RailsConf 2007 so far (general impressions)

There are a lot of people here. The wifi is better than last year, though it's still slow.

There's security guards everywhere telling people don't go here, move away from the door, the room is full, you're a fire hazard, and so on. They're just doing their jobs but it is sort of harshing my mellow.

The premium paid sessions and keynotes for sponsors are lame.

Tom Preston-Werner's Fixture Scenarios looks pretty cool.

Jon's talk on video transcoding went over pretty well. There's actually quite a few people here who are doing video transcoding. Also, he had clips from The Office, which is always good.

Ze Frank was funny. What more can you say?

Avi Bryant had some interesting things to say but it was unconvincing to me. The fundamental stumbling block I have with Smalltalk is the whole "live image" thing. It just doesn't make sense to me that you'd want to give up the advantages of text processing/editor choice, source control, and ease of distribution that you get from having a file-based language.

David Heinemeier Hansson talked a bit about what's coming up in Rails 2.0 (no release date though). The good news is that it's mostly incremental improvements. Active Resource is now fully-baked and ready to be part of the framework. He showed an example of RESTful searching based on the index method with query parameters (sort of like /people?q=foobar) which gratified me because it's the way I've been doing it for a long time (I often see people creating a separate search method, which I think is totally unnecessary.)e

Tutorials were not as exciting as I had hoped. They were pretty basic, not really the in-depth sessions I was expecting. The Joyent session on scaling was good to know, but not as focused on what Rails developers can do to scale their apps as I was hoping (that was kind of his point though). But it ended up being was a 3 hour ad for Joyent: here's all the things they do so you don't have to care about it.

Lunch has been OK. For $800 you would expect caviar, but it's pretty much sandwiches.

Did some cool Portland stuff last night. The town is very walkable, which is good because we were walking all over hell. I've gotten a couple local beers. We went out for sushi last night at this place where everything was $1-$3 which was incredible. It wasn't the best sushi I've ever had but it was pretty good, and as cheap or cheaper than grocery store sushi.

The DoubleTree hotel bar sucks as it closes really early, and there is surprisingly not too much stuff on this side of the river. All the action's on the other side of the river from the convention center. I kinda wish we were staying over there to make it easier to go out.

I'm finally figuring out screen. I never really felt the need to use it before, but with all this jumping on and off line between sessions (and the somewhat unreliable wifi) it's nice to be able to maintain my IRC and mail sessions and get right back into them. It's killing me that I can't use Ctrl-A as easily in my mail client, though.

The CDT to PDT transition is killing me. I keep waking up really early and I'm super tired at night...going to Europe is going to be killer. Ugh.