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November 2006 Newsletter of the
Front Range UNIX Users Group

Cndnsd Vrsn: 5:00PM Thursday 11/30 — Ruby on Rails


Charting a Course with Ruby on Rails

The next meeting of the Front Range UNIX Users Group (FRUUG) will be at 5:00 P.M. on Thursday, November 30 at the CU Engineering Center, room ECCR-245. Thanks to Dirk Grunwald of the CU Computer Science Department for co-hosting this meeting. Why the new time? Public metered parking on the north and south sides of the Engineering Center becomes free at 5:00, so you'll only have to pay for a few minutes of meter time. With the late starting time, we'll begin the meeting promptly. More details are in Meeting Location (below).
Glimpse of Web site
The site that Doug created with Ruby on Rails integrates GPS-tagged digital photos with Google Maps.

Ruby on Rails is a powerful Web framework that allows developers to put together beautiful Web applications in a fraction of the time required in other languages and frameworks. Doug Fales, a local Web application developer, finds this framework so fast, fun, and rewarding that nearly 100% of his projects are now done in Rails. In this talk, Doug will introduce you to the basic concepts of Rails as he discusses his experience with building WalkingBoss

WalkingBoss is a web "mashup" that combines the power of the Google Maps API with handheld GPS and digital camera technology. The end result is a sort of "adventure blog" that allows users to document their outdoor experiences with stories, images, and maps. WalkingBoss is a personal project created by Doug in his spare time using Ruby on Rails.

In addition to providing an overview on Rails fundamentals, Doug will also talk about AJAX and the supporting technologies that integrate with Rails to provide a "Web 2.0" user experience.

About The Speaker

Doug Fales is a software consultant living in Boulder, Colorado. When he's not writing web applications in Ruby on Rails, you can find him in the mountains with his wife and daughter, fishing, hiking, and skiing. He keeps a blog at

Meeting Location

As you probably know by now, the CU Academic Computing center seminar room that we used for more than a decade is no longer available to us, so we've been checking out some potential new meeting places, the CU Engineering Center being one of them. We've changed the meeting time to accommodate traffic and parking on campus, and hopefully it will allow more people to attend. We'll also be announcing these meetings through the CU Computer Science department, and we'll hopefully gain some synergy with the university as a result. Let us know what you think via the alias "feedback" at the domain

This meeting will be held the Engineering Center Class Room wing, room ECCR-245. This wing is on the southwest corner of the CU Engineering Center, located at the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Regent Drive (see map below). There is metered parking available on the north and the south sides of the building. Parking becomes free at 5:00, so you only need a bit of change to park and get to the meeting on time. (Please double check the meters before you park). The Engineering Center is also right off the RTD HOP route, and is a walk across campus from the SKIP.

For more details on getting to the Engineering Center, please visit:, and for a detailed map of the building itself, visit:

See <> for map

Our Last Meeting

At our October meeting, Joe VanAndel from NCAR discussed how Linux ran the NCAR/CNES dropsonde project to investigate the hurricane formation zone off the west coast of Africa. Joe's talk was full of great show-and-tell items, including the balloon gondola, dropsonde array, Iridium modem, and dropsondes.

Announcements, presentation slides, and writeups for past meetings are available in the FRUUG Meeting Archive.

FRUUG Library Notes

Until we settle into a permanent home, we'll only be bringing our new FRUUG library titles to each meeting. In fact, given the volume of new books, we might not bring them all to this one, so if you want to check one out in particular, feel free to send a message to the user books1006 at Learn how you can review a book and keep it through our FRUUG Library Merit Badge program.

Our publisher friends have some exciting news: Addison Wesley and O'Reilly (and their associated imprints) are now offering a user group discount of 35 percent, see our library discounts page for details.

Addison Wesley has several shortcut documents addressing Ruby topics at These are DRM-free PDF files. In addition, Addison Wesley has a flyer for their Ruby-related books and your FRUUG discount (PDF 151K).

O'Reilly Media has announced its Rough Cuts service, where you can get early access to O'Reilly titles before they are published, including the Ruby Cookbook, and AJAX on Rails, both due out in December. Visit for details. O'Reilly has also launched a PDF guide series, where you can purchase and download a PDF publication that addresses a narrow topic area not quite big enough for an entire book. "Web Services on Rails" is one PDF guide in this series, available at

New books for this meeting include:

  • Ajax for Web Application Developers, from Developer's Library
  • Linux Administration Handbook, Second Edition, from Prentice Hall, authored by a bunch of your Boulder friends
  • Ruby on Rails books from O'Reilly, To Be Announced
  • The Ruby Way, from Addison Wesley
  • Security Threat Mitigation and Response, Understanding Cisco Security MARS, from Cisco Press
  • The Unicode 5.0 Standard, from Addison Wesley (stay tuned for a FRUUG meeting on this topic)

You may check out books using your business card as your library card; you must be on the membership list to check books out. Books are due at the meeting following the one in which they are checked out.

Remember that your FRUUG membership entitles you to up to 35 percent discounts on your book orders from Addison Wesley/Prentice Hall, IBM Press, O'Reilly Media, New Riders, No Starch, Paraglyph, PC Publishing, Pragmatic Bookshelf, Sams Publishing, SitePoint, and Syngress; refer to the FRUUG Web site library page for details.

Site Map Recruiter Info
February 15, 2009

February 2008: FRUUG Enters Quiescent Phase
After 27 years running, we're suspending operations.

Future Meetings:
None planned

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