March 23rd, 2016 Meeting Announcement

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Jim Cifarelli

Mar 21, 2016, 4:40:48 PM3/21/16
to TechValley Ruby Brigade
Hello Tech Valley Ruby Brigade Members,

Please join us, this 4th Wednesday of the month, March 23rd, at 6:00PM, in downtown Troy at Enable Labs.

We're having a project night!  Bring your notebook and something to hack on.  Work alone, with another member, or with audience participation on a ten foot High Definition screen.

Feel free to respond with project info if you are organizing a group session (Cort, that means you!).

  Enable Labs
  415 River Street, 4th Floor
  Troy, NY 12180

Please RSVP to this thread so we can plan food and drinks.

Thank you,

Jim Cifarelli


Mar 22, 2016, 7:51:45 AM3/22/16
to TechValley Ruby Brigade

Would love to attend this month, but have way too much going on  last week and this to escape :(   

Steve Moon

Mar 22, 2016, 9:15:17 AM3/22/16
to TechValley Ruby Brigade
I am planning to be there.


Mar 22, 2016, 9:55:47 AM3/22/16
to TechValley Ruby Brigade
Thanks Jim

So after a rigorous democratic process where the many pros and cons of various approaches were considered, it was determined that the first BrigadeWorks project will be on hacking Discourse.

What is Discourse? Why it?

Discourse is modern forum software. Along with email, irc chat and web sites, that is one of the traditional foundations of the internet.

Any business or group of folk with a shared interest could use experience in hosting and customizing forum software and yet most forum software was written ages ago and has not caught up with modern internet needs. Any one of us can host a community of a couple hundred users on Digital Ocean for about $20 a month and the Discourse team provides free hosting to Open Source and Civic Minded projects in some cases.

It is an open source project that has significant client, server, hosting and marketing aspects, so whether you are a businessman, a sysadmin, a client side specialist or a ruby guru, there will be a way in which you can bring your expertise to the project to both teach and learn from others.

Many of our other ideas could work within the envelope of customizing Discourse anyway, integrating an rss reader with discourse or creating a recommendation engine for threads  that you might be interested in based on what you've read in the past, for example.

On wednessday I'll have a short presentation introducing discourse ready if folk are interested in it, as well as detailed instructions on how to set up a development environment which we can go through and execute as a group.  

I'll also have a list of small 10 minute presentation ideas that folk can choose from to help out with no time pressure or deadline. Just for some point in the next six months.

For now here are a few links for the curious.

Discourse (site)
Jeff Atwood on Forums and the Origin of Discourse (screencast)

Brainstorming on Plugin ideas for Discourse (developer forum thread)

Finally because Discourse is a significant real world project, it's often a good window to view emerging technology trends through. There is a lot of snake oil out there in our world, a lot of entropy to surf and always trade offs to understand in detail. Here are four blog posts that respectively highlight interesting facets of our technology landscape through their real world experiences.

Jeff Atwood on "Why Ruby"

Sam Saffron with some interesting details about websockets

Robin Ward on the trade offs between traditional ember vs virtual dom based views

The pros and cons of graphql vs rest using Discourse as a reference point

See you folk there!

Thomas Porter

Mar 22, 2016, 2:15:19 PM3/22/16

Linda and I will be there!

Looking forward to it.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."

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Carl Telban

Mar 22, 2016, 2:44:52 PM3/22/16
I'll be there.

David French

Mar 23, 2016, 1:00:25 PM3/23/16
to TechValley Ruby Brigade
Hi, I'm relatively new to Rails and looking to get engaged more.  Look forward to seeing you all tonight.

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