ChicagoRuby: Downtown- Two Talks: HTML5 WebSockets & Contributing to Open Source

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1st Talk: HTML5 WebSockets
by Chris Powers (

Web applications have always been limited by HTTP's request/response model as servers have been unable to 'push' data directly to a browser. Building highly interactive, multi-user Web applications has been very difficult without true bi-directional communication supporting apps like chat clients, multiplayer games or collaborative apps like Google Wave. The work around solutions tend to be bloated and inefficient, or rely on 3rd party software like Adobe Flash.

With the advent of HTML 5, however, the perfect new solution is now available to developers: HTML 5 WebSockets. Finally, persistent TCP connections between server and browers is supported natively, blowing away our previous notions of what a browser is capable of.

Chris Powers will be taking us through an overview of how HTML 5 WebSockets work and demo some of its applications. He will demonstrate how WebSockets can be implemented on both the server and client sides, and how you can be up and running in 10 minutes with the help of the Pusher service ( (

Bring your laptops, because the second half of the talk will be devoted to writing some code and experiencing the power of WebSockets first-hand.

2nd Talk: Entry Point: Find your gateway drug, and how to take your first steps in contributing to open source software
by Blake Smith (

We’ve all been on the fence before: we find a really cool open source project that we use and want to get involved with, but don’t know how to get started. Fear gets in the way, or we just get overwhelmed with the large task of getting familiar with a code base or dealing with unwelcoming maintainers.

To grow our community we need to encourage more people who are on the outside to come to the inside. Just like test driven development, we need to start small and take short steps. With a focus on fun, Blake Smith will be sharing his ideas on overcoming fear and finding your ‘gateway drug’ that will get you hooked on open source, and keep you wanting to contribute and grow the community.

After most downtown meetings we head over to Elephant & Castle (185 N. Wabash) for refreshments & fellowship. Join us for a few minutes if you have time.

WindyCityRails: Third Year!
WindyCityRails 2010 will take place Saturday, September 11, 2010 at The Westin Chicago River North. We’re offering a “pre-launch” registration special. Register today and save $130 off the standard ticket price. Our speaker lineup will be announced in mid-July. http://windycityrails... (

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