EU Tour Quick Hits

I'm very tired. I've been in the EU since last week Wednesday, first at Euruko in Prague, then getting slides ready for Scotland on Rails, and finally preparing a release announcement with Tom today. It's been a very long 11 days. So here's some quick hits for you.
  • EuRuKo FTW - It seems like EuRuKo was the conference to be at. We had three choices over the past two weeks: EuRuKo, last weekend in Prague; RubyFools A and B, in Copenhagen and Denmark earlier this week; and Scotland on Rails in Edinburgh yesterday and today. We made earlier commitments to EuRuKo and Scotland and opted not to kill ourselves by making extra trips to Copenhagen and Oslo. But from the sounds of it, we did pretty well. EuRuKo had better than 300 people, and it was a great conference...felt very much like my first RubyConf in 2004. Scotland had a hundred-something people and I heard from a few other folks RubyFools was about the same. And although my opinion of Prague was only slightly improved this trip, EuRuKo turned out to be an excellent conference.
  • Beer is dangerously cheap in Prague - I'm not sure why I didn't learn my lesson the first time.
  • Scotland is beautiful - Maybe I like rainy, green places, but I thought Edinburgh was a beautiful city and Scotland was a beautiful country. I wish I'd had time to go hiking on the crags or take a day trip to Loch Ness. I'll definitely be back.
  • Rails developers like more than Rails - We went out on a limb with our 90-minute Scotland on Rails talk and also presented NetBeans Ruby/Rails support, performance/threading demos, Ruby-Processing graphics eye-candy, the classic IRB/Swing demonstration, and a healthy series of slides debunking most of the great myths about Java. And the attendees loved it. Sure, we had lots of people really excited about the GlassFish Gem and WAR-file deployment, but we had at least as many excited about using Swing in Ruby, distributing all-in-one application bundles with JRuby, compiling code for fun and profit (and a perhaps disturbing number of people wanting compilation solely for obfuscation purposes), and general NetBeans Ruby/Rails features. It was a far more receptive audience than I'd expected, and the talk felt just great.
  • I need to come back to the UK soon - I like it here, and there's tons of people interested in JRuby. Gotta find a good excuse to come back soon.
And of course, we got JRuby 1.1 out today (download), after a good 9-10 months since JRuby 1.0. Happy times! Now, back to work...JRuby 1.1.1 soon, additional maintenance releases as needed, and super-happy-ultra JRuby 1.2/2.0 work coming up.

I sleep now.
Written on April 5, 2008