057 RR – Ruby Central

by Charles Max Wood on June 14, 2012



  • Chad Fowler doesn’t listen to podcasts
  • Learning sign language
  • Evil League of Evil Ruby Central
  • RubyConf
  • RailsConf
  • RailsConf Europe
  • RubyCon vs. RubyConf/Ruby Central
  • RubyForge
  • Gforge
  • RAA
  • RubyGems.org
  • PDI as a career choice
  • JavaCentral? PythonCentral?
  • Sun Oracle (Snoracle)
  • Python Software Foundation
  • Perl Software Foundation
  • Organizing conferences make people go crazy
  • RubyCentral encouraged the formation of regional conferences
  • ClassBox
  • Ruby/Rails community can risk echochamber/groupthink
  • The wrong style of OO
  • “Programmers have a tendency to build castles in the sky.”
  • “Overdecomplecting”
  • Moving RubyCentral forward
  • RubyCentral-like site for cataloging regional conferences – Josh Susser, PDI



CHAD: Oh! That’s Avdi’s voice that sounds so amazing, isn’t it?

AVDI: (laughs) That’s going to have to go in and overheard.

EVAN: It does lend itself to a good sort of like “sensual intro”.


AVDI: We should do the Ruby Shoe Diaries.

JAMES: Ruby Shoe Diaries.

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[This podcast is sponsored by New Relic. To track and optimize your application performance, go to rubyrogues.com/newrelic.]

JAMES: Hey everybody! Welcome to the Ruby Rogues podcast. This is Episode 57 and with us today we have Josh Susser.

JOSH: Hello! James just told me. Hey! Good Morning from San Francisco!

JAMES: You’re supposed to un-mute when you talk Josh.

JOSH: I know. I know. I must have got that wrong.

JAMES: I don’t know how many instructions do I have…

JOSH: Un-mute first and then talk.

JAMES: And we have…

JOSH: Moving right along.

JAMES: We have Avdi Grimm.

AVDI: Hi! This is Avdi. And James, please tell Josh that I’m not speaking to him because he insulted my hair.

JAMES: (Josh, Avdi’s not speaking to you.) And we have David Brady.

DAVID: Hey everybody! I’m back from vacation except that I carefully time my vacations to be between episodes and so I’m just still here.

JAMES: Just to be clear nobody has yet insulted David Brady’s hair this morning.

AVDI: I have had my hair pattern insulted several, several times.

JAMES: I’m James Edward Grey II. I’m standing in as host today because we’re minus our usual leader Chuck. But we have two guests today. We have Evan Phoenix who’s been on the show before. Hi Evan!

EVAN: Hi everybody from sunny Los Angeles.

JAMES: And we have Chad Fowler who admits he doesn’t listen to the show. Hi Chad!

CHAD: (laughs) Hello! But to be fair, I don’t listen to any podcast and I am in Washington, DC where it is tropical and hideous.

JAMES: I’m in Oklahoma where it’s hailing and taking out everybody’s power and stuff like that. So we’ll see how well this recording goes today.

DAVID: Chad, you don’t listen to podcast. In the pre-call you said that’s because you’re Amish.

CHAD: Kind of. Yeah. I mean essentially that’s what I meant but the way I said it was that I am unable to actually comprehend things when they’re spoken to me in large volumes.

JOSH: And so Chad that turns to butter turn casts.

CHAD: That’s very funny.

DAVID: Just sound effect CDs.

JOSH: So Chad, speaking of gorillas, you should try learning sign language. I find that it engages a different part of your brain but sign language podcasts might be a bit difficult.


CHAD: Perhaps so. I’m actually thinking about learning sign language because we now live in a building next to Gallaudet University in DC which is a deaf university.

JOSH: Oh yeah. I know it well.

CHAD: Okay. So we see people speaking in sign language like at the pool from our window every day. We figured we could practice by eavesdropping.

JOSH: Actually you can’t practice by eavesdropping because deaf people sign in such a rate that hearing people can never really learn to keep up.

CHAD: So I’m destined to fail? Thank you.

JOSH: Yes.

JAMES: Nice.

JOSH: Well at least if you go in that route, take some classes and it actually works pretty well.

JAMES: Way to shatter that dream for him.

DAVID: You don’t have a chance of doing it!

JOSH: You know I studied sign language and I see deaf people signing and there’s no way I can eavesdrop on them. They’re just too good.

CHAD: Alright. So I understand what you’re saying is, if Josh can’t do it, nobody can?

JOSH: Well basically, nobody is as good as me.

JAMES: (laughs) So we have Evan and Chad on the show today because we’re going to talk about the Evil League of Evil. I mean Ruby Central, right?

EVAN: Yes.

JOSH: Yeah basically Ruby Central is the instrumentality of the Ruby Evil Empire imposed upon the American Ruby community.

EVAN: Well said.

JAMES: How about Chad, since you probably know better than the rest of us, can you tell us how Ruby Central got started?

CHAD: I can! Yes. I can tell you at great lengths, so, interrupt me when I’ve spoken too much. 2001, G. Hurst was organizing a Ruby Conf 2001 (which was the first one). Suddenly after getting most of the organization like logistics done, he dropped out for various personal reasons. Dave Thomas of Pragmatic Bookshelf, PragProg, Pickaxe, etc contacted me and David Black. Because we were one of 12 people that hung out in the Ruby Lang Channel and IRC and said we have to make this happen. So we all co-organized the first conference and realized that we kind of put ourselves at financial risk doing that. So the next year, we incorporated Ruby Central with the three of us as a non-profit based out of, and still based out of amazingly Kentucky ‘cause I happen to live there at the time. We have then run Ruby Conf, Rails Conf, Rails Conf Europe, Regional Conference Grants. We started with like hack fest grants way back in 2002 I think; and various other community funding kind of things through Ruby Central since.

JAMES: So and then the members have changed over time. I think they’ve only lasted a year or so and then Rich came on and…

CHAD: True. Yeah. So Rich Comber joined up in 2004; kind of just by coincidence because he was helping organize Ruby Conf 2004 which was right by his house in Northern Virginia. They’ve dropped out around that time and I don’t know when it was, but I guess a couple of years I got Ben Scofield to co-chair Rails Conf with me; all working toward my master plan of dropping out, which I started to do in 2005. And now Evan Phoenix is also on board. And I’m actually emeritus; I guess that’s how you’d say it in there.

JAMES: Okay. So Ruby Central, we know, takes care of the conferences and stuff like that. You said it does grants. Is it mainly just for conferences these days?

CHAD: It mainly is these days. I guess Evan might want to comment a little on where that might go.

JOSH: Hey. Hey. Before we start talking about the future, I want to totally just take the opportunity to cut off Evan but…

EVAN: I want to take the opportunity to cut you off Josh and I want to ask you guys a question. Is Ruby Central a really weird name to you?

