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TMTOWTDI: Making Those Tough Toolkit Choices

David A. Black (Arcturo), Jeremy McAnally (Arcturo)
Location: Ballroom II
Average rating: **...
(2.53, 19 ratings)

We’ll spend 10-15 minutes on 3 core areas of Rails development, discussing the choices available, if there are specific use cases for each, why you should use a particular one (if we have a preference), and how to navigate the difficult decisions associated with technical choice.

  • Testing frameworks
    – Syntax vs. philosophy
    – Why would anyone care?
    – Can you get the best of both/all worlds?
  • Templating systems
    – Haml vs. ERb: The eternal struggle
    – Liquid and Mustache and friends
  • Bundler
    – To Bundler, or not to Bundler?
    – Bundler alternatives (isolate, etc.)

We’ll be as even handed as possible (we have opinions but realize that our choices don’t always match everyone’s case), but the focus will be on sharing our own war stories with each choice and how that should affect decisions made.

Photo of David A.  Black

David A. Black


David A. Black, Senior Developer at Cyrus Innovation, Inc., is a
well-known Ruby programmer, trainer, author, speaker, and event
organizer. David is one of the founding directors of Ruby Central, Inc., and has been a co-organizer of every RubyConf since the first
one in 2001, program co-chair for RailsConf, and program chair for
RailsConf Europe. Active in the Ruby world since 2000, David is the
author of The Well-Grounded Rubyist (Manning Publications, 2009), a
Ruby standard library contributor, and a frequent invited speaker at
technical conferences and user groups in the US, Canada, and Europe.

Photo of Jeremy McAnally

Jeremy McAnally


Jeremy has been developing applications with Ruby and Rails for a little over 5 years, but before that he tortured himself with PHP, C#, Python, VB, and other instruments of destruction. After finding the light, he worked with Ruby for a while and penned Mr. Neighborly’s Humble Little Ruby Book (soon to be published by No Starch). Since then he has continued writing software, books (such as Ruby in Practice for Manning and the Rails 3 Upgrade Handbook), open-source code (such as dcov, context, and more), presentations for numerous Ruby conferences and user groups, blogs at http://omgbloglol.com, and basically done anything he can to sharpen his Ruby (and Rails)-Fu. He likes good food, good times, and a nap on Sunday afternoons.

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BJ Clark
05/21/2011 8:57am EDT

I throughly enjoyed this session. It addressed issues I’ve had on every team and every project I have ever worked on in a mature and professional way. I wish there were more sessions like this at RailsConf.