In the mid 1990’s, Yukihiro Matsumoto began designing and developing a new programming language which utilised Perl syntax along with Smalltalk features and named this new development, Ruby. This is considered to be a very robust language which is capable of handling many different paradigms from functions to objects. It is a dynamic development language as well as automatic memory. It is considered to be very similar to Python, Perl, Lisp as well as Dylan and CLU simultaneously. As of current the latest release known as 1.8.6 is written in the C and is considered to be a single pass language. Unlike many other languages out there though, there is no specification to the language so as a result, the original implementing of the language in the mid 1990’s is considered to be its reference. Furthermore, there are many variations to date of the language including YARV, Rubinius, JRuby, Ruby on Rails as well as IronRuby and MacRuby.
The name of Ruby was a joint naming between Yukihiro and Keiju Ishitsuka in which two proposed names were decided upon that included both Ruby as well as Coral. As a result, the name Ruby was chosen as it correlated with the birthstone of one of Matsumoto’s colleagues. Furthermore, while Ruby is the birthstone of July, Perl is that of June which also signified that the language was to be a successor to that of the Perl scripting language.
In December of 1995, Ruby was officially released as version 0.95, however within only 2 days, three new versions of the language were released. At first it was only released in Japan and even had a large mailing list associated with its release which became known as the Ruby List. By 1996 though, version 1.0 was ready to be released and through the Ruby List, more developments and changes were made to the language until version 1.3 was released in 1999. The following year, due to the growing popularity of the language in Japan, a newly updated version was made available in English for the first time.
Matsumoto has stated that the development of Ruby is for the developers themselves. He wanted something that was both productive as well as fun to use and as a result it has an excellent user interface that stresses on human interaction rather than computing capabilities. All too often it has been shown that too much emphasis has been placed on the machine rather than the users of the machine. As a result engineers always attempt to make the machine more powerful and faster without focusing on the important aspects such as that of the users of the machine and their needs.
All in all, Ruby is a fun language to learn and a growing number of web servers today are now supporting this language which makes using it for dynamic website development increasingly popular.
Original Authors: Nick
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 22/12/2008