The 4th Annual JRubyConf held last week in Minneapolis was a huge success. The conference kicked off Monday by hosting Getting Started with JRuby, Intro to Neo4j, and RailsBridge workshops. This was a great way to start the conference and introduce more people to JRuby, and for RailsBridge to continue its mission of increasing the number of women in the developer community. When attendees arrived Tuesday morning for the official start of the conference they were showered with swag and gifts that included t-shirts, pint glasses, personalized cookies, and even a JRuby conference poster designed by local artist Adam Turman. The day began with opening remarks by one of the conference organizers, Nick Sieger. Nick stated that he wanted the overarching theme of the conference to symbolize a bridge for the JRuby community. This theme was well emphasised by the magnificent overlook of the Minneapolis Stone Arch Bridge provided by the the conference’s venue on the 9th floor of the equally impressive Guthrie Theatre. The next two days were packed with excellent sessions that spanned a wide variety of topics. For those who weren’t able to make it, here are some things that stood out:
- JRuby development is moving to RedHat. This is a promising move, as RedHat has been a great steward of open source software over the years, and is involved in work on OpenJDK, JBoss, etc.
- Ian Dees gave an interesting talk on implementing Thnad on both the JVM (using Bitescript) and Rubinius.
- Xavier Shay from Square spoke about their creation of Jetpack, and their decision to use a mixed MRI/JRuby environment for development/production due to slow JRuby startup time in development (an acknowledged problem, and common “only complaint” of multiple speakers).
- Tony Arcieri showed off Celluloid, which brings the Erlang Actor model to Ruby. If you run this on JRuby or Rubinius, you get some big benefits from the lack of a GIL.
Conference organizers Nick Sieger and Flannery Dolan deserve a ton of praise for putting together a well organized and memorable conference experience. From the great venue with picturesque views, to the amazing food, and quite possibly the best conference swag ever, JRubyConf was a memorable and uplifting conference for the JRuby community.