After Venice I flew straight to Berlin, getting in just in time for the pre-RailsConf meet-up event ‘Bratwurst on Rails’ where I met some of the other conference-goers including a bunch of fun Dutch guys, won a t-shirt, and even found a beer I like – you can now add lemongrass beer to the list of beers that obviously don't taste like real beer.
The conference itself went well though it lacked sizzle in keynotes and closing which was a pity. (The keynotes provided had good info, but that's not really a keynote's function IMHO – that's for sessions.)
Still, there was some good content, more technically advanced material than last year which was a definite improvement, and I found it valuable to get a sounding of where the different ruby implementations are at and what's suitable for use now.
No longer holding my breath for Rubinius as they've been making much slower progress than they hoped after a couple of roadblocks they had to clear; JRuby runs fine if you trust the VM on your platform and aren't doing anything native; and no-one expects Ruby 2.0 to be out soon, but no-one really knows where the Japanese Ruby guys are at.
Both Rails and Merb teams are making statements that don't really make sense re legacy support and breaking changes, so it will be interesting to see how they evolve. I don't really see anything big here, it hasn't been a problem to upgrade apps for newer versions once regressions get ironed out.
Everyone is interested in “new” database systems, but no-one's quite got the formula right now. Still, lots happening in this space right now so it's a good time to try ideas out.