JAMES: Um. I don’t’ know. That’s a good point. It does not strike me as weird. Maybe that’s ‘cause I’ve been in this community for a very long time.

JOSH: It’s not as weird as, you say Ruby Dee-chee-ree-doo.

EVAN: I want to ask a question. Why did we not start the first conference? Why was it not Ruby Con? Because…

JAMES: That’s an excellent question. That is weird to me.

EVAN: Because it’s a word and it could be really great as just Ruby Con.

JAMES: I agree.

CHAD: Yeah. There are actually 2 parts to that question: Why not have it be RubyCon the word? And why not have it be Ruby Con anyway? It’s all G. Hurst’s fault.

EVAN: Yes.

JAMES: Sweet.

CHAD: I guess we got so frustrated like it was already called that and then people kept calling it “Ruby Con” and we kept correcting them and that it then became this weird defense mechanism thing and we called that Rails Conf that too. It really kind of is uncomfortable to say. Isn’t it? “Conf”.

JAMES: Yeah.

AVDI: A little bit.

JOSH: That’s sad because the t-shirts could say “I crost”

JAMES: I crossed? It’s almost as bad as if you spelled — with a ‘P’ on the end of it.

JOSH: Or if you pronounced with a ‘P’ on it.

JAMES: Right. That’s just not right.

JOSH: Well I did have a question.

CHAD: Oh, sorry Josh.

JOSH: And about the role of Ruby Central in the Ruby developer community and you know, conferences, and grants and those things, we know about those now. But what has Ruby Central had to do with like the infrastructure of the Ruby language, and things like Ruby Gems and Ruby Forge?

CHAD: Oh yeah. That’s a very good question and we certainly would have left that out had you not mentioned it. So 2003, we started Ruby Forge and by “we”, I mean actually Rich, and Tom Copeland, started Ruby Forge.

JOSH: So for everyone who grew up in the era of GitHub, can you talk about Ruby Forge and what it is or was?

CHAD: Yeah. It was an implementation of GForge, which is I think a PHP fork of the SourceForge code, which ended up being a whole bunch of them sprung up all over the place. So Tom Copeland set it up and I guess for some of the info we had from our clients or if he was working at the time. And he and Rich said, “Hey! We should have this for the Ruby community because right now there’s no repository of stuff. There’s no shared source control.”, so as all of the kind of stuff that you can do at GitHub now, but not really as good.

JAMES: Hang on. Can I interrupt there just a little? It’s not entirely true there wasn’t a, well there was a listing, right? There was the RAA.

CHAD: Yes. Yes. So I’m not suggesting that there wasn’t a listing, but that’s all RAA was it meditated the points into places.

EVAN: I’ll blow your mind and tell you that RAA is so updated.

JAMES: That’s awesome.

CHAD: Yeah and actually you’ll find things in there you can’t find elsewhere. It’s still an interesting place to go. Another piece of trivia, the last session at Ruby Conf 2001 Brian Merrick and Andy Hunt led a session which was this like group brainstorming that we called RAA.SUCC. And the idea is as a successor for RAA, what should it be? And we had all these plans and nobody actually did anything with that of course. Then RAA is still RAA. So anyway, Ruby Forge was source code repository an accounts and mailing list and the kind of stuff that you need…

JAMES: Trackers.

CHAD: Yeah, exactly. All that kind of thing. And we ended up also, right after that, we built Ruby Gems. And when I say we, I mean a few of us together built the initial implementation at Ruby Gems. And for lack of a better repository, since Rich and I were working on it, we put the initial Ruby Gems repository on Ruby Forge; so it was gems.rubyforge.org.  You can actually release gems by uploading gem files into GForge instance and then they went through a painful semi-manual process. Get deployed out into the gem index and then mirrored all over the place. So we did all that. And then to finish answering Josh’s question, when rubygems.org came along which was called “gemcutter” and developed by Nick Quaranto. It was a beautiful replacement for the way we were doing the gem repository before; we ended up taking over a paying for the hosting of that and at first managing the hosting of it. I think Evan is now very heavily involved in that. So you can probably talk about where that is now.

EVAN: Yeah. You want me talking about that?

JAMES: Sure.

EVAN: Yeah. We took it over from Nick. It was first, it sort of just like Heroku and it was really, we were just like a sort of search engine. And then we moved it over and we put it on some dedicated hardware and gave it more tease if you will.  And then we really just migrated everything over to it and now the account, (this is sort of just a good segue if you will) the way that I kind of got involved with Ruby Central was Ruby Gems was having issues that like Ruby Gems out of nowhere will have issues. So it would crash. It would do weird things or whatever what happened and I’m not want to sort of sit around and hope that someone else fixes the problem. So I just was like, “Hey! What‘s going on? How can I help? Let’s fix this thing. Let’s make it better and whatever. And this is probably like maybe I don’t know a year and half ago. Does that sound right?

CHAD: I have no concept of time.

EVAN: Okay. So for Chad it was a millennium ago that I started. And so, I really just kind of helped out with, helping out Tom Copeland, helping out Nick with just sort of figuring it out. And then it got contacted Chad and Rich and those guys and said, “Nick, I really want to help. How can we make Ruby Gems better? We need to add some infrastructures. We need to these various things.” And it kind of snowballed from there into like, “Hey! You actually care about this thing. Why don’t come on and actually help out and start with Ruby Central.” So in that, that’s kind of how I got involved with Ruby Central. The Ruby Gems had org now. This is an infrastructure that I built that isolates the, now what it does is that it isolates the like sort of what we consider the core Ruby Gems functionality from the actual Rails App. So previously, it was all sort of incorporated and one now we have multiple front-ends and mirrors and all that kind of good stuff so that when a Rails App needs to be upgraded or whatever, Ruby Gems Org has a community service doesn’t go down core functionality remains up that kind of thing.

JAMES: So this is a parable about if you say how can we fix this, you may find yourself fixing it?

EVAN: Yes. I don’t think… you should never go in to say, “Hi! How can I help fix this” and not expect that you will end up being the person who is in-charge of that thing.

DAVID: That’s a good theme for the show lately, right? PDI as career choice.

JOSH: Andre was talking about that and Bungler.

JAMES: He weren’t asked about Bungler and they were like, “Here, you take over.”

