The Ruby Community Rocks!

by Curt Hibbs

I just finished reading through a thread on the ruby-talk mailing list that was titled Is a block converted to a Proc object before yield? and it reminded me of one of the non-technical reasons that I love the Ruby programming language: the community!

First of all, in how many language communities will you find the creator of the language personally answering questions like this? Its not unheard of, but its not common either. Sam, the poster of the question, responded with heartfelt appreciation:

Yukihiro Matsumoto wrote:

> |Is a block still converted to a Proc object implicitly?
> Not under the current implementation.
> matz.

I'm pretty sure that this is a very official answer...:-)

Matz, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for making me a happy
programmer with Ruby.


Secondly, the Ruby community has always been a friendly place, relatively free of rude behavior. It is pretty much populated by real people with a sense of cooperation and helpfulness. Sam's thank you prompted another thank you followed by another reply by Matz that earned my odd looks from my coworkers when I started laughing out loud:

DEBAUN, STEVE Thu, Jun 29, 2006 at 1:28 PM

Can I second that motion?!?!?

I was a programming burn-out. I was broken by a lifetime of shitty projects
and shitty languages. One too many for-loops had left me a hollow shell of
a man. I was ready to quit 'the biz' entirely. I yearned for a job that
involved things that did not require debugging. Like... tiles. Aren't
tiles nice? Wouldn't it be fun to run a tile business?

Then I discovered ruby. Clouds parted, rays of light streaming down, the
host of heaven singing their angelic choirs.

Now, once again, I love what I do.

Thanks Matz!!!11!!!111oneone!11one1 That is one man I will definitely buy a
beer for.


Yukihiro Matsumoto Fri, Jun 30, 2006 at 7:21 AM

Tiles are nice. My father used to sell tiles before his retirement.
I am not sure if it's fun though.


Over the years we've had a few challenges to the keep-it-civil meme that permeates the Ruby culture. But the community's response has usually been to just ignore the flame-monger, who eventually gets bored from the lack of response and simply goes away.

We all know that technical excellence alone does not make for success, but when you combine that with our killer community, it almost seems inevitable!


2006-06-30 10:57:02
Ruby-forum messes up sometimes -- it will split the topic into two threads. See the full thread here:
Stephen Caudill
2006-06-30 12:11:10
matz is nice, so we are nice :)
Tim O'Brien
2006-06-30 15:43:08
A good flame war can help steel the mind at times. I guess there really isn't any need for a flame war at the moment, but I'm sure that as the community grows, and suffers through a few rows you'll have your shared of difficult engineers stop by to supply some intransigence. And some of them will stick around.

The absence of friction isn't always a good thing, just take a look at some dead Apache Java projects (like OJB) - the absence of good fights wasn't a sign of health as much as it was a sign of irrelevance.

But, Ruby is far from irrelevant these days - Ruby is King, enjoy it for a few more years until the next big thing rolls into town. :-)

Curt Hibbs
2006-06-30 16:03:26
I didn't say there was never any friction, just that things tended to stay civil.
Mike Pence
2006-06-30 21:20:25
It certainly. Thanks for the kind offer of your hospitatlity, Curt! That was the most worthwhile conference I have ever attended.