The Ruby Mendicant

by Pat Eyler

A little while ago, Gregory Brown announced his Ruby Mendicant Project. He’s trying to raise enough money to work for the Ruby community full time for 6 months (or on a time-share basis if he doesn’t raise the full amount, see the web site for the full details). With just 7 days left, he’s about 40% of the way there. This would be a good time to Make a donation.

Gregory’s a great person to take this on. He’s been active in the Ruby world for quite a while, developing both code and community. He worked on the Google Summer of Code two years ago, developing “Ruport”, and has been active in that and other projects ever since. He’s even put together a list of possible projects that he could work on as the Ruby Community’s paid hacker:

  • Ruby 1.9 Field Medic —He could work on a variety of widely used, highly visible libraries from RubyForge and work on the 1.9 kinks that they might have.
  • A Six Month Nightmare with RubyForge —Gregory would be willing to fix the bugs and add the features that are rubbing RubyForge users the wrong way.
  • Uncovering Hidden Gems —He could write tutorials and docs for under documented Ruby libraries and gems.
  • First class PDF support in Ruby—PDF::Writer could be rewritten to be smaller, cleaner, and faster.
  • From Lone Hacker to Community Leader—Gregory could mentor developers in sRuby software development, potentially putting together a book on the topic.
  • Documentation Project Ideas—He could work on one or more larger documentation projects like creating a guide to starting and managing Ruby library projects.

So far, Gregory’s proposal seems to have caught the communities eye. Ruby Central has said that they’ll match the first $5,000 ($3137.59 has been pledged thus far, so there’s still room to get your pledge matched). There were some initial glitches with Pay Pal accepting the pledges, but they were worked out quickly, and things are moving along well again.

If you’re interested in seeing the Ruby community continue to improve, this is a great chance to put your money where your mouth is.