London Ruby Users Group brings you back to uni

After three failed attempts, I managed to go to yesterday's lrug meeting. It was intended to be a kind of experimental collective code review, so people would contribute with pieces of code and get it dissected and improved collectively. There was an special obsession with Hashes, most of the code submissions were improvements and/or workarounds for the Hash class. I understand it. Hashes are cool! The other topic was using continuations for (I believe) solving sudokus. Backtracing and fibonacci were also mentioned in the session, and Rob McKinnon made one of his quick presentations, this time proposing a way of getting data from different sources into a generic shareable format (and using upcoming as an specific example, and hpricot and hashes, of course!).

I must say it was pretty interesting, even if I got lost at some points (my ruby knowledge is still too poor). I specially got lost with the continuations stuff, which at the same time brought me back uni memories, of those times in which I skipped some lessons and then went back to the classroom with lots of knowledge gaps and tried to follow the teacher (with no luck, usually). Hehe! But fortunately, this time the teacher was interesting and deserved to be listened to.

This reminded me as well of the beauty of programming and talking about pure concepts and abstractions. It was ages since I felt that, so thanks to all who did it possible. I think we all need a good dose of abstraction from time to time. Keeps the brain working.

One of the books which was strongly and fervourously recommended is Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, which I believe I read some years ago (again, in the uni :-)). So you can see, ruby is not about rails only!