The three hottest things in the new (1.2) release are REST (Representational State Transfer) APIs, multiple representations of the same resources and better 8-bit Unicode Transformation Format (UTF-8) support, Hansson said. "Im definitely the most proud about our support for the REST style and multiple representations of resources," Hansson said. "The Web community has entered a renaissance of HTTP appreciation, and Ruby on Rails is right at the forefront of that. Just like we were when AJAX entered the scene."Of course Ruby has nothing to do with the song with the similar name. Matsumoto got the name from the birthstone of a colleague. Because he was influenced by Perl, he is said to have wanted to name the language after a gem. Also, ruby follows pearl in the birthstone sequence, as pearl is the birthstone for June and ruby for July. Ruby enjoys a great deal of popularity in the developer community. TIOBE Software, a Netherlands software firm that hosts the TIOBE (The Importance of Being Earnest) Programming Community Index, ranks Ruby as No. 10 among programming languages worldwide. Much of that popularity can be attributed to RoR, which is based on Ruby. "For me personally, the best thing about Ruby is the combination of it being pragmatic and very useful, and at the same time include much of the power from Lisp," Bini said. "I like the way you can compress code, shriveling it DRY [a design pattern meaning Dont Repeat Yourself], if you want to. But you can also create very readable and maintainable code that is still less verbose than the mainstream languages." Meanwhile, Bray said Nutter and Enebo will have a mandate to think about developer tools. "Right now, developers who use dynamic languages like Python and Ruby are poorly served, compared to what Java developers have," Bray said. Helping to fill that void, Sapphire Steel Software, of Hartland, U.K., last month shipped Ruby In Steel Developer, a Ruby IDE (integrated development environment) for Microsofts Visual Studio 2005. Also, JetBrains offers a plug-in for its IntelliJ Idea development platform that supports Ruby on Rails. And, not to be outdone, Microsoft is looking at support for Ruby developers and broader uses of Ruby, including having it run on the CLR. Microsoft hired John Lam, creator of the RubyCLR high-performance bridge between Ruby and the CLR, in October. Hes now a program manager on the CLR team. Microsoft also hired Jim Hugunin, author of IronPython, and soon after the company had an implementation of Python running on .Net. One can only suspect that the hiring of Lam could lead to something similar regarding Ruby. Click here to read more about Lams role at Microsoft. Lam said that as dynamic languages gain popularity, it becomes more important that they play well with others. Both Suns Bray and Microsofts Hugunin said their companies forays into the world of dynamic languages are opportunities to learn what works and what doesnt. "We hope to learn from this experience," Bray said of JRuby. "As I think about where we go beyond IronPython, what we really want to do next is try to generalize what weve learned," Hugunin said in a prior interview about what lessons they might use for other dynamic languages that they learned porting Python. "So if we could combine the best of what everybodys learned and tell people, Here is how you do it, then Ruby becomes easy." Ruby is obviously on the march. Do you see it as ultimately eclipsing other dynamic languages? Write me at email@example.com. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.
Ruby was created by Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto, who is said to have been influenced by his favorite languagesPerl, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada and Lisp. The language hit the streets in 1995.