Following on our hiring the JRuby guys, I’ve had emails and links from representatives of pretty well every other dynamic language: Groovy, Python, Pnuts, you name it. All of them saying, more or less: “Why Ruby? There are other languages which are better (or better-integrated, or faster).” Some of them would like jobs (perfectly reasonable, we like getting that kind of email) and some of them would like Sun to assign money and resources to their language project (we like to hear about those ideas, too). So if you think those things should happen, I recommend looking at the JRuby situation for lessons. First, these guys took an existing semi-dormant project and brought it alive, unprompted, unpaid, applying energy and engineering skills to the problem in large quantities. Second, they were working in a field that has a large and growing community; in this case because of the hype around Rails. Third, they were vocal and outward-facing and articulate, getting on the stage at Java One and lots of other events with impressive demos. Fourth, they shipped code that worked pretty well and improved qualitatively from release to release. I’m not sure it’s Sun’s role to pick and choose the winners and losers in this space, or anoint leaders; what would make us think we’re that smart? But when obvious leadership emerges in an interesting space, why wouldn’t we get behind it?

author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
September 11, 2006
· Technology (87 fragments)
· · Dynamic Languages (45 more)

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