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Portland Ruby Brigade monthly meeting: CouchDB, iPhone + Cucumber

Robert Half Technology, 2nd Floor Conference Room
222 SW Columbia St
Portland, OR 97201, US (map)
Public WiFi



The Portland Ruby Brigade is a user group for Ruby programmers in the Portland, Oregon, area. Join other developers for presentations and discussions about Ruby and its uses.

VENUE: This meeting’s space is kindly provided by Robert Half Technology at their 2nd Floor Conference Room. Enter the KOIN Tower from SW Columbia between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, take the back elevators to the 2nd floor, and then follow the pdxruby signs.


  1. "Ruby Persistence with CouchDB", Jesse Hallett

There are several libraries out there that provide high level interfaces between Ruby and CouchDB. I will give an overview of some of them, discuss the pros and cons of each, and show how these libraries make working with CouchDB easier. Along the way I will talk about the particular types of problems that CouchDB is good at solving.

Jesse Hallett has been designing web applications with Ruby for nearly three years now. He has worked on administrative / record-keeping applications, CMS and Ecommerce platforms, and various other pieces of software. He spends as much time as possible with his fellow geeks in organizations like the Portland Ruby Brigade and the Portland JavaScript Admirers. Jesse has developed a strong interest in the evolving state-of-the-art of client-side JavaScript technology and next generation databases. Jesse is currently developing JavaScript technology at Jive Software.

  1. "Testing iPhone apps with Ruby and Cucumber", Ian Dees

This talk begins with a survey of the landscape of iPhone UI testing. In particular, we’ll discuss the groundbreaking work done by Matt Gallagher in stimulating and spidering the iPhone UI with an XPath test script. That will be a natural jumping-off point to explain why a full-fledged “GUI driver” for iPhone apps has been long in coming. We’ll look at different ways to prod at application code, and discuss the tradeoffs. Finally, I’ll introduce a simple library of Ruby glue code to connect Cucumber test scripts to the iPhone. The technique will be very basic, but just powerful enough to test a simple iPhone app.

Pizza, learning and a great time to network with the fabulous PHP Community!

Does your site have a good search mechanism? Does it offer adequate quality for results? Is it a sustainable solution for the foreseeable scale required by your site? This week Chris Irvine will share experiences from a recent project, where he converted a site's traditional search method over to a search service, specifically AWS CloudSearch. Key topics will be:

What can go wrong with typical RDBMS based search solutions?
What is a search service? What does AWS CloudSearch offer specifically?
Live demo: Setup a sample search domain and explore available features
A look at the AWS PHP SDK
Case study: Walk through implementation details for a given site

* How much improvement did we measure? What didn't work?
* Lessons learned, the good and bad of The Cloud.

Chris Irvine is a Senior Technology Consultant and founder at Threeprong.com LLC, specializing in performance tuning, B2B integration, and custom workgroup solutions. He's local to the Portland area and a PSU alum. His professional experience includes management roles in multiple industries, and numerous development and database environments. Much of his recent projects have been in PHP/MySQL, Python, and also the FileMaker workgroup and mobile platforms.

Ian Dees saw his first Timex Sinclair 1000 over 20 years ago, and was instantly hooked. Since then, he’s debugged embedded assembly code using an oscilloscope, written desktop apps in C++, and joyfully employed scripting languages to make testing less painful. Ian currently writes GUI code for handheld instruments as a Software Engineer at Tektronix. Ian is the author of the book Scripted GUI Testing With Ruby: http://pragprog.com/titles/idgtr