Silicon Valley Ruby Conference Report

April 23, 2007 Alex Chaffee

Brian Takita and Alex Chaffee gave a presentation at the
SDForum Silicon Valley Ruby Conference over the weekend,
entitled Full-stack web app testing with Selenium and Rails (slides hosted at SlideShare).

We also attended a few talks (unfortunately we couldn’t attend the whole thing). A few highlights:

Mongrel HTTP handlers.

From Brian:

I’m at Ezra‘s Mongrel HTTP Handler’s talk and it looks like a way to
improve Tracker’s JSON performance.

The simple “Hello World” benchmark was something like this:

  • Rails: ~121 req/sec
  • Mongrel: ~900 req/sec

There is an in-process mode that a mongrel HTTP handler can be run in.
This handler will be run in process of your rails app. You have access
to Active Record. It just avoids ActionController.

Ezra wrote a framework named Merb (Mongrel + ERB).

Also, mongrel is thread safe. Also, Ezra shared that he wants to avoid
magic in Merb.

Ezra’s slides are online now.

Here’s what Josh wrote about Merb.


is a framework for doing “mutation testing” (like Jester for Java).
Kevin Clark demoed it and it looks like a valuable addition to any Ruby build (though
probably not as a requirement for a green build — more like part of a nightly metrics


Chris Wanstrath of Err the Blog gave a talk that was ostensibly about Web Services but that
actually ran a manic gamut from SOAP to
Microformats to
Firefox plugins to
command-line blogs to
mock object libraries.
His speaking style is deceptively laid-back — if you don’t pay close attention, especially to code examples, you’ll miss entire open-source
civilizations being born and collapsing. Fortunately, I had just given a talk so my neurons were all juiced up,
which meant I could just barely keep up. Bottom line for microformats: gem install mofo.

Update: More Slides

Check out SlideShare’s svrc tag for more slide presentations from the conference, including Ezra’s Mongrel Talk.

About the Author


Innovative Software vs. Commoditized Software
Innovative Software vs. Commoditized Software

Most of software development can be considered from one of two perspectives: Is it innovative or can i...

Keeping Your Design Three-Quarters-Baked
Keeping Your Design Three-Quarters-Baked

I just gave a talk at the Web 2.0 Expo with Leslie Chicoine of Satisfaction. We shared our insights into th...

SpringOne 2021

Register Now