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Silicon Valley Ruby Conference Report

Brian Takita and Alex Chaffee gave a presentation at the
SDForum Silicon Valley Ruby Conference over the weekend,
entitled Full-stack web app testing with Selenium and Rails (slides hosted at SlideShare).

We also attended a few talks (unfortunately we couldn’t attend the whole thing). A few highlights:

Mongrel HTTP handlers.

From Brian:

I’m at Ezra‘s Mongrel HTTP Handler’s talk and it looks like a way to
improve Tracker’s JSON performance.

The simple “Hello World” benchmark was something like this:

  • Rails: ~121 req/sec
  • Mongrel: ~900 req/sec

There is an in-process mode that a mongrel HTTP handler can be run in.
This handler will be run in process of your rails app. You have access
to Active Record. It just avoids ActionController.

Ezra wrote a framework named Merb (Mongrel + ERB).

Also, mongrel is thread safe. Also, Ezra shared that he wants to avoid
magic in Merb.

Ezra’s slides are online now.

Here’s what Josh wrote about Merb.


is a framework for doing “mutation testing” (like Jester for Java).
Kevin Clark demoed it and it looks like a valuable addition to any Ruby build (though
probably not as a requirement for a green build — more like part of a nightly metrics


Chris Wanstrath of Err the Blog gave a talk that was ostensibly about Web Services but that
actually ran a manic gamut from SOAP to
Microformats to
Firefox plugins to
command-line blogs to
mock object libraries.
His speaking style is deceptively laid-back — if you don’t pay close attention, especially to code examples, you’ll miss entire open-source
civilizations being born and collapsing. Fortunately, I had just given a talk so my neurons were all juiced up,
which meant I could just barely keep up. Bottom line for microformats: gem install mofo.

Update: More Slides

Check out SlideShare’s svrc tag for more slide presentations from the conference, including Ezra’s Mongrel Talk.

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