The 20th Anniversary Of The Birth Of Ruby An Object Oriented Scripting Language

The 20th Anniversary Of The Birth Of Ruby An Object Oriented Scripting Language

This  time the Mikstura.IT event was slightly different as we wanted to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the birth of Ruby – an object-oriented scripting language created in 1993 by Yukihiro Matsumoto (Matz for short).  What are the main characteristcs of the Ruby programming language:

Ruby , an open-source scripting language designed by Yukihiro Matsumoto, is an elegant language that follows the Principal of Least Surprise. Despite this elegance Ruby is a flexible language. The language includes a shortcut for creating accessor methods that generates method definitions at runtime. Ruby also lets one modify its behaviors to an uncommon degree. Ruby is a highly portable language that runs on Windows, Linux, UNIX, Mac OS, BeOS and other platforms. (…) While Ruby certainly does not have the performance of C++, it has much of the power of Perl, and its orthogonality gives it better maintainability for larger projects. This is especially evident in the ability it gives you to extend the language.”  – Dr. Dobb’s Journal: Software Tools for the Professional Programmer, Dec2004

Ruby is an interpreted scripting language for object-oriented programming. In an increasing number of job advertisements it is part of an either/or pair with Python. Like Python, Perl, PHP and TCL, Ruby is downloadable, and there are plenty of free online resources to help one learn it. The language was created in Japan by Yukihiro Matsumoto, and first released in 1993. Like Python, it provides a transition from procedural to object oriented programming for people without object oriented experience. Ruby is written entirely in programming language C, and writing C extensions in Ruby is easier than in Perl or Python. Ruby tries to reduce the slog of programming by pushing as much routine work as possible onto the machine.” – Computer Weekly, 5/30/2006

Still there was yet another reason to celebrate the day – Ruby 2.0 was released on the same day. This is the first stable release of the Ruby 2.0 series, with many new features and improvements added on top of the previous versions. BTW, you can download the version here.

We started the event with the keynote speech “Ruby – the programmer’s best friend”  delivered by Błażej Kosmowski. Błażej talked about the features that make Ruby so different from most other programming languages and – at the same time – so enjoyable to use.

After his talk the most solemn moment came: a beautiful chocolate cake with an edible ruby and a glass of champagne allowed us to celebrate and look back on the 20 years of Ruby.

All the participants received a limited edition of the Ruby on Rails 20th Anniversary stickers and we were ready to move on to the next point in the agenda.

During a workshop two teams mastered their negotiation skills. They were both challenged to cope with insufficient information and tried to estimate a possible date of Dracula’s extermination.

Most of the lightning talks, which followed the workshop, were connected with the main topic of the event, i.e. Ruby. Arkadiusz Kwaśny described typical technical challenges besetting start-ups and how Ruby fits in the specific context with its potential to ensure crucial time-to-market and continuous user engagement and change (pivoting) as well as efficiency. The Ruby on Rails framework is most likely one of the best technologies for rapid prototyping. As such the technology goes well hand in hand with the characteristics of a start-up business, i.e. the type of business which is often itself a prototype to be tested and evolved in the marketplace.

Tomasz Bąk, focused on his early experiences with Ruby back in 2005/6. He recalled his old  presentations back from 2005, where he promoted early Ruby On Rails version 0.13.

The last talk was about RubyMotion – a toolchain to do iOS development in Ruby. During that talk Radosław Jędryszczak has shown us, how fun and easy it is to develop new applications for Iphones and Ipads, even if you’re not a great fan of Apple.

You can browse through the event gallery here.

So dear Ruby and Matz

In twenty years together\ You’ve shared so many things\ That’s why this very special\ Anniversary brings\ Great built-in libraries,\ and debug support too\ Amazing language features\ The future ahead of you!

Happy Anniversary