Ruby Isn't Fun Anymore


Wed Nov 19 13:12:43 -0800 2008

A slow but inexorable shift is happening in the Ruby world. Ruby, and its halo of libraries and frameworks, is transitioning from a snot-nosed upstart and into an accepted technology.

For early adopter types who have been doing Ruby for a while, this means: Ruby isn’t fun anymore. Now it’s just what we do for a living.

This is not a death knell - quite the opposite. It’s the start of a new era, a higher level of success and widespread adoption for the language and its ecosystem. In a few years, Ruby will be the status quo. (When you challenge The Man, winning means you become him.)

For early adopters, though, we’ll be finding that the excitement of the new relationship energy around Ruby is fading, to be replaced with the content, comfortable glow of familiarity.

I suspect one result of this will be less blogging, fewer new plugins, and fewer new frameworks. This might look like less activity in Ruby, but actually it’s quite the opposite: more people are using the language than ever, and they are using it to do bigger and more serious projects than ever. Ruby has crossed the chasm, and the class of users on the other side - the pragmatists - are much quieter about their tool use than early adopters. They’re too busy getting work done to blog.

Where will early-adopter Rubyists turn for our weekly quota of new hotness excitement, then? Document-oriented databases, Erlang, XMPP, AMQP? Any of the above, and many more as yet unglimpsed. The Ruby community is fast on its way to becoming a group that is about more than just Ruby.