Lone Star Ruby Conf 2008: Hidden Gems

Posted in Conferences, Development on September 17, 2008

Lone Star Ruby Conf 2008: Hidden Gems

In this talk I will dig up some of the lesser known, but super useful Ruby projects and show them to the masses. I’ll explain why you would use these each of libraries, explain key methods from the API, and show example code so the audience can see them in action.

The goal is to raise overall familiarity with these libraries. Because I’ve selected four different libraries with very different purposes, I hope this talk will contain something for everyone.

An overall theme of the selections was to select tools that can help you get some extra speed out of Ruby. Many people say that Ruby is slow, but the flat truth is that it doesn’t need to be. With the proper tools, you might just be surprised by how fast we can make Ruby go.

Projects covered:

  • NArray – This project can offer dramatic speed boosts for heavy number manipulations. I’ll show how you can take a detour off the road to optimizing in C using just this library.
  • RBTree – There are numerous uses for binary trees not the least of which is as a sorted Hash. I’ll show the simple usage of this library and give you a bunch of examples for situations where it might come in handy.
  • SQLite3 – Yes, I know we all use this one, but tell the truth: how often do you use it directly, outside of an ORM? There are darn good reasons to do so and I want a chance to show you the why and how of this under appreciated library.
  • Rinda – It may come with Ruby, but a surprising number of people don’t quite know what Rinda is, what it could do for them, or how to use it. I aim to fix that in this portion of the talk.
James Edward Gray II
James Edward Gray II is a strange human obsessed with small electronic devices and the languages they speak. He spends endless hours contemplating trivialities such stacks and queues, but barely possesses the social skills to eat in public cafeterias. What free time he has is consumed with his efforts to pen books and open source code in a desperate attempt to make contact with the outside world. He hopes to encounter like-minded life forms at the Lone Star Rubyconf.

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Tags: Conferences, Ruby, Gems, Confreaks, Lone Star Ruby Conf 2008, NArray, RBTree, SQLite3, Rinda