This is the first part of very large blog post about Euruko 2004, and also a very complete one. Just about everything that was presented is repeated here. This was done for all the people that couldn’t come, I pity them. Have fun reading my recapture of the conference.
First of all, I need to excuse to all the attendees: Usually, I’m always in time. However, this weekend I’ve been late to just about everything: First, I arrived late at the second European Ruby Conference because we—David and I—just couldn’t find it. It turned out that the Sulzer GmbH was about 20 minutes away from the subway station—something you wouldn’t have expected looking at the wiki. :-)
However, I was only about one hour late (total mis-estimation of the subway latency), there will be worse to come: I misunderstood the time to meet for dinner, and was two hours late to that. :-/ But more about that later. Sunday morning, we were really nicely in time and met other Rubyists at the subway station. Unfortunately, we were two minutes to late to the bus and had to take another 20 minute walk. Never mind. I probably don’t need to add that we also missed the planned train and had to take a later one, making us arrive yet another hour late. At least, it gave me enough time to write this entry. ;-)
What I probably need to add, tough, is that we also missed the second train, which really sucked, as my notebook battery was empty now, too. After all, I could have stayed till the end of the conference, and wouldn’t be more late home than now. To protest, we burned our Nice-Weekend-Ticket at the train station. No one noticed…
But now, let’s recap the things in chronological order:
When we arrived at Saturday, folks just were introducing themselves, too bad I missed most of it as it would have been interesting to know what other people use Ruby for. Now I know at least that Ruby made it into the BMW blueprint and therefore is allowed there to be used for scripting and testing, however it must not be seen as a replacement to J2EE. :-D
After the introduction, we were making up the conference plan. There were only two talks on Saturday (three planned): A talk on the Fourth International Ruby Conference by James Britt, and one about “PureData and GridFlow”by Mathieu Bouchard.
Around twelve o’clock we had lunch, there was Leberkäse (liver loaf) and Weißwurst (veal sausage)—both typically Bavarian food. Additionally, you could get pretzels (the real ones) and baguette. You could get white wine too. By the way, the catering was really good. On each desk, there were lots of drinks, not limited to Coke and Grapefruit juice. Of course, you could also get lots of coffee—extremely important for us Ruby hackers. ;-) There was a box of cookies on each desk; all this stuff was there Sunday too.
James Britt gave the first talk about the Fourth International Ruby Conference that took place in Virgina last week. He basically rehashed all the talks given there, which was interesting, but not new to me since I had listened to some of the .mp3s of it and looked at slides available on the net too. James would hold the ruby-doc.org talk—which was planned for Saturday too—on Sunday since we had no time left anymore.
After a short break, Mathieu Bouchard gave his first (of three!) talk about PureData and GridFlow. PureData is a visual language and programming environment for real-time sound performances. Mathieu first told us a bit on the history of “calculated music” and the various ancestors of PureData. Then, he gave us an simple example of it. Unfortunately, the Mac OS X port of it doesn’t run very well, so he couldn’t show us an more advanced “patch”—this is how PureData programs are called.
Mathieu is developing GridFlow, an extension to PureData to use it for video performances too. He showed an example of how to generate “fire” using it and also told us about a really cool thing he did with it: a touchscreen that displayed the picture of digital camera and if you touched the screen, it would look like a distorted water surface; unfortunately that thing didn’t run on his notebook either.
He uses Ruby to abstract and script the GridFlow library API to PureData and other, similar environments. In the end, he explained how to use the Ruby REPL inside PureData and how the API works.
In the evening, most people (*g*) got to the Greece restaurant Poseidon near Prinzregentenplatz, where we had dinner. The food was really good there, and the prices were comparably cheap for Munich. A very good choice, IMO. We left about 23:30 going home to our flat.