The Future of Ruby

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Thursday, June 20, 2013 from 10:00 – 10:45am in B202/203


What will Ruby, the programming language and community, look like in 2 years?


The 20th birthday of Ruby, the programming language, was recently celebrated with the release of MRI (Matz’s Ruby Implementation) version 2.0. However, MRI is only one of many Ruby implementations. There are also Rubinius, MagLev, JRuby, IronRuby, and most recently, Topaz.

Why are there so many implementations of Ruby? How do they (or don’t they) benefit the Ruby community? How do they ensure language compatibility? Is Ruby flourishing or is Ruby in decline? What risks to future Ruby result from multiple implementations? Why should you care?

We’ll briefly discuss several Ruby implementations and their history for context. Then we will examine cooperation between and evolution of the Ruby language through the multiple implementations. We will also discuss the consistency and unity of Ruby as a programming language and consider issues related to verifying compatibility.

Speaking experience

Brian has spoken at numerous conferences and private events, including Open Source Bridge, OSCON, RubyConf, Euruko, and Baruco. His talk slides can be view at and Some talk videos include and