Matz at RubyConf 2010, Bangalore, India

The Ruby community in India has achieved one more bigger milestone with the wonderful kick start of the first rubyconf in Bangalore, India. The first day of the Ruby conf went really well with keynotes from Roy Singham and great speeches from people like Ola Bini, Obie Fernandaz and ofcourse from the founder of Ruby himself, Matz through video conferencing.

I was particularly carried away by the speech from Matz mainly because of its simplicity in nature. I realized Matz was not just a great visionary but he is also very talented in putting forward his thoughts/implementations in a most simplest way that even a non-programmer can understand. With his great envisioning abilities, he could not only think about a script language which is completely object-oriented way back in 1993 but also was capable of giving a language to the world which is very programmer-friendly and the most simplest to understand. I remember, one of my friends who is a QA and used to write automation test cases in Ruby for his project saying that, “You guys are programmers, so can understand Java but I am just a QA and can write programs only in Ruby”. This statement showed me the real strength of ruby and when I started working on it, every inch of coding was fun. I found myself at home and felt was speaking in my own language with the computer.

He was also talking a little about how ruby was born way back in 1993. It was amazing to hear that it took almost 6 months for him to make ruby print “hello world” while he was developing it and also to hear about how he arrived at decisions with his ‘extreme thinking’ like he saying something like, “If objects are good, make everything as objects”, “if functional programming is good, make everything functional”. It was fun to see him feeling bad for not thinking on the ‘Googlability’ while naming the language as Ruby way back in 1990’s.

Most of the Matz’s speech also involved the future plans for ruby especially what has been targetted for the forthcoming release like 1.9.2 and for the major releases like ruby 2.0. One of the features that can be expected to be part of forth coming releases included, more support for concurrency. As other languages like Scala, he too mentioned that the Actor mechanism is the right way to go and he also expressed that the threading model was indeed a bad idea for concurrent programming. So we could expect more support for concurrency and support for ruby code running better in multi-core processors in the near future.

But one of things that ran in my head all the times while Matz explaining the future plans for Ruby was, that his plans or vision for ruby was no different from the direction in which the other languages like Scala or Clojure were moving forward. I couldn’t see any extreme thinking, like, the decision to write a OO scripting language way back in 1990’s which was way different from the way others thought about scripting languages. Even the plans to incorporate certain features in ruby are already available in other languages like Scala.

To me, I discovered ruby is a wonderful language to work with and for this language to sustain a long run it is extremely important for the ruby community to keep up Matz’s extreme thinking which is the only way to make a difference from rest of the world.

BTW, did you know which editor that Matz uses for developing ruby? Its Emacs. 🙂


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