About ten minutes ago, Kathy Sierra finished her part of the plenary session for RailsConf. She was preceded by DHH and they talked for about an hour each. Of course, DHH's talk was quite technical and mostly about Rails 1.2 and 2.0. Let me tell you, there are some really awesome stuff there. I really liked SimplyHelpful which is smart helpers for your view, mostly like ActiveRecord for models and SimplyRestful for controllers. It makes repetitions disappear in a very pleasing way. There were of course lots of other small things talked about. ActiveResource looks really nice. I just wish I had an interface like that for the SOAP servers I work against. Oh well.
Kathy Sierra. Wow. Really interesting talk. Incredible actually. She talked about creating passion in users, how you can work with selling your product to people who are already customers in such a way that they become passionate and really make your product advertise itself. She talked much about how our brains work regarding these topics and how you can "cheat" to grab attention. A very telling point in her speech was when she showed the Canon advertisement for one of their cameras, and then their manual for those who had actually bought the camera. Of course, the manual was sleep inducing and probably bad for your health just to look at, but the advertisement was cool, "sexy" and all those ad buzzwords.
The current session I'm in is about Rails and C, and how you can apply C extensions to make your applications blazing fast. This is a really appropriate topic if you look at the current war between Joel Spolsky (Language Wars, Wasabi, Ruby Performance) and DHH (FUD, Wasabi and Performance). Also, the last few months have seen many discussions on ruby-talk about performance (or lack of) in Ruby. David Goodlad starts the session by speaking about different ways of interfacing with C. The ways detailed are regular C extensions, Ruby/DL, RubyInline and SWIG.
An interesting take on the Rails issue, and how to get great performance from one server running mostly C code and the then have your 5 Rails boxes talking to this with BackgrounDRb. Really neat.