December NovaRUG Recap & Rails Training

A couple weeks ago, Kevin, Ben, and myself headed out to the December NovaRUG meeting to catch Rich Kilmer's talk on Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) in Ruby. People who have read the testing chapter in the latest Agile Web Development with Rails book may be familiar with the DSL that Dave presents when demonstrating integration tests in Rails:
 def test_buying_a_product dave = regular_user dave.get '/store/index' dave.is_viewing 'index' dave.buys_a @ruby_book end 
Rich provided many examples of DSLs that he's used, including one that he created for the DoD to handle planning of in-flight airplane refueling. He also discussed his work with GUITopia to create an intuitive GUI DSL which was a bit more accessible to me as a newcomer to Ruby:
 window.close(:button) window.close(:button).click 
Rich also discussed differences between both implicit and explicit DSLs and the scoping issues resulting from both. My limited understanding of blocks and closures put me at a bit of a disadvantage here – something that I hope to resolve when we have our training event in January. Training? Yes. We will be hosting a Rails training event here in the DC Metro area (Reston, to be exact) January 15th - 17th with Chad Fowler. The session is geared toward people who have web development experience and have played a bit with Rails but want to get more in-depth. The skill level required for this course falls between the Basic and Advanced Rails Studio classes offered by the Pragmatic Studio folks. Cost is $750 per person for all 3 days, email if you'd like to attend – space is limited. Hope to see you there.
Patrick Reagan

Patrick is development director in Viget's Boulder, CO, office. He writes clean Ruby code and automates system infrastructure for clients such as Shure and Volunteers of America.

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