Monday, January 31, 2011

The Annual WordPress Conference: WordCamp SF 2011

Mark your calendars: WordCamp San Francisco, the official annual WordPress conference, will be August 12-14, 2011. This year will mark the 5th anniversary of WordCamp, and as always will feature Matt Mullenweg’s “State of the Word” address as well as a variety of amazing speakers that you’d normally only get to see at expensive industry conferences. This year the program will be expanded to three days, with programming for publishers, bloggers, and developers. There will also be related activities, like core team summits, workshops  for contributors, designers, and local organizers, and various professional and networking events. The planning is just beginning, so save the date on your calendar and keep an eye on the WordCamp SF 2011 site (and/or follow the @wordcampsf twitter account) for updates as details become available.

*For people who attended WordCamp SF last year who thought the annual event this year would be called WordCon, with WordCamp SF becoming a more locally-oriented event, you can read my long-winded explanation of why we didn’t go that route over the on the WordCamp Central blog.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Free Book of Nature-Inspired Ruby Recipes - Clever Algorithms

Clever Algorithms is a newly released book by Jason Brownlee PhD that describes 45 algorithms from the Artificial Intelligence (AI) field with Ruby-based examples. It's well produced and, notably, free in its PDF and online formats. A print copy is available at a small cost.

The book kicks off with a chapter of background regarding AI and its problem domains and moves on to an array of algorithms in the probabilistic, neural networking, stochastic, swarm, and evolutionary spaces.
Ruby purists will note that even though the demonstrations are in Ruby, they're not very Ruby like. Classes are rarely defined and using methods defined in the main context as functions is the order of the day.

Nonetheless, the book remains well written and interesting and the Ruby code - as generic as it is - will nonetheless help Rubyists get the idea behind many of the processes demonstrated.

"This book provides a handbook of algorithmic recipes from the fields of Metaheuristics, Biologically Inspired Computation and Computational Intelligence that have been described in a complete, consistent, and centralized manner. These standardized descriptions were carefully designed to be accessible, usable, and understandable. Most of the algorithms described in this book were originally inspired by biological and natural systems, such as the adaptive capabilities of genetic evolution and the acquired immune system, and the foraging behaviors of birds, bees, ants and bacteria. An encyclopedic algorithm reference, this book is intended for research scientists, engineers, students, and interested amateurs."
   Jason Brownlee

Check out Jason's book at and the content and code are in this GitHub repository.


Monday, January 24, 2011

A Simple PEG Parser Framework for Ruby - Parslet

Parslet is a new "simple parser framework" for Ruby built by Kaspar Schiess. It follows the PEG (parsing expression grammar) style of parsing and its primary goals are to be simple, testable, and to have extensive and powerful error reporting features (something that Kaspar states Treetop sorely lacks).

 If you've already used Treetop, you might wonder what the hoopla is about. The key difference is that Parslet does not generate code to represent the parsing grammars you create as Treetop does - it works directly from rules defined using standard Ruby syntax (Treetop has its own Ruby-esque grammar language). Parslet's error messages are also significantly nicer than Treetop's when you inevitably run into trouble with your grammar as they're generated by Parslet itself and don't spring from Treetop's internally generated code.

So if you need to build a parser (or think you might), check out Parslet - it has a great homepage with some useful documentation. Installation is simple (gem install parslet) and Kaspar has put together a "getting started" tutorial that walks through building a basic grammar for a teeny-tiny programming language. It concludes with a complete example of a programming language interpreter in a mere 49 lines.


Friday, January 21, 2011

WordPress 3.1 Release Candidate 2

The second release candidate for WordPress 3.1 is now available. The requisite haiku:

Rounding up stragglers
Last few bugs for 3.1
Go test RC2

As I outlined in the announcement post for RC1, release candidates are the last stop before the final release. It means we think we’re done, and we again have no bugs to squash. But with tens of millions of users, many server configurations and setups, and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s still possible we’ve missed something.

Beta 1 came on Thanksgiving, RC1 on Christmas, and RC2 on New Year’s Day. We won’t be waiting for another holiday for the final release, though, so if you haven’t tested WordPress 3.1 yet, now is the time!

Select changes since RC1:
  • The security fixes included in WordPress 3.0.4
  • Fix issues related to handling a static front page
  • Fixes and enhancements for the pagination buttons
  • Fix searching for partial usernames
  • Properly reactivate plugins after editing them
  • Always show the current author in the author dropdown when editing a post
  • Fixes for attachment taxonomies
  • Fix node removal for the admin bar
  • Fix the custom post type show_in_menu argument
  • Various fixes for right-to-left languages
  • and a few dozen more changes
If you are testing the release candidate and think you’ve found a bug, there are a few ways to let us know:
  • Post it to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums
  • Report it to the wp-testers mailing list
  • Join the development IRC channel and tell us live at #wordpress-dev
  • File a bug ticket on the WordPress Trac
To test WordPress 3.1, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the release candidate here (zip).
If any known issues crop up, you’ll be able to find them here. If you’d like to know which levers to pull in your testing, check out a list of features in our Beta 1 post.

