I spent this Friday and Saturday in London at the RubyFoo conference, organized by Trifork. RubyFoo is a small pre-conference to the larger JAOO conference. As you might expect, it’s focused on Ruby, and it’s quite small. On the friday we were about 50 people, and on Saturday about 40. The small amount of people and the fact that all presentations were in the same track made it much easier to network and communicate with people. I liked the focus this gave to the conference, and it was also an excellent opportunity to meet new people and get new ideas.

On the Friday there were five presentations, and on the Saturday it was an open spaces. The five presentations were all focused around the area of communicative programming. I talked about JRuby and did several demonstrations of how JRuby can be used to call out to different languages. My examples included talking to Clojure, Erlang and Haskell.

After me, Aslak Hellesøy talked about Cucumber and how Cucumber supports lots of different programming languages. Very cool. Aslak always give good presentations.

We then had lunch, and then Sam Aaron gave an interesting talk about communicative programming, and the essence of what we are doing. Very cerebral, definitely something that sparked lots of thoughts in peoples minds.

Adam Wiggins gave a talk about Heruko. I haven’t actually tried Heruko yet, but it looks very cool.

Finally, Matz gave a talk about the different styles of programming in Ruby, tied in with his history of creating Ruby and what the inspirations were. Very nice.

On the Saturday my colleague Dan North facilitated the open spaces discussions. I gave a 30 minute talk about Ioke – people seemed to enjoy it. After that Dan North, me, Aslak and a few others had a discussion about static versus dynamic typing.

After lunch I held a discussion about Ruby 1.9, getting some ideas why people weren’t using it, and what problems the people using it had encountered.

Finally, me, Aslak and Sam sat down to add Ioke support to Cucumber. This went really well – and I liked pairing with Aslak. Sadly I couldn’t stay until we were done, but Aslak and the others continued while I was heading out to the airport.

All in all, RubyFoo was a great conference, and I hope they can keep the same size the next time. 50 people were really a great size, and I liked the discussions we had.