Summary: New podcasts! Bruce Tate and Shaun Inman. Go hear them →
I’m not a name dropper, so I’m not going to list the people I hung out with yesterday evening. On the other hand, maybe that’s another kind of name-dropping…the “I hung out with people too cool even to mention.”
At any rate, it’s actually a little disappointing to meet these people and then find out that they are normal people with normally sized egos, approachable personalities, and an appreciation for fine cheeses. And also, mad crazy graphic design skills. To the best of my knowledge, none of them can shoot lightning from their fingertips or walk through walls.
The thing that is surprising is the size of these people. I’ve imagined Jeffrey Zeldman as being at least six or eight feet tall, but he’s really short. Like five and a half feet. I didn’t meet him personally, but I was sitting in front of him for one of the keynotes and he was tapping out some funky rhythm on his knee. Apparently he’s also a musician.
I did meet Shaun Inman (and interviewed him for the podcast). From the photo on his site, I thought he would be about my height, but he’s shorter than Zeldman!
Ryan Carson did not disappoint. That guy is a giant, and stout like a rock. I’d put money down on him beating Zeldman, Inman, Jeremy ‘Mr. Incredible’ Hubert, and Eric Hodel in a rumble. Although, Eric does know either Jujitsu or Judo, whichever is the more dangerous one.
I did hear a useful comment about Ruby on Rails. Someone said that Rails seems like a productive framework, but it’s too often that you go to a site and see the default “500 Error: Rails application failed to start properly” message. You can’t always tell if an app was written in Rails, but you can definitely tell when it errors out and announces itself that way.
And we all know that Rails can be hard to deploy, especially on a shared host with limited memory.
Even Typo ships with the default 404 and 500 error messages, neither of which are easily customizable with themes. When I have time, I’m going to submit a patch so Typo gives a gentler error message when things go wrong. This won’t make it more reliable, but it might improve the image of Rails a tiny bit.