EVAN: I mean I’m very used to this. This singular thing because back in 2004, I was sys admin and I really want to be a programmer and this company could pay me that. They really needed an IT guy. They needed someone like to make sure that the exchange mail server kept running and all those other crap. And so I was like, “That’s fine.” It was like I have the same pay rate as my old job, but I didn’t have to wear pager anymore.  So I was like, “Yes! We’ll do this.” And then I started just sitting in on meetings, the dev meetings, and there random things would come up like “Oh! We need you redo the architecture of the whole system. What linear distribution should we use? And how would it work?”, and all that kind of stuff and no one really tried. And I was like, “Hey! I can help out with that. I’ve got some free time if you want me guys to just sort of start off.” They were like, “Yeah! Go ahead and give it a shot.” And then fast forward, 5 months later, I had to hire my sys admin replacement because I was doing the entire back-end for a piece of software. All these stuff me just saying, “I can give it a shot guys.” that kind of thing.

JAMES: I just, I can’t believe you’re not gunshot yet. That’s great.

EVAN: Well.

CHAD: I’m totally gun shy.

EVAN: Yeah. I’ve had my football off of a few times but it’s a, you know, I don’t really care too much. I’m just kind of move on.

JAMES: That’s awesome. So let me ask Ruby Central takes care of like conferences and stuff like and helping with some key community infrastructure. How do other languages handle this? I mean there’s not like a Java central, right? Or a Python Central? How do they do that?

CHAD: Well I mean there is a Java, there’s a bunch of different things for Java. Some or whoever Snoracle had one…

JAMES: Snoracle.

CHAD: Yeah. They have like java.net which is really a reincarnation of a number of things that have migrated over time. And now Maven is really their big deal. Everything is into Maven now and I don’t know who manages the main Maven repositories anymore. Then let’s see. Python’s, they have “Py Cheesha” I think it’s called. I want to say which just sort of a community run thing but it sort of the less buy main Python. Guido has blessed it in certain ways and it sort of it becomes the defacto way but people are always, in Python, there’s a lot of reinventing of things. Like there’s a thing called ‘eggs’ which is supposed to be a replacement or a matter of placement sort of be like Ruby Gems but I don’t know if they take them off. And the economical one is always CPAN, which is again sort of community run as far as I know.

JAMES: Yeah. On your conferences and stuff though, I’m kind of thinking they probably get more corporate support on that kind of stuff you know.


JAMES: No. I’m talking about conferences.

EVAN: Conferences? Oh. It could be. I mean I think the Python Software Foundation and the Perl Software Foundation or whatever they’re called, Apache one. Part of the reason we’re not called ‘Ruby Software Foundation’ is we didn’t want to follow, actually David Black, didn’t want to make it sound like we’re copying Perl but…

JOSH: Plus it sounds much, it’s much stuffier.

CHAD: Yeah. I kind of like that personally. I like stuffing. Fortunately, David Black was the hip one and chose this weird name, Ruby Central.

JAMES: That’s cool.

DAVID: So I have a question for you guys. We’ve talked to people in the past that have organized conferences and you guys have kind of organized the Grand Daddy’s conferences. For either Chad or for Evan, what was the moment that you realize that like, this is going to sound such a lame question. But I mean like, organizing conferences makes people go crazy. It’s an incredible amount of stress and finding out the logistics alone are enough just want to make you want to die.

JOSH: Stop talking about me! I’m right here.

DAVID: I know. I know. But the question I have for Chad and/or for Evan is, what is the moment when you realized that it’s all worth it?

CHAD: Let me answer that because I have this bad habit of dreading almost everything like this that I do until the moment that I haven’t… so I go through it every year. Or I shouldn’t say that in present tense anymore ‘because I will not be continuing to. But I have gone through it every year, usually twice a year. I get to the conference, I’m all stressed out. You know how it is and you think that everything is going to fall apart. And for me it is, we always do multi-day conferences. It’s always after the first evening is over. So we always have some sort plenary session, keynote thing on the first evening and after that, you know that the whole thing is just going to run itself and you start to feel the energy. And every conference I’ve ever co-organized I think has been fantastic and that doesn’t mean that we haven’t completely failed on basically in every possible logistical thing you could fail on. But we really know a bunch of smart people and we have a great community and it’s always after that first day goes by and you reflect on like what you heard and the things you heard that people are excited about. And the buzz that it feels like, “Yes! I know why I’m here now.” And you get swept up and like creative energy surrounding the conference.

DAVID: That’s awesome.

CHAD: Is that how you guys feel for those of you who have organized conferences?

JAMES: Organizing conferences for me was very painful.

JOSH: Yes.

JAMES: But when I’m speaking in conferences, I get to enjoy after my talk is over.

DAVID: Yeah.

JOSH: I think for me, when I do GoGaRuCo, it’s the first morning of the conference where I step on stage and I get to see, I get to look out at everyone sitting in the conference hall and just realize, “Okay. We made it here.” Yeah, we got a show to put on.

EVAN: Yeah, I agree. I mean at Rails Conf this year, after like, my big thing was we had 1,200 people to register effectively that morning. So let’s stay a thousand because people slept in or whatever. And I think that I was super stressed about just getting through that time so like once the first session had started and it was sort of like now it’s got momentum and now it’s moving, then I felt a lot better about it just because… It was sort of out of my control. It was just; it was going to go whether or not I did anything else. Even if I just go and decided to go up my room and take a nap for 5 hours, the thing would still have progressed.

JOSH: But not as well.

EVAN: Perhaps. Yeah, but it still would have happened. And you know a lot of those, I guess when you’re running a conference you get to see all of the flaws and all of the things that you screw up. And so like people would come up to me and say like, “Ah! This is making great.” It felt like they would say something specific like “I felt like this and this worked out really well.” And I’m like, “Thanks.” And I am thinking to myself, “Oh my gosh! How did they think that?” because like I threw together some just piece of junk, whatever, just like real last minute thing for that one, whatever it was, and then no one would really even notice. They thought it was totally setup like that for months.

CHAD: Yeah. The other thing I’ve noticed, and maybe, I’m sure Josh will disagree but primarily this is the Big Daddy Conference thing. It’s at the conference that all of the really nasty, bitter, venomous criticism usually ends. So, like the first time I remember it was I guess Ruby Conf 2005 which is by the way when I decided I was quitting Ruby Central but I did the thing Evan does and said, “Oh! We should do a Rails Conference.” And then I ended up doing it for several years, but at that conference like online, everyone is happy to say negative things online and not to your face. Suddenly everything I did from that conference on, I always knew someone was going to call a piece of crap because of it and not exactly those words but words that could be just as bad or worse.

JOSH: Or call for a public lynching.

CHAD: Yes! Yes, could be that too.

DAVID: Well let’s call for a vote. Let’s call for a vote.

EVAN: So it’s at the conference that stops happening but that really adds a lot to initially to, you know for the first couple of years of it at least, the question you have in your mind of, “Why am I doing this? Why am I putting all this effort into this thing?” So the moment when you realize why you did it is very important when you know that’s been the path leading up to it.

