Let's go 2.1.1 folks! - Ruby versions and some history

[ In part inspired as an answer to
https://www.ruby-forum.com/topic/4464748. ]
[ My answer has grown enough and diverged in some extent from the
original issue so that I think it has deserved a thread to itself. ]

Dear Venkat,

Ruby version 1.8.6 is not under active development for almost 6
years (since 12/mar/2007)!

Since 24 feb 2014 there’s only two (major) versions under active
development and they are 2.0.0-px and 2.1.x, see bellow:

  • 24 feb 2013 - 2.0.0
  • 25 dec 2013 - 2.1.0
  • 24 feb 2014 - 1.9.3-p545 is the last release of 1.9.3-px. Only
    bugfixes now. (Version dedicated to Jim W.).
  • 24 feb 2014 - 2.0.0-p451
  • 24 feb 2014 - 2.1.1 (following 2.1.0 on the new semantic versioning
    policy)

So, last week was pretty “hot” on Ruby news!

The ruby-core team has been really encouraging people to upgrade.
Look…

“Words of encouragement - We would like to take this chance to
strongly encourage you to upgrade to a supported version of Ruby as
soon as possible. Many ruby-core members have put countless hours into
improving the performance and features of Ruby in 2.0+ and we wish you
would take advantage of it.” (Ruby Core Team) 17 dec 2013 [5]

And rails will be probably going forward together…

“The Rails web framework only supports Ruby 1.9.3+ for their 4.0.0
release, and it is rumored that they will be supporting only 2.0.0+
for their 4.1.0 release.” (Heroku Blog) 05 dec 2013 [6]

The default Ruby version at Heroku is already 2.0.0 (and going forward).

“Ruby versions - You will get the latest available patchlevel for
each Ruby version. If your Gemfile does not contain a ruby entry, you
will get MRI 2.0.0.” (Heroku Documentation) [16]

So, unless you have a pretty_strong reason to stuck on 1.8.6, IMHO I
think you should try to upgrade to 2.1.1 or at least 2.0.0-px.

Let’s push Ruby forward (not backward)!
I think the Ruby Core team is really wanting us (the community) to
have a mass acceptance and adoption of the bleeding edge versions of
Ruby.
So we could give feedback, bug reports, pull requests and support for
them.
And more, after 1.9.3 version, going forward is not so hard (not so
many incompatibilities).
I think it’s pretty hard to maintain such a complex and free software
as the Ruby language (no revenues in standard ways) with a small team.
Perhaps upgrading is how we could say thanks, and how we could help
them and release them from the hard work of maintaining old software.

Some history,

1.8.6:

  • Only bugs and security fix since 12/mar/2007. [1]
  • Unsupported by ruby-core since 23/may/2009 only bugfixes by Engine
    Yard (sponsorship). [2]
  • Unsupported by Engine Y. since 20/sep/2011. [3]
    1.8.7:
  • Unsupported (officially) since 30/jun/2013. [4]
  • Only security patches by a Heroku sponsorship (2 committers) until
    June/2014. [5] [6]
    1.9.1:
  • Last official release that I have noticed at 17 aug 2010. [14]
    1.9.2:
  • (unofficially) “Dead” since 31/may/2013. [7]
  • Only security patches by a Heroku sponsorship (2 committers) until
    June/2014. [5] [6]
    1.9.3:
  • Last ordinal release of Ruby 1.9.3 at 24/fev/2014. [11]
  • Now it will be only bugfixes until 24/fev/2015. [12]
    2.0.0-px:
  • Released 24/feb/2013 without severe incompatibilities with 1.9.3.
    [8]
  • 2.0.0-p451 - 24/feb/2014 (one year later) [9]
    2.1.x:
  • 2.1.0 was released 25/dec/2013 without severe incompatibilities
    with 2.0.0. [10]
  • It started semantic versioning from 2.1.0 [13]
  • 2.1.1 was released 24/02/2014 [15]

[1] https://www.ruby-lang.org/en/news/2007/03/12/ruby-1-8-6-released/
[2]
https://www.ruby-lang.org/en/news/2009/05/23/ruby-1-8-6-maintenance-moved-to-engine-yard/
[3] https://blog.engineyard.com/2011/engine-yards-plans-for-ruby-1-8-6
[4] https://www.ruby-lang.org/en/news/2013/06/30/we-retire-1-8-7/
[5]
https://www.ruby-lang.org/en/news/2013/12/17/maintenance-of-1-8-7-and-1-9-2/
[6]
https://blog.heroku.com/archives/2013/12/5/a_patch_in_time_securing_ruby
[7] https://twitter.com/ayumin/status/340699195134595072/photo/1
[8]
https://www.ruby-lang.org/en/news/2013/02/24/ruby-2-0-0-p0-is-released/
[9]
https://www.ruby-lang.org/en/news/2014/02/24/ruby-2-0-0-p451-is-released/
[10]
https://www.ruby-lang.org/pt/news/2013/12/25/ruby-2-1-0-is-released/
[11]
https://www.ruby-lang.org/en/news/2014/02/24/ruby-1-9-3-p545-is-released/
[12]
https://www.ruby-lang.org/en/news/2014/01/10/ruby-1-9-3-will-end-on-2015/
[13]
https://www.ruby-lang.org/en/news/2013/12/21/semantic-versioning-after-2-1-0/
[14]
https://www.ruby-lang.org/en/news/2010/08/16/ruby-1-9-1-p430-is-released/
[15]
https://www.ruby-lang.org/en/news/2014/02/24/ruby-2-1-1-is-released/
[16] https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/ruby-support#ruby-versions

Best regards,
Abinoam Jr.

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