OSCON: Ajax on Rails

This morning I attended Stuart Halloway’s Ajax on Rails tutorial. The slides from his presentation are available here, here and here. This was the first time I’d attended one of Stuart’s presentations and I was impressed by his relaxed presentation style. He also seems to be a genuinely nice fellow – during the break, I spoke briefly with him to see if he would be interested in speaking about Streamlined to the NoVA RUG. Stuart started off by asking us what the really successful (and big) companies of the past few years have in common – the answer was their use of open source. Yahoo!, Google, Amazon, etc didn’t go out and purchase an enterprise solution from Microsoft or Sun, they built it themselves using freely available open source tools. So he positioned Ruby on Rails and Ajax as enablers to help you build the next great company. After a brief introduction to Prototype, Stuart went into several examples using Ajax with Rails: Ajax Search, Degradable Ajax, Autocomplete, and Drag and Drop. After that he went into RJS discussing RJS templates, inline RJS, detecting AJAX on the server-side, element and collection proxies, and testing RJS using ARTS. He also gave a brief demo of Streamlined, which he’ll expand upon at his session tomorrow. Finally, he wrapped up with a look at Prototype and it’s spin on JavaScript – making it friendly for Ruby developers. He’ll cover more on Prototype in his session tomorrow.