A Quick Dose of Ruby History

When you are learning something new, the first thing you should check out is its history. When you go through the history, you get a better perspective. It is the same with Ruby language and hence let us get a quick dose of Ruby history.

Ruby programming language is created by a Japanese programmer, Yukihiro Matsumoto. He is popularly known as “Matz” in the Ruby community. Matz started work on the language sometime in February 1993. The first alpha version was released in December 1994. Since then there has been numberous releases and the current production release 1.8.6 was done on March 2007. On 25th December 2007 there was a development release of Ruby 1.9 (this is not intended for production systems).

Ruby 2.0 will be the next major release and it is intended to expand Ruby lanugage and to improve the interpreter performance.

Matz main goal in developing Ruby was to create a scripting language that was more powerful than perl, and more object oriented than Python. Matz named the language after the “Ruby” gemstone and is inspired by “Perl”. Major guiding philosophy for the language has been “the principle of least surprise”. The first thing many new programmers note in Ruby is its elegance.

Following are the key turning points in Ruby history,

  • 1993, Feb 24 – Matz starts work on Ruby
  • 1993, April – First “hello world” works in Ruby
  • 1995, December 21 – Ruby 0.95 was released to the public
  • 1996, December 25 – Ruby 1.0 was released
  • 1998, December – ruby-talk mailing list was started
  • 2000 – Official Ruby newsgroup started
  • 2001 – RubyConf started
  • 2001, December 15 – Pickaxe book on Ruby was released
  • 2003, August – Ruby 1.8.0 was released
  • 2004, July – Web application framework Ruby on Rails released
  • 2007, March – Ruby 1.8.6 was released
  • 2007, December 25 – Ruby 1.9 (experimental version) was released
  • ??? – Ruby 2.0 release in future

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