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I have just returned from a week’s worth of Ruby Fools 2008 which by some may also be known as “The Traveling Ruby Circus”. The conference was set to span the 1st and 2nd of April in Copenhagen and the 3rd and 4th of April in Oslo. It was kicked off early with a Hobo tutorial on the 31st of March.

The conference has been great! There’s no other way to describe it. I could go on and on about all the technical stuff I’ve seen, but instead I’ll just show some pictures – because the best thing about the conference has been the really really amazing atmosphere in both our venues (ITU, Copenhagen and Chateau Neuf, Oslo).

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Here’s Matz himself talking about “Ruby – past, present, and future” as the opening keynote on the second day in Copenhagen.

Really great to watch this amazing personality talk about a programming language that is so dear to him. Half way through the talk he started telling about the new features of Ruby 1.9, and he got so carried away by the file and string encoding support that it took almost the rest of the talk to get back on track. You can really feel that this man cares about his language.

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Here’s Trifork‘s Kresten Krab Thorup on the first day in Oslo in a break, showing off some of his HotRuby* VM method invocation magic to Matz, Michael Fellinger (of Ramaze) and Evan Phoenix (of Rubinius).

Kresten’s HotRuby is an experimental Ruby VM with incredibly fast method invocations. Method invocations seems to be the weak point of this type of dynamic language, but apparently all sorts of tricks can be applied to make invocations faster.

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Bekk Consulting‘s Aslak Hellesøy telling people about a few “underdog web frameworks” on the second day in Oslo.

This room was by far the coolest place to watch presentations! It was really nice to hang out in purple velour sofas, listening to all sorts of interesting stuff. This was also the place for my track on alternative web frameworks.

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Here’s Evan Phoenix (to the left, back facing the camera), talking to Wayne Kelly (of the Ruby.NET project, now with IronRuby), along with James Cox (laughing, from Smokeclouds), Dr. Nic (in awe, from various projects, who is by the way a real doctor), Glenn Vanderburg (equally awed, from Relevance), Sam Aaron (seemingly puzzled, from Innovation Factory), and – sitting with his back facing the camera – James Adam (from Reevoo).

This picture really sums up the atmosphere of Chateau Neuf in Oslo, as people were casually sitting around with their laptops. I have to give credit to the entire Ruby community as well, as it seems everybody were just instantly friends with a common interest.

I am really looking forward to next year where we will hopefully arrange another Ruby Fools conference.

(*) Accidental name clash with this – such a shame!

Ruby Fools conference

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