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the guys over at sapphiresteel software released ruby in steel text edition, a full-featured ruby on rails IDE built on the visual studio 2008 shell.

as a microsoft developer interested in looking at ruby on rails early on, i loved when the sapphire project was first released.  i had played with earlier version and after re-paving my machine need to take a look at the updated versions.

if you don't own a copy of visual studio 2008, when you get the ruby in steel text edition, you get visual studio 2008 (ruby language support only) -- so this isn't an add-on only, it is a full deal.  if you already have vs2008, this will install into your current environment.  it has all the goodness you'd expect of an IDE: color coding, snippets, code folding, integrated debugger, and interactive consoles.

the sapphire guys also have the developer edition which is a little more full featured, and includes a faster debugger and few other features like dynamic update intellisense.  DHH was quoted as saying:

"Ruby In Steel is particularly interesting to developers coming over from the Microsoft world as Visual Studio is a familiar environment to them. That'll likely ease the transition." source: InfoWorld

i think this is great for people interested in learning new environments as well as new languages.  already being familiar with a tool like visual studio may help you understand about ruby without having to learn any new tool.

and no, it doesn't run on a mac.

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well, it's been a while since the phoenix installfest and i've been behind on a few things.  on 20 dec 2007, the arizona user group communities hosted the phoenix installfest in tempe, arizona.  special thanks to a lot of people, but namely scott cate, spike xavier, lorin thwaits (cameraman), steele price and my comrades rob bagby, eric strait and dan willis

tempe center for the arts was our host venue for the night.  i personally thought it was a kick arse venue even if the food was not the greatest (blame me for that, but you shouldn't complain, it was free ;-)).  a lot of work went into organizing that event down to the wire and i was glad to see over 200 people show up.  i wish we could have hosted more, but we were limited by the venue!

at the end of the night, a lot of people stayed the entire time, a lot of great prizes were distributed and best of all, the attendees walked away with a copy of visual studio 2008 for thanks in being a part of the user communities.  if you aren't a part of a .net user group in your area -- find one and get involved.  participate and be active.

we shot some video from the event and i put it up on silverlight streaming services for you to see.  it doesn't auto play so after the initial buffering, hit the play button:

thanks again to everyone who showed up and hopefully you had some fun in tempe!

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i've got a few messages about 'hey, where did the project template go in visual studio 2008?  what the heck, doesn't microsoft want us to create projects?'

trouble is that it is there, but different...you know same, but different.

if you have visual studio 2008 installed, make sure you install the silverlight tools for visual studio 2008.  yeah, i know it says 'tools for alpha' -- just install it would ya.  after you install it, you'll have the project templates for silverlight 1.1 2.0 as well as for 1.0.  but where is it?

File...New Web Site... then you should see this:

that's what you want.  hope this helps.

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of course if you are already a part of the broader .net user group community, you've seen this already.  but if you aren't (shame on you), you should head on over to azgroups.com and look at the event on the 20th of December.  be sure to sign up to the AZGroups mailing list as well for updates and future events.

at the phoenix (tempe) installfest, people who are registered and attend will receive a special trial DVD of visual studio that will enable them to get a visual studio 2008 professional licensed copy sent to them as participating in this event...pretty sweet for being a supporter of the user group communities!

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i'm surprised how much is going on in the month of december...usually it is pretty idle...but this is my largest travel month.

after just visiting the and the (thanks to both for hosting), i'm off tomorrow to redmond for the silverlight firestarter event.  i come home just in time for our annual festivus party which i'm super excited for.  i've been storing some prizes that i've gotten throughout the year and am stoked for this weekend.  i'm pissed at myself for not getting t-shirts made this year...argh...oh well, i hope everyone enjoys themselves nonetheless.

after that i'm heading to los angeles all next week to chill with the Phizzpop Design Challenge folks.  i just got a new hd camera and am hoping to talk to some design folks throughout the week (side note: any suggestions for software for vista that can edit hd content from an xh-a1 are appreciated).  i hear master chief might even make an appearance out there!  in the middle of the week i'm heading down to irvine i think to hang with woody for their installfest.

i won't be at the phoenix barcamp, but if you are in the area and want to share something, you should head over to the barcamp phoenix...a great group of peeps putting that free event on as well!

i then come home for the weekend, breathe (maybe), hug my kids, wash some clothes and then head out to riverside for the for some chatting.  i hope you all show up for this one and heckle me...i'll be tired enough so my guard might be down ;-) -- i am also bringing a new zune to give away -- perfect timing for the holidays.

i'll have some downtime after that and then we have a full day of .NET-ness in phoenix on 20 DEC with the MSDN power series event and another installfest.  whew!  just maybe i'll have some time -- in between that i have some "use it or lose it" vacation time i need to squeeze in.

if you are in any of these areas the same time i am, let me know and maybe we can hook up a nerd dinner or something.