RailsConf Keynote: David Heinemeier Hansson

With the release of Rails 1.2 we take a look back at David Heinemeier Hansson’s RailsConf keynote from Chicago. In it, he outlines a number of issues that the Rails team was looking at as they moved towards the current release, the importance of opinionated software and of course, how he “learned to stop worry and love the CRUD.”

Download the Presentation

Before you listen, download the PDF. It’ll give you all the pointers and samplers spoken about in the presentation. Good stuff.

With the release of Rails 1.2 we take a look back at David Heinemeier Hansson’s RailsConf keynote from Chicago.

In it, he outlines a number of issues that the Rails team was looking at as they moved towards the current release, the importance of opinionated software and of course, how he “learned to stop worry and love the CRUD.”

Here, briefly, is an outline of the talk:

  1. Discovering Resources on Rails
  2. Problem with Crud?
  3. Get, Post and Clean URLs
  4. Accounts, Controllers and Crud
  5. CRUD is Not a Goal but and Inspiration
  6. Controllers, Design Patterns and MIME
  7. Doing By Hand Leads to Good Design
  8. Get, Find, Post Redux
  9. Q&A

Update: Before your start: Slides from this presentation can be downloaded from Rails site.

A bit about David, in his own words.

A product of Danish Design from the Winter of ‘79. Grew up, lived, and graduated in the city of Copenhagen, then moved to Chicago in November of 2005.

As a partner in 37signals, I helped transform the venerable design shop into a product company. Basecamp, Backpack, and Ta-da List are all applications launched since the shift came into effect in February 2004. I did the programming for all of them.

In July 2004, I released the framework Rails (also known as Ruby on Rails) from the work on these applications. I’ve been managing that as an open-source movement ever since. And lately, quite a few people has been taking notice. That means a bunch of speaking engagements including RubyConf, FISL, Reboot, OSCON, ETech, JAOO, and many others.

In August 2005, I won the Best Hacker of the Year award at OSCON from Google and O’Reilly:

In March 2006, I accepted the Jolt award of product excellence for Rails 1.0 and was featured in Wired magazine:
In addition to Rails, I’ve also created the most downloaded Ruby end-user application. It’s a small, light wiki called Instiki. I’m no longer actively developing on it, but still proud of how far I made it go. I even used it to write my final project towards my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Computer Science at the Copenhagen Business School.

29 thoughts on “RailsConf Keynote: David Heinemeier Hansson”

  1. well that was fantastic!

    I’ve never seen david on video.

    No blog post I’ve read has done his presentation justice. I sure am lucky to have seen it. So I’ll give a quick thanks to ScribeMedia and all the people who contributed to the content of this page: Awesome! Thanks a million guys!!!!

    Well, that did clear up so many things.

    This is really an exciting new avenue that we will all be going down in the next year. I didn’t really understand until seeing this that ActiveResource was built on top of the “strictly CRUD ” approach and not simply facilitating it. Ive been confused about ActiveResource for a while. It all sounds really great.

    And “strictly CRUD ” has already made my current project much better organized and easier to deal with simply due to the good people that have blogged about David’s talk. So thanks to you as well!

    I have to admit though that I am a little bothered by the ‘URL identifier always being a database primary key because it isn’t worth fixing’ part. Rails is FULL of things that go against this. The user interface starts with a URL and that seemed to be one of the fundamental assumptions of this talk. Ok, this may be something more fitting for a plugin. But still, I don’t like that it is brushed off as insignificant. THE URL IS THE INTERFACE . Everything else is really icing on the cake. I don’t think we should loose site of that. I posted a comment about that at the ‘has_many :through’ site ( great site and great guy BTW ), so maybe that’s why it caught my attention.

    All in all I just think it’s fantastic that the routing of requests is getting attention in rails. ActiveRecord is the powerhouse of rails. 1.2 was a huge update to AR. I am glad to see that things are being spiffed up in other parts now. It would have been boring if we had new crazy ways to model a schema. But this is hitting another nail. Great.

    Im really happy that I have dedicated so much time to rails. Im a better programmer for it. And who couldn’t make that statement besides the folks who never gave it a shot.

    Great video David and the producers. I loved it and I enjoy working with rails. And things like this video are a big confidence booster when there is too much paper on the desk!

    Thanks, john

  2. This was one of the most impressive talks I’ve seen in… well… forever. 😉 I love these new ideas and concepts, and furthermore I have a new specialized application in planning that I was already thinking about how to implement all these different views (for the same data) that now already exist in the framework! Fantastic!

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  6. I think it’s an interesting feature…It gives more people the chance to get views having more featured areas. Im in the US, but I found more interesting videos to me, were featured on the UK homepage so I did have it set to that for a few days, but then I changed it back. I can see more of the ‘language’ aspect of the country feature to be more use to people in the long run though vs. the location specific featured videos.

  7. Can anybody say Mediator? Look it up as a design pattern. This design patter is one of my favorite ones. In Database design this would be called 5th normal form. Nice thing that it can be done in Ruby in rails. Good work!

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