September 4th, 2007

ratty army of darkness

How much code is too much?

So RailsConf Europe is once more upon us, and a fortnight from now spikyblackcat and I will be reprising last year's mind-boggling sensation: mind-boggling to our unexpecting audience, and sensational in the sense that some lunatic is willing to let us do it all again!

Anyway this year's event is sponsored by O'Reilly Media who seem to have a more organised take on the whole proceedings than our friends at Skills Matter. They were supposed to have our presentation slides by last Friday, a tall order considering some of the esoteric byways we intend to address, but thanks to the Labor Day holiday in the US they've given us an extension until today. Yay!! Just like being an undergrad again ;p

We're fairly content with the overall presentation we've developed, but as most of our work involves DNS and crypto and dynamic networking technologies I want to include useful code samples illustrating how all of this is relevant to both the Ruby and Rails communities. But how much code to include?

So far I have a working UDP client/server example, I'm debugging a TCP client/server app as I write, and spikyblackcat is finishing off a hybrid crypto example: that will be a total of five slides in a 45-minute run-time and I'm wondering if that's the limit of what we can practically get away with. I'd really like to also include a BackgrounDRb example that talks to UDP and TCP servers, that way anyone viewing the slides online can figure out how to write an end-to-end Rails application that accesses encrypted data over an arbitrary network connection.

I also intended to include an example of doing this directly with AJAX as part of our push towards real-time web applications (well, near real-time) but that looks like too tall an order for the duration of presentation. Thinking about it, we should really have agreed to do a half-day seminar/tutorial, but hindsight's always 20:20 - and when I wrote the original proposal back in April we weren't sure we'd even have enough of our research completed to fill 45 minutes!

Back to the digital grindstone...