It’s the last week of the month again, so last night I went to the monthly Rails Girls Atlanta meeting. We’ve been switching between a few different locations recently, and this meeting was at the new Big Nerd Ranch office. I was very curious to see what the office would be like since I used to work at BNR, and I really liked their previous offices. There was still some construction going on, but I was jealous to see that there were individual motorized sitting/standing desks everywhere. Maybe someday I can have one at home, but my Ergatron is pretty great though I wish I could keep my coffee nearby without crowding my keyboard.

Our monthly presenter was Kylie Stradley. She gave a two part talk on a) the Ruby gem called railroady and b) contributing to open source.

Railroady sounds really helpful because it generates model and controller diagrams showing inheritance and relationships between them. I like looking at diagrams more than making my own, and it would be useful to get an overview of the database when working in a new app or double check my own apps to make sure everything was diagrammed the way I expected. Getting another view of the app would help me think of ways to improve it or cut unused relationships.

Kyle transitioned to talking about contributing to open source by talking about how she had an issue with setting up the Railroady gem that other people experienced as well. She noticed that the fix would be a one line change to the source, so she submitted a pull request to address the problem, and the gem maintainer merged her commit. She explained that anyone could do this - you don’t have to work on something big to make a difference, and even if your change doesn’t get merged, you’ll learn something by going through the process.

I still haven’t used Railroady in one of my projects, but I plan to, and Kylie’s talk reminded me that I need to release an Octopress theme since I changed the one I used for my knitting blog quite a bit. I need to refactor the styling (at least partially), and separate my styling from my blog so other people can use it. I may change the colors and background a little so my blog can stay slightly different. I submitted a pull request to fix a bug with the theme I forked, but the maintainer hasn’t looked at it as far as I know. I wish he’d accept my fix, but I think my theme is in better shape than the original in more ways since I’ve worked on it so much.

I’m going to the Great Wide Open Conf on April 2nd and 3rd, so I have open source on my mind. I’d like to get more involved in a long term project, but it’s hard to find the time with all the other things I want to do.


27 March 2014