Aug 19: MySQL Performance for Rails + Rails 3 Arel

Posted by Gray Herter Thu, 12 Aug 2010 10:12:00 GMT

Title: MySQL Performance for Rails: the New Reality by Baron Schwartz

Matt Wizeman will also present a short (15 minutes or so) overview of Arel, Rails 3's new relational algebra library.

When: Thursday Aug 19, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM (Presentation at 6:45, so be on time!)

Register: Cick here!

Location:

InfoEther, Inc. HQ's Building
11600 Sunrise Valley Drive
Suite 490
Reston, Virginia 20191 USA
Call 703 727-1307 (Gray's cell phone) if you have trouble getting in.

Parking: There is plenty of parking out in front of the building.

Food: Pizza and Sodas will be provided by Near Infinity Corporation with special thanks to InfoEther for providing the location.

Description:

MySQL today is an entirely different beast than it was two years ago. Recent improvements have increased performance dramatically. I'm not a shill for MySQL, but I often see decisions that are no longer necessary or even wise: sharding prematurely, moving away from MySQL, not buying powerful hardware -- all out of the once-true belief that MySQL could not run with the big dogs. Given the new reality of multicore hardware, solid-state storage, and vast amounts of RAM, what should you be doing today with MySQL to build large-scale apps that perform well? We'll talk about hardware, tuning, what's new in MySQL 5.1 and beyond, and what's specific to Rails apps. And yes, there ARE still parts of MySQL that don't scale well, and we'll discuss how to
sidestep them.

Speaker Bio:

Baron Schwartz is an expert on MySQL and LAMP performance and scalability. He's the Chief Performance Architect at Percona, where he helps customers architect and build some of the largest LAMP applications around. He is the lead author of High Performance MySQL. He has created several popular open-source software projects, including Maatkit. He posts regularly on the MySQL Performance Blog and the Xaprb blog.

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July 14: Radiant CMS: How to Understand, Use, and Extend It by Jim Gay

Posted by Gray Herter Wed, 07 Jul 2010 10:15:00 GMT

Title: Radiant CMS: How to Understand, Use, and Extend It by Jim Gay

Register: Click here!

When: Weds July 14, 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Location:

Near Infinity HQ
1881 Campus Commons Drive Suite 205
Reston, VA 20191
Call 703 727-1307 (Gray's cell phone) if you have trouble getting in.

Parking: There is plenty of parking in the garage or out in front of the building.

Food: Pizza and Sodas will be provided by Near Infinity Corporation.

Description:

Take a walk through Radiant, one of the most popular Ruby content management systems in an exploration of the features and extension system.

In this discussion, we'll see the basics of content management with Radiant and talk about what it provides out of the box. Jim Gay, the lead developer of the project, will show off the latest release which has features for

  • internationalization
  • loading extensions from gems
  • updated user interface

He'll discuss peering into the way requests are routed to pages, using radiant with your other rails projects, extending the interface, and some common anti-patterns.

Speaker Bio:

Jim Gay is the founder of Saturn Flyer LLC, a design and development studio that bridges the gap between graphic designers and application developers.

Prior to founding Saturn Flyer he was a Senior Web Developer with WFI (now Kratos Defense & Security Solutions) where he lead UI development and wrote guidelines for application interface design and was the resident Section 508 expert.

He has been developing Ruby on Rails applications since 2006 and is the lead developer of Radiant CMS.

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June 29: Curing DIV-itis with Semantic HTML, CSS and Presenters by John Athayde

Posted by Gray Herter Mon, 14 Jun 2010 11:20:00 GMT

Title: Curing DIV-itis with Semantic HTML, CSS and Presenters by John Athayde (Get the slides as a PDF)

When: Tues June 29, 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Location: Near Infinity HQ, 1881 Campus Commons Drive Suite 205, Reston, VA 20191

Register: Click here!

Parking: There is plenty of parking in the garage or out in front of the building.

Food: Pizza and Sodas will be provided by Near Infinity Corporation.

Description:

In the world of web standards, semantic markup is one of those nebulous things that is often blogged about and oft forgotten in the throes of birthing a web application. Semantic markup is using HTML elements for what they are intended (e.g. a ul for a list instead of a div class=”list”). Not only does this make rendered documents easier to read from a hierarchy perspective, but it helps with search engines and reducing code.

