RailsConf 2006 selling fast

We opened up registration for RailsConf 2006 just over 12 hours ago and already have over 100 people signed up! Dave Thomas and Mike Clark’s Guidebook session is also already half full so if you were planning on coming to RailsConf I would act sooner rather than later.

So go sign up now.

RailsConf 2006: Open for registration!

The first official Rails conference has opened its doors to registrations and is tempting with a wide variety of auxiliary announcements. While all the sessions haven’t been announced yet, the keynotes are final. We got Martin Fowler, Paul Graham, Dave Thomas, and yours truly all lined up to deliver anchors of blast.

There’s a limited number of seats, so just like RubyConf this year, we expect RailsConf to sell out well in advance. That’s one great reason to register now, another is the $400 super early-bird price that only lasts until the end of the month. After that it’s $475 for a while and finally $550 once we get past April 18th. I doubt we’ll have any seats left to sell at $550, though.

As if you needed additional reason, the first 100 lucky people who sign up and donate at least $40 to charity will get free access to a pre-conference day called The Rails Guidebook where Dave Thomas and Mike Clark will teach you Ruby on Rails. So if you’re really quick, that’s a fantastic opportunity to get even more value out of your trip to Chicago in June.

Yes, in case you forgot, RailsConf 2006 is going down in Chicago from June 22nd through 26th at the Wyndham O’Hare hotel. Three days of happy programming for people who love beautiful code. I expect to see you there!

Secrets Behind Ruby on Rails: The Numbers

ITConversations has just made David’s OSCON 2005 keynote, Secrets Behind Ruby on Rails, available for download.

One of the big stories for Rails in August was the numbers behind its budding ecosystem. The conference fell right around Rails’ first anniversary and the numbers one year in were promising. Today, six months down the road, they keep going up.

In the year between when Rails was released and the OSCON 2005 keynote, it was downloaded 100,000 times. In the six months since then it’s up to 300,000.

Estimates on the Rails wiki in August indicated that there were no fewer than 250 programmers in 36 countries getting payed to work professionally with Rails. There are now over 550 Rails programmers in 50 countries, including Azerbaijan!

When Agile Web Development with Rails was released it sold 6 thousand books in its first run. Six months later, its sales are over 25 thousand. Rails publishing is busy, with even more titles upcoming, such as the Rails Recipes cookbook, which is scheduled to be available in beta sometime this February.

There are now around 400 people in the #rubyonrails IRC channel, about the same as #php. The Rails mailing list is as busy as ever.

Six months from now? The first annual Rails Conference. The next half year promises to be interesting. See you there.

Running Rails on the LiteSpeed webserver

The LiteSpeed Web Server is a commercial engine made to be largely config-compatible with Apache, but promising massive speed increases. If the web server is the bottleneck in your setup, you may just want to give it a look. And what better way than to get your Rails application up and running on it. Bob Silva explains in easy steps how.

Camping: A micro-version of Rails

why the lucky stiff is at it again with his great stuff. This time he has produced a microframework called Camping in the spirit and feel of Rails, but clocking in at just 4kb! Sure, it won’t do what most people need most of the time. But often, there’s good value in doing a bit of what a few people need occasionally. Camping, as the framework is called, fits that description to a T.

And since it conceptually lies close to Rails, you could easily start a quick thing in Camping and then not have too much trouble porting it to be a full-grown Rails application if need be. Camping even uses ActiveRecord to make it all that much easier.

Checkout the insane and too funny announcement that even includes this classic description of XML sit-ups:

Pick a license for your Rails additions

Rails is released under MIT and only includes packages that are either directly under MIT or were re-licensed specifically for Rails under MIT. But not all plugins, generators, engines, or other types of additions are as explicitly clear as to what license they’re released under. It would be great if they were.

So, if you’re the creator of a Rails addition of any kind, please do pick a license and include it with your software. I recommend MIT.

O'Reilly's first Rails book premieres in beta form

O’Reilly has launched their Rough Cuts series with Ruby on Rails: Up and running as one of the first titles leading the charge. Rough Cuts is O’Reilly’s version of Beta Books or Early Access and gives you access to the content while it’s still being written.

Ruby on Rails: Up and running is written by Bruce Tate and Curt Hibbs. The final book is expected in May. Also of note for Railers on Rough Cut is Ruby Cookbook by Leonard Richardson and Lucas Carlson. That one is expected done in September. Not to be confused with the Rails Recipes by Chad Fowler (featuring recipes and secrets from the 37signals dome) that’ll be out in February.

So that marks four books currently available in final or beta form that focuses exclusively or partly on Rails: Agile Web Development with Rails (the original bible), Rapid Web Development mit Ruby on Rails, Ruby on Rails: Up and running, and Ruby Cookbook. That’s quite an achievement already!

And coming soon will be Chad Fowler’s Rails Recipes and David A. Black’s Ruby for Rails, which will bring us to a total of six books. And I believe there’s at least a good handful of additional books in the works. Rails is certainly on track to be the best documented web framework for the dynamic languages. Rock on.

Rails and the book both finalists for Jolt Awards

The Jolt Awards have been honoring products of excellence and high productivity for 15 years and this year both Rails 1.0 and Agile Web Development with Rails made the cut as finalists!

The announcement tells us that the book competes against such titles as Practical Common Lisp, Service-Oriented Architecture, and Wicked Cool Java. Rails 1.0 is going up against JBoss 4x, Coldfusion, and Zend Studio. Pretty exciting stuff. Hopefully we’ll be jolting in red shortly.