JOSH: So I have a question about the Ruby Conf and I guess Rails Conf too. I guess primarily around Ruby Conf, So Ruby Conf has been around for like 10 years now or is it 11?

EVAN: Yeah, 11.

JOSH: And when it started it was the D Ruby Conf and now there’s so many regional Ruby Confs that happened throughout the year that I don’t if anyone can keep count of it. There’s almost one every week if you look at the calendar.

JAMES: I would actually jump in there. Ruby Central actually encouraged the formation of the regional Ruby Conferences, right?

JOSH: We did. Yeah.

EVAN: Oh yeah.

CHAD: We started it with the Hack Fest Grant thing where we just trying to get people money like buy pizza or whatever they wanted, rent a small conference and get ruby-ist together and hack. But I don’t remember what Europe was, but we ended up morphing that into a regional conference grant.

EVAN: That was like 2006 or 2007.

CHAD: Probably ‘cause we funded Mountain West which is outside o, I think the first real regional conference.

AVDI: So you guys have felt support like there’s the regional conference organizers list you guys participate and that to some extent… there’s never been any sort of antagonistic relationship between Ruby Central and the regional so it has been very collaborative and supportive. But I’m wondering what the, now that there’s this huge ecosystem of Ruby conferences that happen all over the planet, how has that changed you guys how you think about Ruby Conf and its role in the community? And has that changed how you approach the conference, what you intend to achieve?

CHAD: So speaking for myself as someone who just dropped out but probably I have more contacts that Evan does, I would say actually never changed anything about the way I view the conference. So I help start it and I help continue because I wanted a place where I could go be with people who are smarter than me and make me better at least once a year. I lived in the tech wasteland of Louisville, Kentucky at the time and I just needed somewhere to go and learn and be inspired. And yes the regional conferences also do that but like for me Ruby Conf is still exactly as it was when we started it. It’s just a lot bigger now. It actually has many of the same 34 people that went to the first one continue to come back. So I know they’ll be there, but the personality of it hasn’t really changed overtime. I still get that feeling when I go; I still have the same kind of inspiring conversations. I still leave reenergized about being a software developer.

EVAN: I think that Ruby Conf, the regional conferences have existed for a while now, almost 5 years probably, that seems pretty accurate thinking that Mountain West was 5 years ago. So I think that Ruby Conf would have changed if the community would have changed. So Ruby, we’re always going to put on Ruby Conf the same way that we had or we are going to do what we thought was best for that particular moment you know like, “Oh! Ruby Conf needs to be this big, we need this kind of facilities and we should hit team to talk or we could solicit or whatever”. We do the normal thing that you do for a conference. It would have changed only if the feel for the conference would have changed. So having the devotion of putting it every year, we still see that same sort of like people love going. There’s a lot of energy. There’s a lot of silliness in compared to a lot of like other big conferences of that size which people love. And I think that the community keeps coming back to it and keeps saying that like, “This is what we want.” And so it hasn’t really changed because we, for the most part, give the people exactly what they want. I mean I love going to Ruby Conf, it’s like probably one of my favorite times of the year. It’s because I get that chance to just be ridiculous for a few days with a bunch of people who I can make the most obscure references and everything works out fine.

JAMES: Nice.

JOSH: What about the program? Do you feel like because there’s regional conferences with their programs showing speakers etc, that changes how you put the program together, what you want to showcase?

EVAN: I guess, you know, I’m sort of just starting to figure out what we’re doing for this year. Put a lot of things together for it. And I think that it doesn’t change it a lot. It’s supposed to say, Rails Conf is just more polished. So we invite keynote speakers and we do that kind of thing, whereas in Ruby Conf, we invite Matz. We just make sure that Matz is there. And that alone adds a lot of cache to it and so people will, I think from experience I know that I will always want to give a new talk at Rails, at Ruby Conf. And that’s to say that people recycle talks a lot but I feel like, at Ruby Conf you get a lot of people who are like, “Alright. This is my chance so as like to impress the big wigs. Or impress Matz, or talk about something I always wanted to work on.” Like you could see a lot of things at Ruby Conf that are just like weird crazy outlandish and Chad, maybe you remember his name. The guy who always talks about running his submarine on Ruby.

CHAD: I don’t want to remember his name but I know who you’re talking about. He’s at Ruby Conf 2005.

EVAN: So yeah. These you really, really amazing talks that I think that people favor those things, favor those ideas. It’s just sort of they feel want to step up. It’s the big game. It’s not, whatever it is, it brings that out in the  people who submit talk proposal, certainly we get talk proposals from people who are like: I know this guy has given this same talk on Test Driven Development 30 times,  I’d rather not have give it to Ruby Conf again. So we have that control over the program, but I feel like people really put in their best foot forward when they submit talks for it.

CHAD: Yeah. Another thing I have done differently for Ruby Conf in the past is, Evan kind of said it but I will make sure people are in who have ideas that I think might not get out especially in the western world so for example, Shugo Maeda spoke about, what was the name of this thing that he did? It was kind of like David Black’s old behavior’s thing. Take on selector name spaces. Someone must remember Ruby Conf 2010 in New Orleans.

JAMES: Trades. Is it trades?

JOSH: ClassBox?

CHAD: ClassBox! Yes! So I thought this was really interesting, potentially a really good step forward and certainly something that would get a lot of feedback at Ruby Conf. And it’s hard to spread from the Japanese Ruby Core community; it’s hard to ideas to spread when they’re still nascent without kind of forcing them mostly because of the language barrier. So we have actually, we worried last about like whether someone is going to be a good speaker in English for example where you worry more about getting the ideas out there. So we’ve had specifically Japanese speakers that really aren’t conversational in English, but they do a talk in English and they use text. Text heavy slides and sometimes they are actually the best talks of the conference. So, that’s another kind of difference where if I were organizing a regional conference, I would probably focus a little bit more on the presentation side of the speakers.

EVAN: So I guess maybe what you mean is Ruby Conf is allowed to take more risks.

CHAD: Yeah. Yeah. That’s exactly I would say. Ruby Conf is also the place where you might have someone talk about an obscure programming language that no one uses yet.

EVAN: Just for fun.

CHAD: Yeah.

JOSH: I remember chatting with David Black in the hallway of Ruby Conf several years ago back when it was making the transition from a single track to a multiple track conference and talking about he was hoping that it wouldn’t get very large and 300 people is a great size for a conference and single track was so much better. And now it’s a much bigger conference and it has multiple tracks and all that. So those are very different kinds of conferences to attend when a single track, one versus a multiple track one. And bigger is different from smaller. Can you talk about how you guys made that transition and what was behind it? Was it about anything besides just wanting like more people attend?

