Ruby Predictions

by Pat Eyler

With the impending dawn of 2008, it’s time I set down my look at what the future might hold for the Ruby world. In general, Ruby looks poised for another big year. But reading about generalities is not fun (and neither is writing about them for that matter), so I've tried to provide a little more detail below.

JRuby — I expect to see JRuby put Ruby’s speed issues put to bed in 2008. The JRuby team is making great progress in their work, and have shown that they’re not afraid to try new things. JRuby is going to continue to gain users this year, and may become the most widely deployed version of Ruby as Java shops pick it up.

Rubinius — Evan and the rest of the Rubinius hackers are going to give the official 1.9 implementation of Ruby a run for the money this year. Rubinius is going to continue to improve, and will start to see widespread deployment. It will also be exciting to see Rubinius experiments bleed back into the other Ruby implementations as people see the value in them.

Merb — I believe that this year will see Merb come forward as a better Rails. It won’t overtake Rails in terms of deployments or mindshare in 2008, but it will get big enough to be taken seriously. We’ll know it’s come of age when we see the first book about it.

Books — The market seems to near the saturation point for general Ruby books. The Pragmatic Programmers still seem to be the big wheel, but Apress has been putting out titles at an amazing rate and other publishers have been getting involved too. Perhaps the most interesting new contender is Addison-Wesley’s Professional Ruby series, which features ‘The Ruby Way’, ‘The Rails Way’, and ‘Design Patterns In Ruby’. I think 2008 will see more focus on specific Ruby related technologies along with continued E-Book rollouts. I also think we’ll see more DVDs of Ruby and Rails training come out in 2008.

A Magazine — I feel less certain about this that the other predictions, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a journal style magazine come out in 2008 (even if it folds after an issue or two). I think the Ruby community is ready for something like this.