Here’s a quote from RailsConf2007 that I find astonishing:
“There seems an excellent chance that Ruby and Rails could become a significant platform for IT develop over the next few years. We’re already seeing signs of this at ThoughtWorks – 40% of our new business this year in the US is Ruby work.” — Martin Fowler
Forty percent?! That’s amazing.
I do now find myself using Ruby freely as the main scripting and general project automation tool, but always with a hint of nervousness. Because it isn’t yet sufficiently mainstream that I can expect my scripts to run everywhere. There’s still some way to go before I can expect to be able to ship Ruby-enabled stuff to end-user sites, for example. And even within development shops I find the spread of all the bits n bobs (eg. the copious numbers of gems required in order to do anything unusual) is still very sparse. Maybe JRuby will help.
The rest of Martin’s conference report is well worth a read, as are the many others appearing in our aggregators this week. I’m not sure Ruby will help us end world poverty, but that figure of 40% is possibly a (startling) sign of things to come.