Rails 2.1 release candidate is imminent!

Threat level orange, guys! The release candidate for Rails 2.1 is drawing awfully close, so if you’ve been sitting on a patch that just must make it in now is the time to rise hell or high water to make it so. Once we cut the release candidate, we’ll be loathe to introduce anything but bug fixes to the features already there.

So get in your saddle, cowboy, and make that patch happen. Remember that the party has moved to Github and Lighthouse. Giddiyap!

RailsConf keynotes: Kent Beck, Joel Spolsky, Jeremy Kemper, yours truly

I’m happy to announce that we finalized the keynote line-up for this year’s RailsConf and I can’t believe the great names we got (especially that last guy on the list, I hear he’s awesome :)):

  • Kent Beck: Few people have had a bigger influence on the modern software industry principles, patterns, and practices. I’m reading his new book Implementation Patterns right now and can’t wait to hear him speak.
  • Joel Spolsky: Joel on Software has always been a source of thought provoking, inspiring, and sometimes downright infuriating advice and opinion on software development. Joel is a great thinker and a lucid speaker on all things software and he’s been running his own software business for almost a decade to back it up.
  • Jeremy Kemper: If Rails was an army, Jeremy would be the 5-star general who always made sure the job was done. He’s been a tireless force for improvement and implementation of the Rails framework since way back in the early days. Jeremy probably touched most of the features you enjoy in Rails every day. We’re finally getting him to talk about it too!
  • David Heinemeier Hansson: Yes, I will most certainly be speaking at RailsConf again this year.

This lineup is of course in addition to the wealth of wonderful sessions planned. RailsConf ‘08 is shaping up really nicely. We have a brand-new version of Rails (2.1) scheduled to premiere not long in advance of the show and a whole year of collective learning to digest. It’s never been a better time to be programming with Ruby on Rails.

Agile Web Development with Rails, 3rd Edition

You asked for, heck, you demanded it, and now it’s becoming a reality. The original Rails book, Agile Web Development with Rails, is getting a facelift and the 3rd edition is now available as a beta book.

The book will be targeting Rails 2 and thus cover the many improvements in features and idioms that Rails have seen since the last edition of the book.

We also have a new author on board with the project: Sam Ruby. Sam co-authored the wonderful RESTful Web Services and have been involved with the Ruby and Rails communities for quite some time now. It’s fantastic to have him involved with the book.

Ruby Heroes accepting nominations

Ruby Hero Award is a great initiative to highlight some of all the hard-working people in the Ruby and Rails communities who might otherwise not get as much exposure as their work deserves. So go on an nominate your favorite hacker and let’s celebrate the many great people doing good stuff.

rubyonrails.org was not hijacked

Due to a snafu at the domain company holding rubyonrails.org, the site was turned into their default Google-baiting holding spot yesterday. The problem has now been resolved and the Google-bait has been eradicated. Sorry for the scare.

Rails (and family) on Lighthouse

Lighthouse “version 2” deployed yesterday, so I’m officially opening the Rails Lighthouse tracker up for business. Other spinoff projects such as Prototype and Capistrano have already made the switch. As David has mentioned, this means the current trac instance is deprecated. It will continue to stay in use for now until everyone has transitioned to Lighthouse.

We’re still figuring out the new workflow with git, Github, and Lighthouse. I’ll be working with the Logical Awesome folks to improve the Lighthouse/Github relationship. I’m also working with Tim Pope (author of the awesome git-trac tool) and others in #rails-contrib on bringing the same development tools to the new git infrastructure. Tim also wrote some best practices for contributing to Rails from git.

Passenger (mod_rails for Apache) launches

The guys at Phusion has finally wrapped up Passenger, their mod_rails-like module for Apache. It’s looking like a great, easy solution for people who want a more PHP-like deployment story. Just dump your files in a directory setup with a vhost and off you go. Touch tmp/restart.txt and the application is restarted. Doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Rails premieres on GitHub

GitHub has now officially launched and Rails is right there at the premiere. The Rails repository now lives at rails/rails and you can check it out with:

git clone git://github.com/rails/rails.git

If you don’t have git, or don’t enjoy running it on your platform, you need not fear. We’ve set up an automated task to produce a zip file of Rails Edge that’ll be kept up to date all the time: http://dev.rubyonrails.org/archives/rails_edge.zip. This is also what we’ve made the new rake rails:freeze:edge use.

This also means that development on the Subversion repository has stopped and will no longer be kept up to date. We’ll keep the Subversion repository around for some time for people to transition off svn:externals, though. But if you want the latest edge, you’ll have to use either git or the new zip files.

We’ll also soon go live with our new ticket management system, which will be running on a new version of Lighthouse. When that happens, the Trac installation will follow the Subversion repository into legacy. We’ll still keep it around so we can work through all the patches and tickets that are there, but everything new will happen on the Lighthouse setup.

We hope you’ll enjoy this upgrade to the Rails collaboration infrastructure. We’re really looking forward to the onslaught of marvelous patches that the Git lords have promised us will flow from the mountain now.