CHAD: Yeah. So it was the transition from 2006 to 2007. We sold out the Denver Conference in three and a half hours and its 350 people. And a lot of people were understandably angry that they couldn’t get in. So you know, conference organizers love to sell out their conference and they love to be able to say we sold it out this fast. But really when there’s a lot of demand and there are smart people who would benefit from being there and benefit other people from being there, it’s frustrating when they can’t get in. so a lot of it was just allowing more people to attend. We actually called it an experiment. We went to Charlotte in 2007 and we did like half single track-half multi-track, I think is the way we organized it. Evan was one of the plenary speakers. We kind of, again, carefully chose which things would be on the plenary sessions. We had Rubinius, Iron Ruby, J ruby, that’s where the stuff, and the plenary sessions and then the other sessions were multi-track. And that still felt like Ruby Conf to us.

EVAN: Yeah I think just to riff on this briefly, Rails Conf, Rashiki spoke. I ended up talking with him about just sort of, ‘because he was talking about the different conferences and how many people. And I was asking him like how many people go to them, and are they one-track or multi-track or something. He was saying that close conj, whatever. How do you pronounce that?

AVDI: Closure conj.

EVAN: Yeah. Closure conj. It’s about 300 people and it’s one track so it’s a lot like the older Ruby Confs and they are sort of having to go through this time now where they’re trying to figure out, “Do we expand it?”, “Do we make it more tracks?” and that kind of thing. You know there is something really great about having a one-track conference because everybody, you know, the dinner at a one-track conference is always the best. Because everybody would assume the same talks; everybody’s thinking about the same things. In fact it’s really great discussions because everyone is on the same page about what when on. But a one-track conference where it limits your ability to exposure to a lot of different things and so I think that we’ve done a great job with Ruby Conf in really sort of splitting it. I love the plenary sessions and I love that it sort of like big, I have never been to one but I hear that there’s this big fancy business conferences where they have like breaking out sessions. That’s a big deal. Which breakout sessions are you going to? What breakout sessions did you sign up for? I kind of think of like it sort of like this like Ruby Conf has these plenary talks that are sort of “well-cultivated”. Like you know, okay, people are really going to really love this talk. Let’s have this one. Let’s do this one as the plenary ones. But then there’s a lot, you can build a lot of momentum for a lot of sort of like what Chad’s is saying about with Shugo’s ClassBox, about having the ability to expose people to this idea that they wouldn’t have exposure. And if we did that as a plenary session, it really wouldn’t work at all. It just, it would be too specific. So that sort of in between mix, I think it’s important for a conference for the size that we want it to be.

JAMES: Evan, you mentioned there Rich Hickey keynote at Rails Conference, that one was kind of surprising maybe because King of the Ruby Community and gave up pretty interesting keynote that the first half was really pretty straightforward. I think everybody would agree with. But second half was kind of object oriented programming is evil which I thought was kind of an interesting sell…

EVAN: Sure.

JAMES: … to the Ruby community. How do you guys pick the keynotes for Rails Conf?

EVAN:  You know we’ve kind of looked around. The Rails Conf has a tradition of at least having one of the keynotes speakers be someone outside from Ruby/Rails community entirely. Say previously we’ve had Frank and all kinds of different people. And so tell like it would be fun to have Rich talk because he has a different point of view. And so it’s not, it’s nice to have someone come in who can contradict everybody else almost just to be contradictory just so that people can sort of, I love the Ruby community and I love the Rails community but it always runs that when you have these big conferences, you run the risk of having an echo chamber and not really getting perspective on what’s going on. And so having these outside people come in gives you improved perspective even if the person is just contrarian to be contrarian, you at least, you break people out of their little, their boxes and their little fiefdoms to talk about like, “Maybe this is, you know like I disagree with 80% of what he said but this little kernel, this little 20% nugget that I have distilled from his talk is actually really interesting. How do we use that thing?” That’s really where we get those, why we bring those people in.

CHAD: Yeah. We we’ve actually done two types. There’s usually someone who’s outside of their, not just the Rails community but not a developer. So that’s like Ze Frank or Gary Vaynerchuk, that sort of people and then going back to I guess 2007 was the first one we had Avi Bryant and he talked about small talk and the fact that many of the things we’re trying to do now have been done already and maybe even better by small talk. I actually asked Avi to be as controversial as he wanted to be in that talk. And in some of the inviting keynotes like that in the past I have specifically like spoken to the people, beforehand and talked to her about issues I see in the communities specifically around the echo chamber and the group thing kind of problems and have explicitly asked them. And Rich Hickey, I was not involved so I didn’t do so but explicitly asked them to get people thinking differently and giving them kind of permission to piss everyone off.

DAVID: (unintelligible) …talk because he made up the word “overdecomplecting” opposite of simplify your code to complec your code. And they just check it such into conclusion and then basically if you look at all the problems with kind of brain dead, the wrong style of OO, well yeah, he just basically said, “Let’s move away from here.” And yeah he didn’t towards pure OO, he moved towards pure functional. I don’t know. I just wanted to say that I just didn’t want the podcast to come down universally on demonizing Rich. I love this talk. I thought it was great.

CHAD: Yeah. I actually decided I was going to switch to Clojure during his talk. I’m done with Ruby.

EVAN: I mean with his talk, I think I spoke with a lot of people, a lot of people sort of echo what we’re talking right here; to me, after at Rails Conf, right afterwards like, “Oh! That was a weird talk. Why would we do that?” I would kind of helped drive the discussion because his point was just that programmers have a tendency to build castles in the sky because you can. And his point about simplicity is I think valid no matter what fundamental piece you use to build software, just taking away that simplicity part and trying to apply that as a general rubric to everything that you do. I think you could, even if that was the only takeaway, I would say it was resounding success.

JAMES: I agree with that and I thought his simplicity message was very good. I thought a couple of mistakes in the second part where basically he tried to expand that to say that, you know, object oriented programming kind of runs contrary to simplicity but the way he defines some things wasn’t accurate. Like he said things like, you know, if you add a simple thing to a simple thing, to a simple thing to a simple thing, you’re not guaranteed to get a simple thing on the other side.

CHAD: That’s true.

EVAN: And I think that a big part of Rich’s talk have you said you were listening to it was he is used to giving that talk to job programmers and they could tell by the words that he use and the way he reframe arguments and stuff like that; because a lot of problems that he would lay out are not really their OO specific problems to Java. They are like specific problems with effectively static typing because there’s a lot of discussion like his whole point about like, “Oh! You should use a map for everything because a map is a thing that…” Everybody knows how to use a map. You’re never coupling. The map exists everywhere and so you never couple one class to another by using a map; whereas if you pass in a very specific thing like a person object, for now, that thing has to know what a person-object is. And you always have to pass in a very specific person object. Ruby doesn’t have that problem as long as you duct type the same API, you basically get the same thing.

