RubyConf 2006—Day 2 (Saturday, 21 October 2006)

This article was modified from its original published form. The most recent modification was on2014-09-25.

Series: RubyConf 2006

I overslept today and have a high-altitude headache. I ended up missing Nathaniel Talbott’s talk on how he’s running his Ruby consulting company and approaches that others can take.

Laurent Sansonetti’s demonstration on OS X integration with Ruby was very well done, with excellent demonstrations of controlling iTunes with Ruby from irb and with a Ruby/Cocoa GUI. It’s nice to see Apple committing at least Laurent’s time to Ruby support1. It’d be nice to see Microsoft committing resources, too.

My headache was too bad for me to attend Glenn Vandenburg’s talk about Rinda in the real world, which is too bad, because the parts of it that I caught seemed really interesting2.

I had lunch, and then I came back half-way through the lightning talks. Very interesting stuff. Rich Kilmer presented because Jim Weirich couldn’t be here this year, and he presented about the Indi service that he and Tom have been working on. Very interesting, and I think it could be an interesting service. I’ll probably play with it soon. (Or at least as he makes it available.)

Tim Bray presented on I18N and M17N as they relate to Ruby. The most extensive effort so far for identifying characters in human writing forms is Unicode; the Unicode Standard 5.0 is soon to be released3. Unicode 5.0 and ISO 10646 are identical. Unicode characters are represented in 17 planes; the first plane is called the Basic Multilingual Plane. There’s only 9% usage in the total plane (1,114,112 available). Tim’s presentation was mostly a survey over what various languages do—and what Ruby should do. I had a chat with him after his presentation to clarify a few things, and I think we’re mostly in agreement. One interesting point: when Tim asked the audience if they understood Unicode, only about FIVE of us raised our hands (myself included). Tim recommends reading The World’s Writing Systems by Peter T. Daniels, the W3C’s Character Model for the WWW 1.0: Fundamentals and the current Unicode Standard.

Michael Granger presented the Linguistics package. Really neat. When it was done, I offered him the Text::Hyphen package for multilingual hyphenation. I need someone to pick it up and maintain it as I no longer have time to maintain most of the projects that I work on. He seemed interested, but I’ll catch him tomorrow and talk with him in more detail—or I’ll try to catch him after the conference by email.

Dinner was acceptable (barely; the vegetarian dish was the same thing that they had served for lunch on Day 1), but I met Kirill Sheynkman who may end up joining the PDF::Writer project in the near future to work on things that I don’t have time to work on, freeing me up from having to worry about certain maintenance issues so I can work on the next generation that includes reading. After that, Matz’s keynote.

  1. Laurent, of course, has moved on to found HipByte, which ships [RubyMotion][].
  2. I have The dRuby Book: Distributed and Parallel Computing with Ruby in my PragProg wishlist.
  3. As of 2014-09-25, Unicode 7.0 is the current specification release.

  • 2014-09-25: The original version of this article was written as a travelogue stream-of-consciousness that was a little hard to read. I have tried to make it a bit clearer, and have added some comments about how things have turned out in the years since.[ back ]

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