Open Source / Software Development / Technology

RailsConf and DHH Go Their Separate Ways

5 Mar 2022 6:00am, by
programming diagram

This week’s instance of a blog post that could have been an email comes from Ruby on Rails creator David Heinemeier Hansson, also referred to as DHH. In a blog post titled “No RailsConf,” DHH spends nearly a thousand words detailing how “2021 was an incredible year for Ruby on Rails,” and all that he has personally done for the project, before sharing a brief email from RailsConf organizers detailing their decision “to start sharing the opening keynote stage with other contributors.”

Obviously, this is not an idea that appeals to DHH. “It’s a real shame that this is the world we find ourselves in now,” he wrote. “One so sharply divided by politics and ideology that we can’t even share the love of Ruby on Rails together at a conference without a need to settle scores.”

Although there is no mention in the blog post of exactly what scores are being settled, you might remember a thing that happened last year when Basecamp tried to prevent employees from discussing politics at work and a third of them left the company in response.

While some are ready to find the exit door alongside DHH, the more overwhelming response is: “don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.” Or, as they say on the internetz these days, “well, well, well, if it isn’t the consequences of my own actions.

One particular Twitter thread has been making the rounds since DHH’s blog post, with Ruby Lead Brandon Weaver comparing the current situation with DHH to one with Scala.

In the thread, writes that the Scala community experienced a schism after allowing a “known slavery apologist and racist to speak” at LambdaConf in 2016, and that “the type of thought train that DHH is currently going down leads very quickly to that path, and I’m already seeing language I’d expect from those circles cropping up in his blog posts.”

For DHH’s part, and though he posted a blog post on the topic, he appears somewhat unfazed by the whole affair, asserting that he’s “confident we’ll be able to eventually route around the fractious politicization that’s been leaking into our proceedings.”

“I don’t believe that this is what most programmers or most companies ultimately want,” he continues. “But it’s a perilous time to reveal preferences, so I fully understand why many choose to duck instead.”

Whether or not DHH will be invited back next year remains to be seen, but if the response on Twitter is any indication, it seems that many are fine without his keynote after more than 15 years.

This Week in Programming

  • AWS Lambda Gets a .NET 6 Runtime: AWS has introduced a .NET 6 runtime for AWS Lambda, which means that developers can now use the .NET 6 runtime to build AWS Lambda functions on both x86 and Arm/Graviton2 processors. While .NET 6 has many new features of its own, AWS writes that there are also new features added to the .NET Lambda experience that developers can use to improve diagnostics and performance and use new coding patterns. Additionally, AWS offers the Lambda runtime client as an open source project, offering what it says is “a consistent and transparent Lambda runtime client experience in all environments whether that is the managed runtime, container images or using the Lambda runtime client for .NET custom runtimes.” For details on migrating existing .NET Lambda functions to the new .NET 6 runtime, head on over to the blog post, or give the Lambda Developer Guide a read.
  • Knative (Finally) Joins the CNCF: The wait is over at long last as Knative joins the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) as a serverless incubation project this week. The potential addition of Knative to the CNCF has been something long in the works, and once upon a time declared outside the realm of possibility. But as IBM now writes, “By accepting Knative as an incubating project, the CNCF gains a project that extends, simplifies, and enhances the Kubernetes platform for serverless and event-driven workloads. This is a win-win combination.” Beyond the standard congratulatory platitudes, IBM’s blog post on the matter offers its own take on Knative’s journey to being an incubating project, as well as the features that IBM is currently involved in improving, such as Knative’s performance, async calls, and leading the Knative operator. If you want to find out more, beyond the blog post, IBM invites readers to “attend (and/or submit a talk before March 8)” to the first KnativeCon at KubeCon Europe in Valencia, Spain in May 2022.

  • The History of Everything Go: The Golang Weekly newsletter highlighted what it calls a “treasure trove of a resource” and “a feat of curation” with Go: A Documentary, a list of “issues, discussions, proposals, CLs, and talks from the Go development process, which intents to offer a comprehensive reference of the Go history.” Indeed, comprehensive is also an apt description, as it provides full timelines of feature additions, language design and more. Want to know everything there is to know about the addition of Generics? This is certainly a great place to start. And if nothing else, head on over and check out the fun facts section. For example, you can go check out Go’s first commit in… 1972?!
  • Mozilla’s Developer Network (MDN) Gets an Overhaul: It has been five years since MDN’s last redesign, and now the timer can be reset, as the site got another overhaul this week. From a new homepage that they say is focused on “the core concepts of community and simplicity” to “redesigned article pages for improved navigation”, Mozilla says that the new MDN has “ambitious plans to take advantage of our new tools to explore improved navigation, generated standardization and support summarizes, and embedding MDN documentation in the places where developers need it most: in their IDE, browser tools, and more.” Beyond what it’s already done, Mozilla also says that “MDN Plus” is coming soon, which will offer “a premium subscription service based on the feedback we received from web developers who want to customize their MDN experience” — with features like notifications, article collections and an offline experience on MDN.
  • The Mistake of SPAs? Last up, we direct you to a blog post arguing that Single-Page Applications (SPAs) Were a Mistake, that made it to the upper echelons of Hacker News this week. In the blog post, JavaScript developer Chris Ferdinandi argues that, while “there are a few narrow examples of where SPAs make sense and are the right choice,” generally speaking, “SPAs as an industry trend or ‘best practice’ were [a] mistake.” Ferdinandi followed up the next day with another post, this time detailing how to make MPAs that are as fast as SPAs. For more on this topic, you could also check out our own recent coverage of htmx and the debate over SPAs versus MPAs.