Download WordPress 3.1 RC 2


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

JRuby 1.6.0 RC1 Released : JRuby Gets All 1.9.2 On Us

The JRuby team has announced the release of JRuby 1.6.0 Release Candidate 1. The final release is still a little way off but the bulk of the work is in place. It's billed as the "largest release of JRuby to date" which, given how awesome 1.5 was, is a big deal, especially as it adds initial Ruby 1.9.2 language and standard library compatibility (though 1.8.7 is still the "default").

So, what's new?
  • Ruby 1.9.2 language and API compatibility (use the --1.9 command line option to get it)
  • Ruby 1.9.2 stdlib included (even in jruby-complete.jar)
  • General performance and stability improvements
  • RubyGems 1.4.2 included
  • Experimental C extension support (!)
The JRuby team are especially keen for people to try out the new Ruby 1.9.2 support so that they can round out and perfect their 1.9.2 compatibility before the final release.

You can grab the 1.6.0.RC1 builds of JRuby from the JRuby download page. I haven't had any luck with RVM yet but I suspect it'll be supporting this release really soon..

For Free consultation on regarding RoR Installation, RoR Developers, RoR Development, ROR Programmer log on to

Sunday, January 16, 2011

WordPress for Windows Phone 7 App

WordPress is truly going mobile. They have launched apps for Android, Blackberry and iPhone. Now the application for Windows Phone 7 is also available.
WordPress (news, site) is definitely following the mobile wave because they offer a mobile app for all the popular smartphones on the market. Android, Blackberry and iPhone have had their mobile WordPress applications for a while and now the time has come to enjoy WordPress on Windows Phone 7 as well. 

WordPress on Windows Phone 7

The release of the application for Windows Phone 7 wasn't left last deliberately. Rather, the device itself came just recently and this delayed the launch of the mobile application. The collaboration between WordPress, iSoftStone and Microsoft produced a good application where you can find many of the features you will need to blog on the go.

The first version of the application includes no video uploads but aside from that, you get almost everything else:
“It’s easy to write and edit posts and pages on the move, you can upload photos, as well as check stats and moderate comments. It’s all easily accessible from an Actions dashboard.”
If you want to see other features in next releases, the WordPress team is open to suggestions.

WordPress for Windows Phone 7, credit: 

Will WordPress Take the Enterprise By Storm With Windows Phone 7

Certainly not — first, as regretful as it is, Windows Phone 7 is not meant to be an enterprise platform, though it has the potential of one. Microsoft positions it as a consumer device and as a result of this its enterprise features are far behind those of its competitors.

Second, the popularity of Windows Phone 7 among mobile devices is very, very low. Windows Phone 7 might be a major revamp of the Windows Phone family but its current usage is even below the single digits. iPhone and Android outnumber it 100 (or more) to 1 and this will hardly change in the near future.

You might be asking why then would WordPress release an application for something as unpopular as Windows Phone 7? The shortest answer is that this application makes their mobile offering complete — WordPress is on all other major mobile platforms. In fact WordPress recently celebrated 1 million mobile users.

The launch of a mobile application for Windows Phone 7 is a strategic move — who knows, the market share of Windows Phone 7 might improve some day and it makes sense to position yourself on this market early.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

JRuby 1.6.0.RC1 Released

The JRuby community is pleased to announce the release of JRuby 1.6.0.RC1.
JRuby 1.6.0.RC1 is the first release candidate of JRuby 1.6.0.
JRuby 1.6.0 is the largest release of JRuby to date. This release fixes hundreds of user issues and brings compatibility with Ruby 1.9.2 to a very high level. We have made Windows a primary supported platform by adding it as a continuous integration platform, and JRuby 1.6 will provide Windows-based Ruby users with the best experience yet. This release integrates experimental support for C extensions based on Ruby’s C API. And as with all major releases, we have improved stability and performance across the board in response to real-world user input.
We encourage Ruby and JRuby users alike to test out 1.6.0.RC1 to help us shake out remaining issues. It would be especially helpful if users would test out 1.9 mode (by passing –1.9 flag) to help us round out our 1.9.2 compatibility before the final 1.6.0 release.

Major Features: 
  • Ruby 1.9.2 language and API compatibility
    • Not implemented Encoding::Converter, non-ASCII identifiers, ripper, fiddle
  • Improved Ruby call performance
  • Built-in profiler (–profile, –profile.graph)
  • RubyGems 1.4.2
  • RSpec no longer bundled
  • C Extension support (experimental)
  • RubyGems Maven support (preview)
  • Improved compatibility and user experience on Windows
  • jruby-complete.jar now includes 1.9 standard library
  • Embedding API refinements
  • Over 2000 commits and 265 issues resolved.

Monday, January 10, 2011 Blogs reached 23 Billion Pageviews in 2010

Automattic, the company behind popular blogging platform, reported 6 million new blogs and 23 billion pageviews for 2010. The latter figure represents a 53% increase from 2009.

These latest stats were reported by The Next Web, which added, “Media uploads also doubled to 94.5 terabytes of new photos and videos, while new posts were up 110% to 146 million” for the past year.

Just last month, Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg and CEO Toni Scheider disclosed that the company has around 30 million total publishers responsible for roughly 10% of all websites in the world. They also shared that WordPress (WordPress).com receives 300 million unique visitors each month.

The five-year-old company may be experiencing remarkable growth, but it has yet to become a commercial success. The startup reportedly makes around $1 million per month from premium and hosting services, an inconsequential figure for a company that plays such a central role in web publishing.