Archive | July 16, 2008

Notes from NH Ruby/Rails, 15-July-2008: Jeremy Durham and merb

Ten people attended the July meeting of the New Hampshire Ruby / Rails group, an affiliate of the Greater New Hampshire Linux User Group (but it’s okay if you don’t run Linux – there were lots of MacBooks at the meeting last night!). Thanks to Scott Garman and Nick Plante for organizing the meeting and to Tim Golden and RMC Research for providing the excellent facilities.

We started with a good round of introductions where everyone got to state who they were, what they were doing and their level of expertise.

Jeremy Durham was our guest speaker and the topic was merb. Jeremy explained that the 20-second answer for what’s merb is that Merb = Mongrel + erb. Merb is a very small and simple web framework that is ideal for quick small projects that demand few resources, while still providing a thread-safe environment in which to run Ruby. While not intended purely as a Rails replacement/competitor, much of what’s run in Rails can be moved to merb and vice versa with minimal effort. Jeremy offered that he often did a coding session in merb for the speed of the development cycle, and could then share the models he’d created with his team running Rails with minimum changes. Jeremy did a compare/contrast with Rails v. merb where merb is ahead in small memory models and threading, while Rails has the larger community and richer documentation. Jeremy mentioned a new community site: merbunity.

Along with the main topic, there were lots of tangential conversations on the joys of TextMate, vi vs. emacs, Apple shell defaults, JavaScript libraries (did you know there is an entire JavaScript MVC framework in SproutCore? That paperclip [DEPRECATED] is a cool replacement for attachment_fu for uploading files?) which always enrich the presentation.

After the great presentation, there was sufficient time for networking and socializing, where folks got to follow up on interesting developments. Thanks to Jeremy for the presentation, and to Scott and Nick and Tim for organizing the event and to all for attending and participating! Topic for the August meeting hasn’t been nailed down yet. Stay tuned to the announcement mailing list whose links you can find at

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.