Luke Melia


May 31, 2009

GoRuCo Notes

I thoroughly enjoyed Gotham Ruby Conference (GoRuCo) this past Saturday. Excellent mix of talks, smooth flow of the day, and a intelligent, friendly crowd. Congrats to the organizers for pulling off a great conference a third year running!

One thing I’ve learned about myself is that I get more out of a conference if I a) am well rested, and b) take notes. With 7.5 hours of sleep on Friday night (a lot for me), I fired up TextMate during the opening talk and started the note-taking. I made an offhand comment in the #nyc.rb IRC room that collaborative note taking would be cool. Ari Brown suggested EtherPad, which turned out to be a great tool for the job.

EtherPad is pretty impressive. It allows multiple authors to simultaneously edit a document. You can see your own and other people’s edits and contributions highlighted in a color associated with each contributor. It supports simple-formatting, a little chat window, saved revisions, and nice import/export options. And it does this all in a web browser without plugins, logins, or any friction whatsoever. Big props to the development team behind that thing.

The primary note takers were Ari and me, but one particularly cool moment in the collaborative experience was when Gregory Brown, the lead-off speaker, came on and did a light edit of the notes from his own talk.

Link: Notes from GoRuCo

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