AVDI: Yeah, but you’re over decomplecting the problem too, aren’t you?

EVAN: I love that word.

DAVID: Over decomplecting.

JOSH: Have you gotten that domain yet?

EVAN: There is blood coming out of my nose right now. Just so you know.

JOSH: Has Rich been into the show yet?

JAMES: He’s not. Maybe we should have him on. That would be a good discussion.

JOSH: Let’s bring him on and argue about his Rails Conf talk.


JAMES: We would do it. We would do it.

DAVID: I can tell you’re having a lot of fun in this line of question.

AVDI: So what current echo chamber issues would you say the community has?

EVAN: Well I mean there is, I think it does a pretty good job of breaking out, you know, like you would think that, and full disclosure, I am not a big Rails person. I mean my Ruby career (if you will) has been mostly backend stuff. It has not been extensively Ruby or Rails related. So I think that, but you know, I’m sort of dancing around the question while I think an answer to it. I think that amazingly that the community does a good job and it does a good job, sometimes in a bad way of breaking down these things. So like people, like you’ll see blog posts about, occasionally like ActiveRecord is the devil! That’s a really crappy way to get people thinking about it, but at least it breaks the glass on the echo chamber enough that people think like, “Well, this is silly. Let’s be pragmatic about this.” ActiveRecord is not the devil but maybe it’s not good for every model. Every single thing that we want to do is probably not the best thing for. So I think people are good with that. And I think that DHS of sort of combatative of tone helps this lot. Because he is not, and I don’t think anyone would describe him as warm and fluffy but, so I think from that perspective that keeps everyone sort of like, when he says,  ”I think this is wrong.”, “ I think how we did it was wrong.”, or ”I think this way is wrong.” That at least gets people, again, breaks that echo chamber to get people to get really thinking about things.

JAMES: So I might have to change the subject to because we’re kind of running out of time. But Evan, tell us pine skies during the rains in the future, where do you want Ruby Central to go?

EVAN: I want Ruby Central to go… we haven’t done many grants in the last few years. I may want to get back to doing more grants. When we get back to really the business, we’ve been really great in running Ruby Conf and Rails. I think this first Rails Conf was the first one that we ran all on our own and I think it went great. I think there are things we could improve on so we’re going to expand that. There’s discussion about doing another Ruby Central, specific conference in Europe maybe that means redoing Ruby Rails Conf Europe again. O’Riley was the one dropped it last time so maybe we can work this time. I think one of the most important things that Ruby Central does right now is run Ruby Gems. I think that the conferences are nice, but I think if Ruby Central decided one day like, “Hey! We’re not running Ruby gems anymore.” It would be devastating. There’s a lot of things around running Ruby gems and around getting that up and running and keeping it running and improving it and all that kind of thing that really helps the community. So I want to see, I want to push Ruby Central more towards figuring how we improve those kinds of core functionality things, I don’t think we’ve done enough in those areas that we think we should expand to a lot of other things yet.

JAMES: So you could see Ruby Central taking on more infrastructure projects in the future and stuff of it in the community?

EVAN: Well, yeah. You’re Ruby gems is sort of like the plumbing, the watering service of the Ruby community now. Everybody gets it and if you don’t have it, all of a sudden you realized like, “Oh my god! This thing is impossible to use. Like your house when water gets turned off, everything screeching halt.” I think the same would happen with Ruby Gems so as a community service, I think that it’s great that Ruby Central runs it because it means that it’s got core focus and it can be run in a very open way rather than relying on a lot of sort of companies that do it on their own which they can, companies can come and go and Ruby Central can stick around.

JOSH: Yeah, that’s great. So I have a suggestion for one of these things. It would be great to have… and this has been talked about so it’s not a brand new idea. But it would be great to have a Ruby Central run site for cataloguing the regional Ruby Conferences so that people can go and find out what’s available throughout the year, speakers, confined places where there are calls for proposals are open.

CHAD: Evan, what you’re supposed to say now is PDI.

EVAN: Yeah. So Josh how do I get you to do that for me?

JOSH: Well luckily, there’s like 5,000 people who listen to this podcast and maybe one of them will want to step up and get involved.

EVAN: Yeah. I mean I am all for those things. I think the gemcutter importation shows the way that Ruby Central works really well is to sort of take something that is really working in the community and give it legs. Give it teeth on its own so that it can actually grow and do all these things that it probably couldn’t if it was just someone weekend project.

JAMES: That’s a great point.

JOSH: So somebody built then a nice website for cataloguing regional Ruby conferences and all that. You guys would be, once it got to a good point, you guys would be happy that taken on and support it as community infrastructure.

EVAN: I’m sure. Absolutely.

JOSH: Okay.

JAMES: Okay, that’s a good stopping point. I know Evan’s kind of in a rush so let’s go ahead and move to the picks. And Evan, why don’t you give us your picks first before you take off?

EVAN: Oh my goodness! I don’t know what my picks are going to be. So I’m going to do two. I’m going to do one silly pick and I’m going to do one real pick. My first silly pick is these Loratadine Allergy Tablets because man, the allergies are really bad. Allergy seasons start early this year I feel like, am I wrong? You with allergies out there.

DAVID: Yes, it did. You’re not wrong.

EVAN: So great. These things are a great lifesaver. 120 tablets from Rite-Aid, I suggest it. That’s my silly one.

DAVID: It’s generic of Claritin.

EVAN: Yes it’s Claritin generic, basically. So my non-silly one, I am ridiculous and I know I reflect on my own behavior and it’s ridiculousness so I have been writing a new programming language because I am ridiculous. And new programming language has been using an awesome gem that I am the committer on but I didn’t write almost any of it called RubyLVM; which lets you write LVM things in Ruby. And it’s awesome because you can do these crazy things like I could easily see someone using this to like to make their rail, make their web just like a web-stack faster. Because you can do things like, I want to formulate how this program should work kind of like a nice top level language and then you can send it out and it will be compiled into machine code and then you can have it happen really fast. So it’s an amazing gem that I think if you’re ever in this boat of thinking about like, “How do I these?”, “How does it compile of work?” and that kind of stuff. I suggest you check it out.

JAMES: Awesome. Well we know you need to take off Evan, Thanks for joining us today and we’ll catch you soon.

AVDI: Thank you for being here.

JAMES: Josh, you’re picks.

JOSH: Oh sure! Okay. I think both of these are re-picks in some way. But I think a while back I mentioned that Nickelodeon was going to be doing a sequel series to Avatar: The Last Airbender and they did! And it’s out now and I’ve been watching it and it’s actually really awesome. It’s very much the same spirit and the same style as the original Avatar series. It’s called “Legend of Korra”. I’ve been watching it on iTunes because that’s the easiest way for me to see that content. I don’t have cable or satellite. And it’s been great. It’s a lot of fun. You know if you like the original Avatar series, this is definitely worth checking out.

