Goruco Videos

Greg Brown

Where is Ruby really heading?


For those who want to run a standard Ruby build, we’ve got Ruby 1.8.6, Ruby 1.8.7, and Ruby 1.9.1 to choose from. This alone can create confusion for the uninitiated as well as complications for the seasoned Ruby veteran. But our choices are actually far more diverse than that. While alternative implementations may have previously been a concern only for language design geeks, the chances that you’ll encounter JRuby, MacRuby, and even Rubinius in the wild become greater each day. Throw things like Sapphire and “Ruby Enterprise Edition” into the mix and you end up with a perfect storm of WTF on your hands with a side order of FUD.

If we try to answer the question “Which Ruby Should I Use?”, the answer is invariably “It Depends”. This talk will give the audience a chance to see what the variables are and help them reach the sweet spot based on several common needs. It will also hint at the challenges involved in writing implementation agnostic Ruby code, to give those who can’t make up their minds something to chew on as well.


Gregory Brown is the author of "Ruby Best Practices" and an all-around crunchy person. He took off half a year in 2008 to work on the PDF generation library Prawn, supported by the kindness of the Ruby community. Gregory lives in New Haven, CT with his girlfriend, some small animals, and a bamboo plant that seems to live without water.