It's been a cloudy couple of days in Ruby-land. Well, the weather hasn't been great, either, but that's not quite what I mean. Google Alerts is (of course) set to let me know what's new with Ruby and, in one way or another the past few days, the word "cloud" keeps jumping out at me.
The Rubyist, a new magazine aptly sloganed "For Rubyists, by Rubyists," has made its debut this week. What does this have to do with clouds? Creator Jeremy McAnally has used MagCloud to make his dream a reality.
It's a pretty cool service; sort of a "if you can dream it (and create and upload a PDF), we can print and distribute it for you" thing. In any event, The Rubyist is now available in print in the United States and for PDF download worldwide, giving Ruby programmers a hands-on publication devoted entirely to the language.
How else did the word "cloud" come to my attention in regard to Ruby? That one's perhaps a bit more complicated. With MyTripScrapbook's announcement that they will be using Morph AppSpace to deploy some new applications, it led me to consider the whole concept of "software- and platform-as-a-service" which is also referred to as "cloud computing."
In a very boiled down sense, this type of service allows for development of Internet applications without knowing how the back-end service works. In the Ruby world, companies like EngineYard provide customers with something much bigger than Web hosting, it's software-as-a-service, the ability to provide users with an interactive Web experience without the need for on-site programmers to build the applications.
It's a fascinating concept and supply and demand are growing exponentially. There are "cloud computing" providers working with pretty much any Web language you can name. It seems that if you're a head-in-the-clouds kind of person with a great Web application idea, there's always someone to help you put it into practice...