And then the other thing is a Gem and I’m sure this has been picked before. I didn’t even bother looking at the David Brady pick machine to confirm that. But SimpleForm has just been really great for me. I used to use Formtastic when it came out and that was pretty groundbreaking when it came out and I liked it. But overtime, I had some problems how opinionated Formtastic was and HTML that it generated. And I tried out SimpleForm and SimpleForm has just been better in every way for me. So, I don’t understand why people still use Formstatic except they maybe have some time invested in it. But I am a big fan of SimpleForm and it just really made my life a lot easier in the last couple of weeks. That one of things that’s really great about the SimpleForm 2.0, which came out a couple of months ago, is that they have this nice little API for defining what all the HTML that gets emitted when you create a different form elements. And you could basically customize it for a lot of different things, so it can work well with Twitter bootstrap or with other CSS frameworks that you’re working with. So if you’re doing form stuff, check it out. SimpleForm. And that’s my picks for today.

JAMES: All right, David, you want to go next?

DAVID: Sure. So I just came off a weekend and a half of vacation and absolutely freaking loved it and I guess to sum up my pick, go outside and play. I have sunburn right now from the actual sun and it’s so weird…

JAMES: Maybe you going to need a definition…

DAVID: Exactly! This is exactly what I’m talking about. Basically, it’s that thing you read about that causes skin cancer. Anyway, I was out on a daystar for most of last week and this is actually, in my mind kind of a geek related pick because at Lillicon or not Lillicon, Penguicon, there’s like an alternate track that they do the day before or the day after the conference called “Geeks with Guns”. And what I got into last week, about a month ago, a friend of mine came over and he said, “You need a gun. You need to buy…”, it is actually impossible to pronounce this name correctly in any one language but the correct pronunciation would be (mosin nagant)

AVDI: I knew you you were say that one.

DAVID: If you are an American, you say (mo-zin na-gant) unless you’re from like Georgia, Florida area, and then you say (moi-sin na-gant). But this is a Soviet military surplus .30 caliber rifle or excuse me, 7.62 mm caliber rifle.  And it’s illegal to trade firearms with Russia, but when the Ukraine seceded, Russia had made 37 million of them in like, 6 or 8 million of them where in the Ukraine and the Ukraine can sell us firearms. And so these are 30-06 rifles, or basically .30 caliber. 30-06 is a .30 caliber rifle that was manufactured in 1906. These are .30 caliber rifles. You hand load them 5 shells into the magazine bolt action and if you get a modern 30-06 rifle, you’re going to pay $2,000 and the ammunition is $1-$3 around. A Mosin Nagant is $99 and the ammunition if you buy surplus ammo for it is about 16 cents around. It’s almost as cheap shoot as a .22 and it’s just crazy fun. And people actually use them to hunt deer with. I mean this really is a valid rifle for if you’re like brush-hunting or deer-hunting that sort of thing. But it’s also just a lot of fun to just go shooting. It’s not really, really expensive. And I have sunburn on top of sunburn this week from going out and shooting my Mosin and that has turned out to be a gateway gun for me because I ended up buying a 12 gauge shotgun because while I was, this is a sentence that’s going to come out sounding wrong. I went trap shooting while I was in San Francisco and what I mean by that is I went to a firing range we shot clay pigeons out of a trap. That is called trap shooting. They go out in a straight line. If they go out in a sideways curve, that’s called skeet shooting, which I also found out it’s also there is already one in San Francisco but I didn’t know that. But anyways, shooting trap was so much that I bought a 12 gauge shotgun and my parents called me and said, “Since you’re getting back in the guns, you can have your .22 that you had when you were a kid.” So I went from having no guns in the house to having 7 rifles in the house. I have 6 rifles and a shotgun in the house right now.

JOSH: Okay so nobody listens to the podcast is ever going to break into your house now.

DAVID: Yeah.  Well if they do, they’re there to steal my guns, right?

JOSH: Yeah.

DAVID: So my second pick is Hunter’s Education. I have absolutely no intention of pointing any of my weapons at a living creature. When we went to the firing range last week, there were voles; they are like giant mice but not quite rat size. They’re voles all over the range and I could bring myself to shoot them. They’re vermin and I could not bring myself to shoot them. but if you take Hunter’s Education, you get a hunting license for a year out of it which I have no intention of using but what they will do is that they will seat you down for 8 years and they will tell you everything you need to know about how to handle a rifle or a shotgun or a pistol safely. By keeping the bridge open, keeping the safety on, always treating the gun like it’s loaded. Never point the muscle in the direction of a human or an animal, that sort of thing. And I’m making my wife take Hunter’s Ed even though she has absolutely no intention of ever shooting just because I want everyone in this house over the age of reason, and me to have gun safety trained. So those are my picks.

JAMES: Wow! That is one massively long picks.

DAVID: I’m sorry. Yeah, we’re now overtime. I’m glad that Evan went first or he’d be like 2 hours late. Sorry.

JAMES: Evan talked shooting himself in the foot but I think it was figuratively.

DAVID: Yeah.

JAMES: You may actually do it literally.

DAVID: We can do everything from putting a pinhole in your foot to blowing it clean off. Let me know what you need.

JAMES: Also when you were talking the price of ammunition, all I could see was Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man when he says, “Here they come and they’re spending a fortune.”

DAVID: The shotgun ammos are $1.25 a round, or no, the good stuff is. The cheap stuff is $0.25 a round. It still hurts to pay that much for ammo.

JAMES: Avdi, go ahead.

AVDI: Well mine’s actually flows nicely from David’s ‘because mine also has to do with the big blue room. Badminton. My pick is badminton. Badminton is kind of the Grimm family outdoor sport. Several years back, we set up a net, a cheap net and discovered that it was the one outdoor thing that we all seem to enjoy and, I don’t know, it’s a great casual game to play. It doesn’t have to be super competitive although it can be. The equipment is cheap even a nice racquet is like $15 and you know, $15-$30, and it’s the kind of game, unlike some of the other outdoor sports, it’s the sort of thing where you can go from not knowing how to play badminton to knowing and like being able to do enough that you can enjoy yourself in about a day. It’s not one of these things where you’re going to spend weeks getting to the point that it’s even fun. And finally and perhaps most importantly, you can play badminton while holding a beer in the other hand. So we’ve finally kicked off or somebody kicked off lately our badminton season over here and I’m very, very happy to be getting out and doing that again.

DAVID: You can also play badminton with a beer in your hand and a shotgun but all the other players hate it.

AVDI: Wait. How many hands do you have?

