Exciting Ruby Stuff

In the last week, I’ve seen a new group pop up in Omaha, NE and Tulsa, OK. The Omaha.rb will be meeting on Monday, May 2nd from 7-9PM (directions on their web page). I don’t know when the Tulsa.rb will meet, but hopefully it’ll be soon.

By the way, the Utah Ruby Users Group is set to start meeting on the third Wednesday of the month (May 25th). The Seattle.rb is meeting tonight. Wow! That’s a lot of Rubyists.


Home Teaching Survey

Home Teaching in our ward is pretty bad, getting to 40% of the families assigned to the elders quorum is looked at as an achievement. To help understand the problem a little more deeply, we passed around an anonymous survey in Primary, YM, YW, and RS. I knew it wasn't terribly scientific, the sample was poorly chosen among other things, but I thought we could use the data anyway.

I worried that even though this was anonymous, people wouldn't respond honestly. The first several forms I got back all said (essentially) 'All is well, no problem here.', and I thought my fears were confirmed. Gradually, I started to see some of the concerns that I knew were lurking. Here are the results.

I asked six questions:

('Yes' or 'No')
Do you know who your home teachers are? 70% did
Do they visit as often as you'd like? 50% did

(sliding scale)
Do they present an appropriate message? 68% positive
Are you comfortable asking them for service? 65% positive
Would you be comfortable asking them for a blessing? 64% positive
Do they help you to strengthen your family? 56% positive

How could they help you to strengthen your family? I got a lot of answers to this one. Here are a few:

Personally, I see no value in home teaching. I sit there while he talks to my husband, wishing I could be somewhere else. . . . Rather than share what he wants to share, think about us and focus on us, then prepare an appropriate message for us.

He strengthens us each time he comes because he really does care and calls us often

To help, they should actually come!

Have lessons for young children so they'll sit and listen.

Instead of asking if there's anything they can do, be more specific. For example: "Can we help you with your garage sale next week?" Take initiative: "I know you've been sick so we brought you a lasanga."

Know my children and take an interest in their lives


I haven't got a husband, or parents, or children, so I need home teachers

If the active, easy to visit families feel this way, I think we've got a long way to go to straighten out home teaching. How is it going in your ward? What are you doing well? Where do you need to improve?


skipping stones

skipping stones
skipping stones,
originally uploaded by pate.
One of my goals over at 43 Things is to do more hiking with my son. I posted some pictures of our last hike over at flickr.


r43 is being built test first

It’s so nice to watch it build like this. Add a test, watch it fail, write some code, watch it succeed. Here’s how it looks right now:

% ruby test_r43.rb
Loaded suite test_r43
Finished in 0.611202 seconds.

73 tests, 112 assertions, 0 failures, 0 errors

If you’re not writing your code this way, you should give it a try.


'This I Believe' from NPR

It sounds like NPR has turned up a winner. "What I believe" based upon a radio series of the same name from the 50s. You can post your essay explaining what you believe at the website. All the submissions will become part of an archive, some will be selected to be read by their authors.

I plan on submitting an essay. Maybe you should too.


r43, seattle.rb, and stuff

We had our March Seattle.rb meeting last night. It was huge we had 18 people there including at least 5 folks from Amazon. It was also pretty cool to have Chad Fowler with us.

Ryan kicked things off with a discussion of our upcoming code fest. I'll post a date when we get it figured out, but if you're a Ruby hacker and are going to be in the Northwest in May you should consider joining us. We're going to be working on Ruby Gems -- cleaning out some dark, scary corners and working on some enhancements. There's already interest from the Vancouver.rb, pdx.rb (Portland), and even a Ruby Hacker from Yakima.

Ryan also talked about MetaRuby and Ruby2C. The work that he and Eric have been doing is incredible. If you're interested, take a look at Polishing Ruby (Ryan's blog).

Once Ryan finished up, I botched a quick preview/presentation of r43, my new library for the 43 Things API. Ryan pitched in and helped me mock out the live site for testing. The coolest part was probably seeing Chad playing around with it even in it's pre-alpha state. Now that people know about it, I'm under the gun to get a formal release out the door on Monday.

Eric finished the evening off with a working tour through Rails. He took a cemetary information application (which will be open sourced and a hosted version available soon), worked on adding some functionality and tests. A lot of the people at the meeting were there just to look at Rails, so this was the biggest (and most appreciated) part of the evening.