I have been “writing code” since my first encounter with an Apple IIe in 1985. My first serious encounter with open source came in the mid 90s, browsing the sunsite add-on CD with the Slackware Linux distribution. Through this I discovered many interesting things, including Erlang and Ruby, neither of which I took seriously. Years later I rediscovered Ruby in the era Before Rails and used it extensively. Since 2006, I’ve contributed to Rubinius and in 2015, founded Rubinius, Inc, one of the goals of which is to make Rubinius development sustainable. Computer languages are the most powerful tools of the digital information age, and my focus is bringing the ability to build and manipulate those tools to the widest audience, especially to people who have been excluded from dominant social structures.
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The era of "general-purpose programming languages" is nearing its end. The cost of building a programming language and integrating it with other languages has fallen significantly, but our approach to building programming languages has not changed substantially in decades. The consequence is an enormous financial cost paid, in terms of real dollars as well as in hours of programmer effort. The solution is not yet another "better" general-purpose language but rather a platform that prioritizes a collaborating assortment of specialized languages that together perform well in a specific context: an ensemble of programming languages.