SF Ruby meetup tonight at SlideShare

Tonight there’s a Ruby meetup at the SF offices of SlideShare. There’s pizza and beer, and plenty of parking in the scary-looking-but safe alley behind our office! Here’s the list of presenters:
Raul Parolari will touch on metaprogramming details – “class_inheritable_accessor: unknown heroes of Rails startup”.

Class variables and class instance variables have pros and cons (that programmers have discussed for ever since the beginning of time). Sometimes we would wish for a variable that had their qualities, but not their defects; wishful thinking, right? not in the Rails world! where they exist baptized as ‘class_inheritable_accessor’ (which by the way plays an important role at startup). This short talk discusses the 3 types of variables, and how the new one works (yes, another metaprogramming Ruby trick, at the service of the “Rails magic”).

Bala Paranj will talk about Design Patterns in Ruby

Paul Graham said “When I see patterns in my programs, I consider it a sign of trouble. The shape of a program should reflect only the problem it needs to solve. Any other regularity in the code is a sign, to me at least, that I’m using abstractions that aren’t powerful enough? often that I’m generating by hand the expansions of some macro that I need to write.”
In this presentation we will see how some of the GOF patterns can be implemented using powerful features of Ruby in a simpler fashion.

PresentationZen: live in San Francisco!

Garr Reynolds, the man behind the amazing PresentationZen blog, will be speaking at the SF offices of SlideShare this Friday, June 6th (upcoming.org listing here). Garr is a great speaker, and has thought really deeply about presentation design from the perspective of Japanese design practices. If you care about presentations, you should subscribe to his blog (his book is also really good). And if you’re in SF or nearby, you should drop by the SlideShare offices to see him in person this Friday!
Update: Nancy Duarte, who was the designer behind Al Gore’s famous “The Inconvenient Truth” presentation, will also be speaking. AFAIK, this is the only PowerPoint presentation to date that has been made into a movie, so it should be interesting to hear her perspective on things.

UX of advertising at BayChi tomorrow

The upcoming BayCHI panel on UX of Advertisinglooks really cool! A great line-up of folks:
Jeremy Liew, Lightspeed,
Ted Rheingold, Dogster,
Joe Hurd, VideoEgg,
Heath Row, DoubleClick
are going to be talking about the user experience of advertising. It’s been on my mind a lot lately. I’m interesting especially in whether Flash can be used to make advertising LESS annoying.
Plus the Dogster guy will be there. Dogster cracks me up, the fact that a social networking site for dogs is a massively succesful site is probably a sign of the apocalypse.

Pecha Kucha SF is gonna rock!

Pecha Kucha is a really cool design-geek event that originated in Japan. The format is somewhat similar to PowerPoint Karaoke, with some important differences. Participants design a 20-slide slideshow, and have 20 seconds PER SLIDE to talk over it. The timing is done by computer, so you don’t have any leeway, and have to time your presentation perfectly for it to work.

It’s creative, it’s competitive, it’s funny, it’s awesome. And it’s happening in SF on August 29th! The SF Pecha Kucha group has been at it a while (this is their 16th event) and was recently listed in the SF Bay Guarian’s “Best of The Bay” issue as “best hyper-intellectual show and tell“. Here’s the full description:

Pecha Kucha – Japanese for chitchat – began in 2003 in Tokyo as a way for emerging designers to share ideas. The wildly popular concept has now caught on here, with San Franciscan chitchatters meeting every last Wednesday evening of the month, usually at 330 Ritch. The format is simple: presenters curate a 20-image slide show about their creative work; each slide is shown for exactly 20 seconds; and each night has an overarching (and often disregarded) theme. Anyone can sign up, though it’s mostly designers and artists talking about their work – which can range from Burning Man sculptures to mass-market furniture. But you never really know what you’re going to get: recent nights have seen a writer, a couple of software developers, a social engineer presenting an interesting theoretical exercise, and a creative vacationer with some gorgeous images of plate tectonics in the Colorado basin, graffiti in Australia, and the state of socialist architecture in Eastern Europe.

Proto.in is gonna be huge!

Proto.in is a simple concept: it’s a clone of the hugely successful Demo conference, in India, run on a not-for-profit basis (for reference, the demo conference costs companies that choose to participate SERIOUS money). No powerpoints are allowed: you have ten minutes to demo a working product.
The list of companies that have been accepted is being kept under wraps until the event itself. I’ve talked to dozens of Indian entrepreneurs in the last month: I predict that there will be cool wireless stuff being demoed for sure!
Startups in India don’t have the nifty ecosystem that silicon valley companies do, so this is a valuable opportunity for anyone with working code to show their stuff to a room full of venture capitalists. Hopefully, press attention and possibly funding will follow.

More coverage at:

Delhi Ruby Geek Dinner

Manik and I will be hosting a Delhi meetup for Ruby enthusiasts this Friday. It’s completely informal: we’ll be drinking beer, eating food, and talking about Ruby and/or RubyOnRails. In that order.
We’re meeting up at the Piccadilly, in PVR plaza, Connaught Place 8PM this Friday (June 2nd). Needless to say, it’ll be dutch (Manik and I aren’t buying). If you’re a Delhi geek who grooves on Ruby, Rails, or domain specific languages in general, come on down! You have nothing to lose but your sobriety.

DCamp is gonna rock!

DCamp (a barcamp-like event for DEE signers and DEE velopers) starts tonight in Palo Alto (at the socialtext offices, home of the original barcamp). Lots of awesome smart people are going to be presenting and sharing their ideas, including (but not limited to!) Sarah Allen from Laszlo, Rick Boardman from google, LukeW and Bill Scott from Yahoo!, Nate Bolt from Bolt/Peters, Micah Alpern from ebay, and Luke Hohmann from Ethniosys.
Sounds like my kind of party.

Silicon Valley Ruby Conference

I’ll be spending the weekend at the Silicon Valley Ruby Conference being organized by SDForum. I got interested in Ruby because the AJAX libraries uzanto uses (prototype and scriptaculous) come from the ruby on rails world, and are awesome).
But in the last few weeks I’ve been hacking with Ruby on Rails itself for a new project I’m working on. The experience has left me very impressed with Ruby (an elegent little object oriented language) and especially with Ruby on Rails (a wicked cool web app framework). Anyway, this conference should be good, and it’s local and reasonably priced. So if you’re in the bay area and looking to get your Ruby on, see ya Saturday!