In the last year since I’ve joined the staff at InfoEther, we’ve refactored a few sites that have come through, in many cases reducing some Rails partials from 80 lines of code down to 20. That partial was a list with a loop in it for a top-ten list. So, once processed, it rendered out to about 600 lines of code. After cleanup it came out to rendering out less than 100.

We’ve also utilized the Presenter pattern to take elements that occur regularly and remove them to presenters. CSS elements and stylesheets generated from Ruby, Navigation items that are added with one line of code and a few images, easy setup wizards, and more.

All these things can create better sites that run faster and are easier to work with.

Speaker Bio:

John is a interface and experience designer as well as programmer, filmmaker, musician, and occasional troublemaker. Prior to his current role at Northern Virginia’s Ruby on Rails consultancy, InfoEther, he ran the DC based UI/UX shop “Hyphenated People” with Amy Hoy. He also ran a 15 person creative team at a large e-commerce shop for two years. He released a short animated film, “The Sandbox”, with his company Meticulous in 2005. When he’s not emotionally attached to a website, he can be found performing in his band, Juniper Lane, or working on 3d animation and electronic music. He holds a Masters degree in Architecture (the building variety, not the information kind) from Catholic University of America. He takes entirely too many pictures of his cat.

Call 703 727-1307 (Gray's cell phone) if you have trouble getting in.

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May 19: ActiveDocument and SproutCore (new location at Near Infinity)

Posted by Gray Herter Sun, 09 May 2010 23:58:00 GMT

Title: An Introduction to ActiveDocument and All Your UIs Are Belong to SproutCore!

Agenda:
  • Free pizza and sodas at 6:30. Presentations start at 7 PM
  • FIrst Talk: Clark Richey presents an in-depth look at the new open source Ruby connector to MarkLogic, ActiveDocument.
  • Second Talk: Gray Herter presents an introduction to the SproutCore UI framework.
Registration: Register and Get Directions Here.
Location:
1881 Campus Commons Drive
Suite 205
Reston, VA 20191
Second Floor
Sponsor: Pizza and drinks graciously provided by:

Mark Logic

First Talk: An Introduction to ActiveDocument

This talk takes an in-depth look at the new open source Ruby connector to MarkLogic, ActiveDocument. ActiveDocument is an ActiveDocument style object to XML mapping framework for XML databases (currently implemented only for MarkLogic). It allows developers to leverage the power of an XML database to find, create, update and delete XML documents within their XML database without having to write any XQuery code.

During this presentation we will talk briefly about the philosophy behind ActiveDocument and then we will start looking at the important classes and concepts that developers will need to understand in order to create applications with ActiveDocument. From there we will create a Rails application from scratch using ActiveDocument as our connection to our underlying MarkLogic XML server.

About the Speaker: Clark D. Richey, Jr. has spent over ten years architecting and implementing large scale software solutions for the federal government. Currently, Clark is the Principal Technologist, Federal and Community Champion with Mark Logic. Clark is also an adjunct professor with Loyola University where he teaches in their Master's of Computer Science program, where he is currently teaching Ruby on Rails. Clark has a Master's in Computer Science from American University and a Bachelor's in Computer Science from U.M.U.C.

Second Talk: All Your UIs Are Belong to SproutCore!

Gray Herter will introduce SproutCore, an application framework that aims to simplify the building of complex web-based UIs, and demonstrate how to use it in conjunction with Rails to create some fantastic apps.

SproutCore embraces several novel approaches to building web-based UIs. It uses only JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. This results in impressive user experiences without the need for browser plug-ins. To communicate with a server, SproutCore uses only RESTful Ajax calls. While SpourtCore maintains server technology independence, Rails makes a great partner to SproutCore UIs, providing the required access to backend web services.

About the Speaker: Gray Herter is a Senior Software Engineer at Near Infinity Corporation, the founder of DC's annual RubyNation software conference, and has taught and developed using Ruby and Rails since 2007.

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April 9-10 - RubyNation Conference

Posted by Gray Herter Thu, 11 Mar 2010 08:28:00 GMT

Register now for the RubyNation conference, the Nation Capital area's Ruby and Rails community conference. This year's RubyNation features many excellent speakers including Dave Thomas, Gregg Pollack, Jim Weirich, Joe O'Brien, Jeremy McAnally, Glenn Vanderburg, Nick Sieger, Neal Ford and lots of others.

