RubyConf 2006 Recap

Last weekend over 300 Rubyists gathered in Denver, CO to discuss many aspects of our favorite language. This was my first conference and I must say they are every bit as impressive as you have probably heard. The presentations are great, but it’s hard to top talking and hacking with with fellow Rubyists between the events. Everyone should experience that at least once.

If there was a theme to this year’s conference, I would have to say it’s Ruby implementations. Two presentations focused on alternate Ruby implementations and a third challenged us to get our planned m17n additions to Ruby just right. Apple dropped in to show their plans for Ruby integration in Mac OS X and the first Ruby Implementors Summit was held. Koichi brought us up to speed on YARV, which plans are currently underway to merge into the core at long last. As a teaser, he even showed it running Rails.

And, of course, Matz answered our questions at the roundtable and shared his vision of the future with his keynote address.

Matz opened his keynote by comparing the terms currently used to describe Ruby. After casually dismissing scripting language, programming language, lightweight language, and dynamic language for various reasons, Matz suggested we settle on the term “agile language.”

With Ruby defined, Matz proposed we take a step beyond the old Ruby 2.0 plans, including the RCRchive and his own previous speeches. Matz suggested we play a game suggesting enhancements to Ruby and debating them as we go. Details on the forum we will use for this are still to come.

Finally, Matz announced that Ruby 1.9.1 will release on Christmas of 2007. This release will represent our first steps into the future of Ruby. Ruby 1.8 will remain a stable bastion for those who need to avoid incompatible changes.

For more details on the conference, I suggest the following links: