Tuesday night saw the birth of the Montreal On Rails user group in a small room on the Mcgill campus. It was a lot of fun.

The first presentation was by Marc-André Cournoyer, Standout Jobs Ruby Guru, entitled “How to make your tests faster”.
Marc-André started with a very funny introduction. I don’t know how to describe his intro. He should turn it in a video for all to see. First part was a demonstration of caching results from external apis (he used twitter as an example) to a file to make tests go really fast on your development machine. You then add a flag so the build machine uses the actual api. You get the best of both worlds: fast tests when developping, but you also validate that the api didn’t change. I just started a project monday that is gonna connect to 3 apis, so the presentation was very timely.

The second part was about a plugin he is developping called InactiveRecord to stub out the access to the database for your test. You can find the slides to his presentation along with the code here.

Second presentation was from Carl Mercier of Karabunga. It was a small tutorial on HAML, a templating engine for Rails. You can play online with HAML here. The latest version released a couple of weeks ago seems to have fixed a lot of performance problem (30% slower than rhtml instead of 1000% slower). I will have to give it another try soon, along with sass, which is haml for css.

Suggestions for improvements:

  • Bigger room for more people, but also more open space to make it easier to socialize, and a room where donuts are allowed ;)
  • Wiki on montrealonrails.com so people can post suggestions for topics that would interest them for presentations
  • Maybe we can have a round of quick presentation (2-5 mins) if let’s say you want to present a small plugin or a ruby trick. This could help orient discussions after the main presentation. It would also allow more people to talk and present themselves, in a less intimidating way than a full blown presentation.
  • Maybe someone is crazy enough to want to videotape the presentations?

I can’t wait for the next edition!

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4 Responses to Montreal On Rails First Edition Report

  1. macournoyer says:

    Thanks for the feedback J-F, I’m happy you liked my presentation and mostly that it was helpful to you!

    I agree with your suggestions, great ideas.

    Hope to see you at the breakfast next week!

    • Salim says:

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  2. [...] to other reports you can find in other montreal rails blogs, I won’t go into technical details. I [...]

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