When at Where: Apr 9-10 6 AM - 6 PM both days, at the Sheraton in Reston, Virginia.

To register or learn more click on the image below:

RubyNation

Note: Since this event is produced in conjunction with the NovaRUG, there will be no regular NovaRUG meeting in April.

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Mar 3: Dynamic Generation of Images and Video with Ruby-Processing (plus Rails 3 Beta Overview)

Posted by Gray Herter Thu, 18 Feb 2010 19:02:00 GMT

Agenda: Jeff Casimir will present "Dynamic Generation of Images and Video with Ruby-Processing" at the March meeting of the Northern VA Ruby Users Group.

Note: This meeting will feature Jeff's presentation, but will also now include a half-hour overview of the Rails 3 Beta (what's new and what to expect) provided by Chris Flipse.

When at Where: Mar 3rd from 6:30 PM - 9 PM at FGM, 12021 Sunset Hills Rd, Suite 400, Reston, VA 20175

Pizza and sodas at 6:30. Presentations start at 7 PM

Sponsored by:

RubyNation

To register for the NovaRUG Meeting: Click Here!

Description: Ruby-Processing is an awesome library which wraps Processing with a JRuby interpreter and a simple Ruby syntax. Using ruby-processing your Rails app can programmatically create complex images using static images, 2D shapes, 3D with OpenGL, animation and video.

We can leverage the power of Processing and existing Java libraries from the comfort of Ruby.

In this session we’ll take a quick look at ruby-processing to understand how it works, then add dynamic image creation to a sample Rails app. We’ll discuss the potential of leveraging Processing from Rails and layout directions for further research.

Speaker:

Jeff Casimir runs the respected Jumpstart Labs, where he will be glad to teach you Ruby, Rails, Flex, SQL, etc!

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Feb 3: Shoutreel Mirco-Forums and the Grant Plug-In

Posted by Gray Herter Wed, 27 Jan 2010 15:35:00 GMT

Agenda: Ammar Yousuf will present a behind the scenes look at Shoutreel, a micro-forum site and Jeff Kunkle will present Grant, a Rails security plug-in at the February meeting of the Northern VA Ruby Users Group.

When at Where: Feb 3rd from 6:30 PM - 9 PM at FGM, 12021 Sunset Hills Rd, Suite 400, Reston, VA 20175

Pizza and sodas at 6:30. Presentations start at 7 PM

Sponsored by:

Near Infinity

Register: Click Here!

Description: Yousuf will present an overview of the design and features of Shoutreel, a micro-forum Rails site. This talk will include a discussion of the technical aspects of Shoutreel, including design choices and solutions.

Jeff Kunkle will present Grant, a Ruby on Rails plugin for securing access to your ActiveRecord model objects by declaratively specifying rules permitting CRUD operations on your models. This short talk will discuss the reasons for creating Grant and provide some short code examples demonstrating how to use it.

Speakers: Ammar Yousuf is the principal designer and developer of Shoutreel.

Jeff Kunkle is the Chief Technology Officer for Near Infinity and is the author of the Grant plug-in for Rails.

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Dec 2: Debugging Ruby: Understanding and Troubleshooting the VM and Your Application by Aman Gupta

Posted by Gray Herter Fri, 27 Nov 2009 11:37:00 GMT

Main Topic: Debugging Ruby: Understanding and Troubleshooting the VM and Your Application by Aman Gupta

When at Where: Dec 2nd from 6:30 PM - 9 PM at FGM, 12021 Sunset Hills Rd, Suite 400, Reston, VA 20175

Pizza and sodas at 6:30. Presentations start at 7 PM

Sponsored by:

RubyNation April 9-10, 2010

Register: Click Here!

Description: A new presentation consisting of content from Aman's threading talk, which he has presented at various Ruby conferences, and add some newer stuff about ruby-level debugging.

Speaker: Aman Gupta is a serial entrepreneur, ruby hacker and a recent winner of a Ruby Heroes award. He currently maintains the EventMachine project and various other gems that help build high-performance distributed and asynchronous systems in ruby, including em-mysql, em-spec, jsSocket and amqp.

