The annual programming competition Rails Rumble 2009 drew more than 235 teams of up to four members looking to develop an innovative Ruby on Rails application in just 48 hours. Nearly 140 teams completed a working program and here we highlight the applications that won the judges’ favor, programs suitable for enterprise IT pros and some just for fun.
Hi, I’m from Koombea
And the winner is: Hi, I’m from Koombea, the self-proclaimed “Rails Ninjas.” Placing first overall, Hi, I’m is “like your nametag on the Internet” its developers say. An hi.im page features items from a user’s social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, and it can be used as a social profile on business cards and e-mail. More info.
How’s my code?
Coming in second overall is How’s my code? by CoworkingMVD. The application is a code review tool the developers say they designed for other software developers. Rails Rumble expert judge Peter Cooper, editor of Ruby Inside, commented online “This is one of the most solid, useful [RR] apps I’ve seen so far—possibly the most useful overall.” More info.
Placing third overall is Gorillaminds’ Tablesurfing.com, which works to connect people wanting to cook with people looking to eat. With the motto “You’ll never eat alone again,” the application leverages Facebook to bring dining companions together. Users create a table that others such as travelers in the area can join. More info.
ZenVDN created by team Zencoder won the usefulness category as a video delivery network. The application allows users to upload high-quality versions of their videos, using a global content delivery network. That means, according to the developers, users can expect fast start and download times for local and international viewers because the video is hosted in cities around the world. More info.
Team 201 created Hurl — winner of the completeness category — to provide users with an API testing application. The application makes HTTP requests and offers users a means to choose their URL, HTTP method, body and headers. Then users view the request and response. As one individual commented online, “Great idea, simple, useful, clean and polished execution, should be a useful tool for every developer out there. Awesome.” More info.
Solo entry couch potato offered up AlertMe.tv, which won its division. The application alerts users via SMS and other methods when new episodes of their favorite television program are available for viewing. According to expert judge Brian Del Vecchio, “Nicely done: I am invited to use this site before creating an account, which is a nice way to show the value up front.” More info.
For the retro-gamer in everyone, team 734m developed Lazeroids, a play on the popular 1979 Atari arcade game. The application won the innovation category for its “massively multiplayer, peer-to-peer, never-ending game of asteroids.” Expert judge Ben Scofield, technology director at Viget Labs, commented online, “This is the most fun I’ve had judging a Rails Rumble entry in three years.” More info.
For the avid social networkers in the online world, PeepNote by Agile Nomads allows users to import their Twitter contacts and keep notes on them, including why they found them interesting enough to follow in the first place. “I think PeepNote becomes more useful the more people you follow, just like any contact management system,” Scofield wrote online. More info.
The Catacrockers team delivered its Diversion application to provide users with a new way to collaborate on simple documents. The program was designed “in the spirit of open source and creative commons” and the developers explain “others can be inspired by and build on your ideas, cooking recipes, movie scripts or whatever it is that makes you tick.” More info.
Let’s wadus by Monsters of Rudy helps users coordinate an outing for a large group, without requiring tons of e-mails and phone calls back and forth. “It’s wonderful how simple this is. You don’t need to sign up for anything. You get automatic URL shortening which also operates as obfuscation for privacy. So simple, so clean. Every app should be like this,” expert judge Giles Bowkett wrote. More info.