Hi all,

I've been playing with extensions lately and I'm having a rather hard go 
at it.  Things just aren't clicking and my hands are getting sore from 
pounding on my desk.  I was thinking what I really need is someone to 
sit next to me for a bit of pair programming to correct me when I do 
something dumb.

This got me thinking - would this be a neat idea for the Ruby 
conference?  We could have our expert instructor (Guy? Dave? Matz?) lead 
the class.  The class would be grouped into pairs, with one *nix laptop 
per pair.  After some teaching by the instructor, the pairs would then 
start applying their new knowledge.

Now, I've been working on the idea of a "Sys" namespace, with a bunch of 
little unix utilities put under that namespace.  Stuff like "who", 
"uname", etc.  We could assign each pair (randomly?) the task of 
starting an extension for that particular utility.  I wouldn't expect 
these modules to be completed.  I think just getting in at one get/set 
method, one iterative method, a constant or two and perhaps a class 
method would be a good start.

Now, it doesn't have to be unix system utilities.  It could be some 
other utility people are really interested in.  We could have everyone 
work on different parts of one big module, for example.  I'm definitely 
unix-centric on this, however, as I haven't a clue how to write 
extensions for Windows (nor do I care to).

The point is that we could teach extensions *and* build working modules 
that would actually be useful once completed (hopefully) at the same time.

I think this would probably be a two block session (80 minutes - 40 for 
the initial instruction/introduction to C extensions and another 40 for 
the paired programming).

Just a thought.  Opinions?

Regards,

Daniel Berger