NoVA JUG held a special session on Thursday night where Tom Copeland presented on PMD and Dave Thomas provided an introduction to Ruby on Rails. Held concurrently was the initial meeting of the NoVA Ruby Users Group — of which I hope there will be more meetings. Tom’s overview of PMD focused primarily on CPD, the copy-paste detector. He showed how to run PMD/CPD and what the results look like (there are a number of plugins for IDEs to run PMD as well as an ant task). Dave gave a high-level overview of Rails and showed how quickly you can get webapps up and running using Rails. He focused on the benefits of Rails from a Java developer’s perspective (since that was the primary audience). He also discussed the Ruby programming language since many of the attendees were not familiar with it. Overall, I think he did an excellent job and many folks went away eager to try out Rails.