Looking Ahead at Ruby in 2007
on January 3, 2007
Last week, I looked back at Ruby in 2006. This week, it's time to look ahead. Here are 10 Ruby things I think are going to be hot in 2007:
- Refactoring tools — This is something I think there's just too much clamor for (and too much momentum toward) not to hit in 2007. The JRuby team is making steady progress in NetBeans and Eclipse while wierd, wonderful things are being done with code rewriting on top of ParseTree and other tools. This year, we'll be able to stop saying "Yeah, there aren't any tools, but Ruby is still really easy to refactor."
- YARV — It has already been merged into the Ruby's development tree, now's the time to see it stabilize and speed up.
- RSpec — RSpec is growing in popularity too. Recently people have asked if it should be included in the Ruby Standard Library (no, probably not), which certainly points to it's popularity. Even the rubinius hackers (see below) are using RSpec to write tests.
- JRuby — Ruby on the JVM picked up a lot of steam last year, and looks like it's just going to accelerate in 2007. I think it will help bring Ruby into a lot of Java shops, both as an excuse to run Ruby ("Hey, look it's on the JVM. We can still pretend it's Java") and as a vector for cool stuff like RSpec.
- rubinius — While it might not have the fresh new enterprise smell that JRuby does, rubinius is a pretty sweet project as well. It's already gaining a lot of visibility in the Ruby world, and once regular Ruby apps start running on it, I think we'll see it take off.
- a Ruby spec — Perhaps the biggest benefit we'll see from rubinius and JRuby is a real spec for Ruby 1.8 (and a test suite to ensure compatibility). This has been a knock against Ruby for a while, and 2007 should be the year the community answers it.
- more than just Ruby on Rails — 2007 will be the year other Ruby based web frameworks get a bit of the spotlight. Nitro, IOWA and others might not draw as many developers as Ruby on Rails has, but they will influence the Ruby web development landscape.
- Rake — is a great DSL for build management. Rake is alread moving forward on the JRuby platform, and others will see how useful it can be in 2007.
- RubyConf 2007 (in Toronto?) — RubyConf 2006 was a huge success, and in 2007 should be even bigger (I just hope I can get a ticket before they sell out). With all the cool things going on in the Ruby world already, RubyConf 2007 should be a Ruby hackers dream!
- regional conferences — Since not everyone will make it into RubyConf 2007, regional conferences like MountainWest RubyConf and the Gotham City Ruby Conf will step up to fill the void. This year, I expect to see a handful of great regional conferences show up.
So, what do you see in your crystal ball?