DAVID: Just two. I’m sorry. Are we still talking about skeet?

AVDI: (laughs)

JAMES: Before the show, Avdi was also lecturing me on seeing all the episodes of the X Files. So I think that’s another pick.

AVDI: I suppose. Yes. X Files, it’s a great show. I don’t know. I wasn’t really planning on picking that so I don’t have like a whole, long spiel line up but…

JAMES: well before last week’s show, you mentioned some super cryptic recipe thing that both Josh and I were like, “Hey! What’s that?” and then you’re like, “I’ll make it one of my picks.” And you didn’t. So I still have no idea what you’re talking about.

AVDI: Crap! I forget what that was.

CHAD: I think you’re just intentionally leaving it a mystery.

DAVID: The truth is out there.

AVDI: (laughs) Well I have no idea what that was. I wish it would all came up but I can’t remember what it was. Oh well.

JAMES: It’s hilarious.

DAVID: Avdi, I need to take you for the Ultraviolet pick. For those of you that are tracking into the movies and shows that David Brady does and does not like, so basically nobody. Ultraviolet was freaking awesome. I’m sad that it’s only 6 episodes long.

AVDI: I know right?

DAVID: Yeah. Seriously.

JAMES: Since everybody else is telling us to get outside and play, that’s like, “What the hell was that about?” We are programmers, geez So I’ve been playing video games all week. And I’m going to pick those. Obviously, I’m going to pick Diablo III. That’s out.  I think it’s pretty good. It’s taking some criticism for being, you know, maybe not as good as Diablo II. It’s definitely very different and I’m not sure that I would say it’s as good as Diablo II, but it’s definitely a good game and it’s all right. It’s more complex than you think as you get into it and well I do kind of miss the kill tree system at times. I love that under the new system I don’t have to start a new character to try something totally different. So that’s kind of nice for those of us dads who have to sneak in all the playtime we can get when we are not spending time with our wife and kids. So I appreciate that aspect of it and I’ve really been enjoying it.

Another cool game that came out recently is “Gratuitous Tank Battles”, probably sounds pretty cheesy.

AVDI: Awesome? You know awesome?

JAMES: Absolutely. I have to go and read about the skim. They make one before which was Gratuitous Space Battles and I played that one quite a bit and really enjoyed it. And this one is probably even better. But basically, to sum it up, it’s really, really quick, it’s like a tower defense game where you can choose if you want to play the towers or the guys charging the towers. And you can customize your units in whatever way you want to influence how that happens. So pretty cool stuff if you ask me. And those are the games I’ve been playing lately. So that’s what I’m recommending. And Chad, how about your picks?

CHAD: All right. I have two things that are not about shooting anyone or being outdoors or having all that much fun ‘cause that’s how I am. The first one I was shocked and horrified and actually kind of discussed it with you all when we started this conversation because you did not know about the Ook Programming Language.

JAMES: That’s true. We were educated.

JOSH: Well I know about 2 Ook programming languages so count me out of that.

CHAD: Excused. So David Morgan Marr has a page called DM’s Esoteric Programming Languages. And it has some of the most bizarre ideas, some potentially not implementable that you’ll find in programming language design including the Ook programming language and another one that is relevant to David’s stuff here which is zombie. ‘Cause I’m convinced that he’s actually stocking up for a zombie invasion at his house.

DAVID: They make zombie ammo. I’m not kidding. I’m not kidding. I’m going to stop talking during other people’s picks.

CHAD: I don’t think you’re kidding. The Ook programming language is a language designed for orangutans, so that’s a little teaser but will surely get everyone interested to get checked it out. The other one is a book, is someone interrupting?

JOSH: I’m just curious what bonobos are supposed to program in.

CHAD: I think it’s up to you to determine.

DAVID: Bonobos don’t have time to program. Google it kids.

CHAD: Yeah. The other one is a book called “Let Over Lambda” and I don’t know if any of you have read this book but I recently read it. It is on common lisp macro programming and you will be sucked in to it when you read it as part of the description, the following sentence: “Only the top percentile of programmers use Lisp and you can understand this book, you are in the top percentile of Lisp programmers.”

JAMES: That’s awesome.

AVDI: Wow!

CHAD: The entire book is that kind of gratuitous challenge like the guy pulls no punches. It’s absolutely all opinionated and intense and it is one of the best programming books that I’ve ever read. So that’s Doug Hoyt, Let Over Lambda. Those are my picks.

JOSH: Yeah.

AVDI:  Is it kind of like the total perspective vortex where like when most people look into it, they come away insane? But once when they thought other people looks into it, comes away knowing he’s the center of the universe?

JAMES: That’s probably it.

JOSH: That’s only because Lisp lets you create your pocket universe.

CHAD: You guys are nerds.


JOSH: I love the title of that book, it abbreviates as L-O-L.

CHAD: Yes. I’m glad you mentioned that because if you don’t yet know common lisp, you should not read this book. You should instead read ‘Land of Lisp’.

DAVID: Which we did.

JOSH: That was our book club. You’d know if you listen to podcast.

CHAD: I don’t listen to podcast but however, Land of Lisp, I’m telling everyone, don’t read LOL until you first read LOL.


JAMES: Nobody’s written that one yet. That’s awesome. All right, well thanks Chad and let’s see, do we have any announcements we need to wrap up?

DAVID: We’re all starting at LivingSocial next week right?

JAMES: That’s right. I was told never to talk to Chad Fowler. I wonder if over a podcast counts. I don’t know.

CHAD: I think it counts.

JAMES: It counts.

DAVID: Sweet!

JOSH: When’s your start date James?

JAMES: A couple of minor announcements, don’t forget the parlay mailing list which where we talk about stuff with Ruby Rogues, so you can sign up for that. Home page and we are doing, I believe it’s next week, right? We’re doing the book club book which is “Working with Unix Processes with Jesse Storimer”. So read the book. If you’re not ready, you still have time. It takes like a couple hours. Really good book too, lots of neat stuff to talk about and Jesse come in for that. Is there any other announcements I missed? Anybody? Silence means… I think we got it all. I would say bye everybody.

Alex Muntean
Alex Muntean

One more request for James to please do something with his mic / sound config. Everybody else sounds clear and loud enough. I need to increase/decrease the volume every time James starts/stops talking. Thank you very much for doing the podcast! It's my favorite podcast and I listen to a lot of them.

John Calistro
John Calistro

Hi guys, I love the show. This is for James, I canot hear you very well, I follow the podcast for a couple months now, everybody sound is clear and loud, but your microphone, I think, not capture the audio very well, I like your comments, but sometimes I need to rewind and pay a lot of attention to try to understand what do you say. This is just here in my iPhone? Could you enhance your audio a little? Thanks for the great show, keep the good work guys.

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