Monday, May 23, 2011

RailsConf 2011 Recap

I spent last week at RailsConf, my favorite conference.

The unofficial theme this year was definitely Javascript. Some great changes coming to Rails 3.1 (c.f. DHH's keynote) show that Javascript and CSS are becoming first class citizens, but there was also plenty of sessions dealing with Javascript as well. SproutCore, Backbone, Sprockets, and CoffeeScript were big, but there were at least a few sessions on testing Javascript too.

There are two directions that web applications with Javascript and Rails can go: The MVC model and the Rich Client model. DHH seems to be behind the MVC model, which is why Rails has supported it from the start. The Rich Client model where one or more clients of any type consume data from a Rails-built API is becoming more common with the advent of Javascript frameworks like SpoutCore and Backbone.js, not to mention the many mobile applications out there.

When Rails supported REST, that was a huge step to supporting great, flexible APIs, but it didn't bring a lot of its signature convention to how to deal with Rails APIs. That was a subject of Yehuda Katz's talk; how can the Rails community center around the correct conventions for APIs so Rails can start to support them. That talk and one about FlexibleAPI have me thinking that this type of thing will be a major theme for Rails to come.

Also, as always, RailsConf did a worked to feed back the history of programming into the community. It came in the form of a crazy performance art Keynote by Guy Steele and Richard Gabriel

Posted via email from Tony Hillerson's Posterous

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