Ruby
Passed 1000 Downloads
My new gem, domain_name_validator, has now passed 1000 downloads.
Ruby 2.0 Beta Just Released
The long-awaited version 2.0 of the standard MRI Ruby was released in Beta today.
Working On a New SOLR Talk
I'm working with Jonathan Quigg on a new talk, "Security Strategies With a SOLR and Rails." We last spoke together at the GFIRST Cyber Security Conference in Atlanta, GA. This topic seems like a good follow-up to my "Rails and the Apache SOLR Search Engine' talk from RubyNation 2012.
Confident Code
Avdi Grimm's Rubynation 2011 talk on "Confident Code" is now available online. Check it out!

Interview for the EngineYard Podcast External Link
EngineYard will be interviewing me next week for their Cloud Out Loud podcast. They're specifically interested in my experiences with Ruby on Rails in the government arena. In the DC area, the presence of Rails within government agencies has been growing dramatically.
Reading "Eloquent Ruby"
I'm currently reading Russ Olsen's new technical book, "Eloquent Ruby." It's an excellent book. I particularly like its focus on what it takes to be a truly good Ruby developer, rather than just teaching Ruby syntax. It's a great "next book" for the developer that has learned Ruby, and now wants to learn how to use it properly and effectively.
Getting Started With EngineYard External Link
This is a great tutorial video on how to get your first application (and virtual server) set up and configured properly with EngineYard hosting. It includes details on how to configure a deploy key with GitHub.
Jeremy McAnally Interview External Link
In this interview, Gray Herter talks with Ruby expert Jeremy McAnally about his Rails 3.0 talk at RubyNation 2010:
The Ruby Insurgency External Link
The Joe O'Brien and Jim Weirich talk is now available, featuring imaginative skits to show Rubyists the mindset of customers. And, of course, our own Dave Bock makes a special guest appearance in the video. Check it out!
MetroStar Systems on SunnyConf External Link
Here's a very nice write-up from MetroStar Systems regarding my latest speaking engagement at SunnyConf in Phoenix, AZ.
MetroStar Launches Votridea Contest Platform External Link
My company, MetroStar Systems, just a launched a new product called Votridea. It's a contest platform, generalized from our ExchangesConnect online video contest, that can foster brand awareness, build social communities and promote innovation.
Upcoming Ruby Conferences for 2010 External Link
Here's the most comprehensive list of upcoming Ruby conferences that I've seen. It's also nice to see that RubyNation is among the conferences listed.
Ruby is 10th Most Popular Programming Language External Link
Tiobe Software does a monthly index of the top programming languages. Ruby is listed as the 10th most popular language. Java, as you might expect, is ranked first (although its market share has been steadily declining over time). It's an interesting overview. Check it out.
Skillset In a Day
David Keener has been invited by Code Sherpas to create a course for their "Skillset In a Day" educational program. The Skillset in a Day series consists of one-day courses that delve deeply into a single technical subject. They are designed to give technical professionals a jump-start in the target subject in a minimum amount of time.
Character Encoding in Ruby External Link
I recently ran into a need to do some serious character encoding conversion in Ruby. Specifically, I need to convert text from Latin1 encoding to UTF-8. This article told me everything that I needed to do to accomplish the conversion. This actually Part 6 of an excellent multi-page article on character encoding issues in Ruby 1.8.x and 1.9.
Videos from Scotland on Rails External Link
The videos of the major presentations from the Scotland on Rails conference are now available online, compliments of EngineYard.
Next NovaRUG Meeting Should Be Good External Link
Chad Fowler and Dave Thomas, two prominent Ruby-ists, will be speaking at the next NovaRUG meeting on April 15, 2009. Talks start at 7:00 PM; networking begins at 6:30. It may be crowded, so register in advance. The meeting will be held at FGM headquarters; see the NovaRUG web site for details on the location and how to register.
AOL Ruby Users Group
I got a last-minute request to speak at the AOL Ruby Users Group, which is held the second Thursday of each month (March 13th for this month). So they're getting a preview of my March 19th NovaRUG presentation. The topic will be "Implementing OpenID for Your Social Networking Web Site."
NovaRUG: March 19th
I will be speaking at the Northern Virginia Ruby Users Group on March 19, 2008. The topic will be "Implementing OpenID for Your Social Networking Web Site." Meetings start at 6:00 PM for networking, with presentations beginning at 7:00 PM. Meetings are held at the FGM building in Reston; see the NovaRug web site for directions.
NOVA Ruby Users Group
Chad Fowler, author of the book "Rails Recipes," covered a grab bag of Rails tips and tricks during his presentation at the users group meeting in Reston. It was a well-attended meeting.