My efforts on Mendicant University as well as my work on various open source projects and educational initiatives are made possible by the many folks in the Ruby community who support my work so that I can keep doing what I’m doing.
This past week I spent Christmas with my family and have been taking a break for the most part, but I managed to sneak in a bit of work here and there that I can report on. Most of this stuff was just routine chores but I’m providing an update here on them just for the sake of transparency and for my own records.
I publicly released the last issue of Practicing Ruby Volume 1, which is on Structural Design Patterns. Now that all the articles from the first volume are up on the blog, I’ll probably write up a post that provides an index of all of them as well as a link to a github repository that contains their raw manuscripts. However, it’ll depend on how much free time I have over the coming weeks.
I finally merged RubyGems pull request #124 which replaces the spermy_recommendation method with a method called approximate_recommendation. I’d like to say thanks to Steve Klabnik for testing this for me, I received permission to merge this a while ago but never got around to trying it out.
I wrote a brief essay about The power of free beer, which is really about why we choose to make our courses free and don’t pay our staff at Mendicant University. I am seriously considering making 2012 the first year in which I don’t accept any money directly for my teaching time, because I am fairly convinced that keeping money out of the equation is important. Interestingly enough, I have different opinions over the effect of charging for Practicing Ruby, which I perhaps should write about eventually.
We sent out orientation documents for the new Mendicant University students. The process of updating these documents and preparing our course administration software for a new session takes something like 3-4 hours, which is a bit ridiculous. Jia and I intended to take notes on the whole thing as part of a broader goal to document all of Mendicant University’s processes, but this one is so painful that we decided to skip that and will go back to the drawing board and streamline the process instead.