Most recently, Aman has been hacking on performance improvements to MRI, releasing several patches to ruby and perftools.rb, a sampling profiler for ruby code based on google-perftools.

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Nov 4: ActiveScaffold and Stop Talking, Start Teaching: 5 Rules for Successful Communication

Posted by Gray Herter Tue, 27 Oct 2009 14:56:00 GMT

Two Topics: ActiveScaffold by David Medinets and Stop Talking, Start Teaching: 5 Rules for Successful Communication by Jeff Casimir

When at Where: Nov 4th from 6:30 PM - 9 PM at FGM, 12021 Sunset Hills Rd, Suite 400, Reston, VA 20175

Pizza and sodas at 6:30. Presentations start at 7 PM

Register: Click Here!

First Presentation: ActiveScaffold by David Medinets

ActiveScaffold is a tool that produces on-the-fly scaffolding that looks much better than the default Rails scaffolding. It uses Ajax to create, update, and delete without page reloads. Also, the scaffold is nearly totally customizable in well-documented ways. In this presentation, David will show how to use ActiveScaffold to produce a custom user interface while still letting the tool do the hard work of generating forms.

BIO: David Medinets has been programming since 1980, starting with a TRS-80 Model 1. He still fondly remembers the days when he could cross-wire the keyboard to create funny-looking characters on the display. Since those days, he has written three books teaching the Perl, PHP, and BASH languages. David is a SCRUM Master and expert application developer specializing in Ruby and Java. He is knowledgeable about the business domains of Insurance, Supply Chain, and Airline Inventory.

Second Presentation: Stop Talking, Start Teaching: 5 Rules for Successful Communication by Jeff Casimir

Some of the most important work we do as programmers involves pitching ideas. Whether it’s inside the team, searching for funders, or running demos for potential clients, we all need to present ideas and cultivate an audience.

The past decade has seen the rise of the presentation as an important communication medium, but few people do it well. There are many resources on how to make good-looking slides, but we need to focus on the method, structure, and content.

We don’t need to be “speakers” – we need to be teachers. In this session we’ll explore the five most essential rules to successful teaching and how they apply to you.

Attendees will, by the end of the session, have a framework for designing and critiquing their work and that of others. This new understanding will make them better teammates and more successful salespeople.

BIO: After majoring in Computer Systems Engineering Jeff joined Teach for America and began a career in education. He taught high school Computer Science for four years before moving into school administration. As a Vice Principal he was responsible for evaluating and hiring new teachers, observing and coaching existing teachers, and defining much of the school’s academic process. As part of that process, he built a “School Information System” (SIS) in Ruby that ran every aspect of the school.

Most of all, Jeff hates boring presentations. He wants everyone to Stop Talking, and Start Teaching.

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Oct 13: Programming Scala by Dr. Venkat Subramaniam

Posted by Gray Herter Mon, 05 Oct 2009 16:14:00 GMT

Oct 13: Programming Scala by Dr. Venkat Subramaniam

When at Where: Oct 13th from 6 PM - 9 PM at FGM, 12021 Sunset Hills Rd, Suite 400, Reston, VA 20175

Register: Click Here!

Scala is a nice language to program on the JVM. It's concise, scalable, powerful, expressive, and integrates well with Java. Your day-to-day tasks like processing XML, matching patterns of various expressions, working with collections and String, are all made simpler, concise, and elegant by the Scala language syntax and build-in libraries. In this presentation you will immerse into the Scala goodness, and learn how you can make use of it in your Java applications.

We will also raffle off a pass to the 2009 Northern Virginia Software Symposium returning November 6-8, 2009. Check out the conference by clicking the following image link:

Northern Virginia Software Symposium

BIO: Dr. Venkat Subramaniam

Dr. Venkat Subramaniam, founder of Agile Developer, Inc. has trained and mentored thousands of software developers in US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. He helps his clients succeed with Agile Development and various software technologies. He is a veteran speaker at the NFJS conference series (www.nofluffjuststuff.com) and a frequent invited speaker at various other international software conferences. He authored ".NET Gotchas" (O'Reilly), and co-authored the 2007 Jolt Productivity Award winning book "Practices of an Agile Developer," and authored "Programming Groovy" and "Programming Scala" (all from Pragmatic Bookshelf).

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