RailsConf 2009 concluded last week so its time for me to talk about some of the highlights for my fellow teammates that could not make it. I think one of the more interesting talks was given by Yehuda Katz. The talk was on the "Russian Doll Pattern" and dealt with mountable apps in the upcoming Rails 3.0 release (slides available here.) Even though he felt like it wasn't his best talk I thought it was quite interesting. Personally, I thought it was refreshing to see something that was not yet complete. The Rails core team should do more of this kind of thing as it provides the community a chance to give feedback on features before they're set in stone.
The Rails Envy guys were there and gave a very interesting presentation about innovations in Rails this past year. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Spree made this list and they even included the new interface in their screenshots. Gregg made some excellent videos from the conference as well which capture some of the spirit of the conference.
This year I had a chance to meet Fabio Akita in person. Fabio has a great blog called Akita on Rails which has a huge following in Brazil. He also does a lot of interesting in-depth interviews with people. This year I had the honor of being the subject of one of those interviews. I basically talked about the origins of the Spree project and what makes it special. You can listen to this and his other interviews here.
One of the more whimsical talks was about Ruby performance. The Phusion guys (who brought us Passenger) created a hilarious version of Wolfenstein written entirely in Ruby. Gregg Pollack put up a fun video showing how it looked. Supposedly this was to show off how Ruby can in fact scale but it seemed more like an excuse to make a lot of inside jokes. Even so, one or two fun presentations like this tend to liven up what would otherwise be a pretty dull conference.
The Spree BOF talk went well. It was very informal and we used it as a chance to meet some of our users and to find out what kinds of features they would like to see in future versions Spree. Steph already gave an excellent summary of this so I won't rehash it here.
Overall this was a great conference. Las Vegas was a pretty good location due to its cheap hotels and convenient flights. The hotel itself was not the best and the cigarette smoking was completely out of hand. I have it on good information that the conference will be in a different location next year. Rumor has it that it may even be on the east coast. Wherever it is, I definitely look forward to going back next year!