log
    

    The email is piped to the filter via the standard input and the code is expected to handle the message by posting it to comp.lang.ruby or choosing to ignore it. If the filter exits normally, qmail considers the matter handled. A non-zero exit code will cause the filter to be called with that same message again later.

    The Code

    Let's dive right into the source of this half of the Gateway:

    GATEWAY_DIR = File.join(File.dirname(__FILE__), "..").freeze
    
    $LOAD_PATH << File.join(GATEWAY_DIR, "config") << File.join(GATEWAY_DIR, "lib")
    
    # ...
    

    The code above just sets things up so this script can require some other files in the project normally. Here are those requires:

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  • 4

    DEC
    2006

    Hacking the Gateway

    [Update: The Ruby Gateway was retired in June of 2011. Our community simply grew past the point were we needed to combine the various groups, in my opinion.]

    Though I rewrote the current Gateway and I handle the maintenance, it really belongs to the Ruby community. Because of that, I'm going to release the two primary source files on this blog for all to view and critique. This may have value to those who want to know how the Gateway works, those who would like to implement similar technologies, and those who would like to purpose changes to the Gateway code.

    I do welcome purposed changes to the Gateway, but let's set some ground rules for the right way to make suggestions:

    • I will show the important elements of the Gateway code and do my best to explain it as I go. In return, please take the time to read what I write about the code and try to understand how it works. Poorly developed change requests increase my maintenance time with the Gateway, which all comes out of my free time, so please be considerate.
    • You purpose changes to the Gateway by commenting on the code articles. This is intended to be a public discussion with all of us working together. Don't email me or Ruby Talk ideas, I'm monitoring the comments here.
    • Show code in your requests. I don't want to throw the Gateway in a publicly accessible Subversion repository and start taking patches for several reasons. If you want a change, convince me to implement it. The best way to do that is to throw around some code showing me how we would build your request and how it would make the Gateway better.
    • I am thinking about some elements of the Gateway you are not, like the fact that I run this code on a server provided by my work where security is a consideration and the level of maintenance a change will inflict on me. I ask only that you keep this in mind as we debate changes. In return, I will be as open minded to improvements as possible.
    • Gateway changes will not happen overnight. (See note about free time above.) Please be patient.
  • 1

    DEC
    2006

    What is the Ruby Talk Gateway?

    [Update: The Ruby Gateway was retired in June of 2011. Our community simply grew past the point were we needed to combine the various groups, in my opinion.]

    The Ruby community makes use of both email and Usenet communication, in addition to other resources. The primary mailing list is Ruby Talk and the primary Usenet group is comp.lang.ruby. These two services are joined by the Ruby Gateway.

    In 2001 The Pragmatic Programmers wrote the initial version of the Ruby Gateway to ferry messages back and forth between these two resources. Emails sent to Ruby Talk are posted as Usenet messages and Usenet posts are forwarded to Ruby Talk by the Gateway. The Gateway has had a few guardians and code changes since then, but the functionality remains the same.

    I'm am the current caretaker of the Ruby Gateway. Highgroove Studios generously provides hosting for it and I monitor the system for problems. I also wrote the current version of the Gateway.

    You are free to report Gateway problems for me to look into. Before you do though, please read the following notes:

    Read more…