Last night’s Montreal on Rails was once again a fun event with three great presentations. Standout Jobs hosted the event in their new offices (quite nice btw).

Gary Haran on Prototype

Gary gave a very interesting tutorial on the basics of using the Prototype javascript framework. I learned quite a few things. Prototype’s doc seems to have really improved in the last year and I should probably learn it, instead of living in fear of writing javascript. Someone mentioned that prototype modifies directly some standard classes and can break other libraries. It’s something you should be aware of.

I would like to see a followup to this presentation, with more advanced prototype stuff and a how to properly write a class.

Francois Beausoleil on Piston

Francois is the author of Piston and presented it in a very succinct way. It’s a tool to help you manage your svn:externals (you probably have a few in your plugin directory). I like it: simple tool that solves a very real problem (breaking your deployment because a remote repository is down).

James Golick on make_resourceful and shoulda

James presented two useful plugins. make_resourceful is like dynamic scaffold for restful controllers on crack. It has a whole bunch of callbacks and things to override to easily customize parts of the controller. shoulda provides lots of test helpers, helpers for validation, model association and restful controllers. That last one is a really nice complement to make_resourceful.

Conclusion

Montreal on Rails is a great initiative. It’s great for the presentation, the networking and it’s gonna help the raise the level of expertise of everyone involved. I heard lots of people talking how they started using things they heard about in past presentations. There’s so many plugin out there today (there’s almost too many) that every edition should have a 15 mins presentation where someone presents 2-3 plugins. See you all next time!

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