I came out of RubyConf thinking that a fork in Ruby is a real
possibility, and considering whether or not to blog about it. Even
talking about a fork is very dangerous for any open source project,
especially one that is aiming and mainstream acceptance.
It seems the “enterprise” users are pressuring for language evolution
at a faster pace than the core team can provide right now, but
everyone must bear in mind the effects of excessive pressure.
Think sustainability: what are the costs behind any benefit?
Matz had wise words about this, to the effect that what we have right
now is excellent and not broken in any major way, so what is the
hurry? I think we have time for careful consideration and wise
My greatest hope is that the different implementing groups will
collaborate with each other to solve the difficult technical and
political problems that lie ahead.
If anyone thinks a fork would be a good idea, they should read The
Wealth of Networks, by Yochai Benkler. Corporate sponsors brag very
loudly about their contributions, but the fact is most of the work in
open source is done by the community at large, and even the
productivity of paid contributors depends on the fact that they
believe they are doing the right thing, and get timely help from the
People conected by good will is the most powerful resource we have for
sustaining open source projects.
This has been my first RubyConf and I really enjoyed meeting the
community behind this fantastic language.