By Ole Østergaard | September 11, 2008
I love Ruby. I participate in the local Ruby user group. I am a member of the program committee of the RubyFools conference. Occasionally, I give presentations on the greatnesses of Ruby and my own spare-time Ruby projects. I feel free when I code Ruby. I love the creativity of the Ruby community developing new kinds of frameworks and tools. I try to promote Ruby everywhere I can. In short, I’m a “Ruby dude”.
Has Ruby really just been a “temporary hype language”, as many of my friends doing traditional Java/.NET development have been keen to point out to me? Have all the hyper-enthusiasts left the Ruby building? Did Ruby actually penetrate the market well enough to stay in the future? What will happen to the great Ruby community if the interest fades away? How can I justify the choice of Ruby as the development language for new commercial coding projects?
Oh, and there’s another perspective: Ruby is not just Ruby. What people know as Ruby is Ruby 1.8, and a lot of work is currently being put into Ruby 1.9. Some new language constructs have been added, but the big question is whether Ruby 1.9 will “feel like Ruby” anymore? I haven’t played around with Ruby 1.9 yet, but I certainly don’t like all the new language constructs. New language constructs also make the language harder to learn for newcomers. If the community breaks in two (the “1.8 folks” and the “1.9 folks”), that cannot be good, can it?