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Which Rubyists have rocked 2008?

I'm putting together a series for Ruby Inside that will profile some of the Ruby developers who've had a prominent effect or done a lot for the Ruby (and Rails) community in 2008. I have a few names already, but who would you nominate? I don't want to miss anyone obvious. This post is also a good way for you to show appreciation to any Ruby developers who've had an effect on you in the last year. So, yeah, this is a bit of a "love in" post! :-) Thanks in advance.


Jay Phillips, the developer of Adhearsion.Jason - November 23, 2008 14:21
How about the team at Thoughtbot: Shoulda, Factory Girl, Papercliphardbap - November 23, 2008 14:26
Satish and _why

Meaning and Shoes!!ashbb - November 23, 2008 14:58
And About Fabio Akita !

The mentor and fundamental organizer (with help from the nice people from LocaWeb), of the Rails Summit Latin America 2008.

The first International Rails Event in Latin America ever !Marcos Ricardo - November 23, 2008 15:03
Akita on Rails, author of first Rails 2.0 RESTful tutorialkotosha - November 23, 2008 15:06
Fabio Akita for organizing the first ever International Rails Event in Latin America.

_why for Shoes

Satish Talim for promoting Ruby in India; teaching Ruby to thousands of professionals and for introducing Ruby in the computer science stream at the University of Pune, India.Sunil Kelkar, India - November 23, 2008 15:06
You can't leave out the Phusion guys. They radically changed the deployment of Ruby on the Web. :)Antonio_Cangiano - November 23, 2008 15:13
Heh, I actually think his post explaining the security fixes was extremely useful.Baz - November 23, 2008 15:16
Giles Bowkett

for his innovative music generator and this awesome presentationSoleone - November 23, 2008 15:49
Yehuda Katz of Engine Yard
Ezra Z of Engine Yard

for Merb 1.0 !highandwild - November 23, 2008 15:53
Awesome suggestions so far, and all of my personal selections (so far) have been covered in this thread so far, so it seems to be going well :)PeterCooper - November 23, 2008 16:00
Eric Hodel - RubyGems, RDoc, autotest and so many rubinius commits
Ryan Davis - ParseTree, ruby2ruby, miniunit, flay, flog and many other tools.
Chris2 - For his work on Rack, which has been awesome all the way.gnufied - November 23, 2008 17:43
Aslak Hellesy with CucumberEvan Light - November 23, 2008 17:46
Aslak Hellesoy with CucumberEvan Light - November 23, 2008 17:46
There were many, so I'm bound to miss some names. How about a few I'm able to type within a minute (and who aren't already mentioned in other comments).

* Evan and the team (Rubinius)
* Marc-Andre Cournoyer (Thin) for a great server
* Ilya ( for awesome and educating blog posts
* Mark Bates (Mack) for a really promising framework
* GitHub guys (too hard to believe it's not directly Ruby related)Gaveen - November 23, 2008 17:58
I think Ben Johnson without question. The libraries he released this year are outstanding and have saved me hours in both my rails and merb applications:


If it came down to time saved and ultimately benefitting me the most, I think he is a worthy mention. Also, he has been extremely helpful in both email and lighthouse, so this is my way of saying thank you. :)Charles - November 23, 2008 20:55
I would suggest the JRuby team!Harm Kabisa - November 23, 2008 21:34
_why (for being _why, Shoes, and making the drawings for Flanagan/Matz's book)
Giles Bowkett (for arx, presentation, utility_belt and blog)
Phusion team (for Passenger, REE)
JRuby team (for long term importance)
Ryan Davis (for his very cool stuff)Diogo Lisboa - November 23, 2008 21:44
Peter Cooper for RubyInside, RubyFlow
The Merb TeamAaron Gibson - November 23, 2008 23:47
DataMapper and Merb contributors: they are actually about 10-15 people and not 2-3 "core members" like some tend to think.Michael - November 23, 2008 23:51
How can so many of the previous post not name the Phusion team?
They defintely rock and killed the last problem of Rails : deployment. Now, thanks to them, deployement is as it should always have been : just as easy as the rest of the framework.Chewbie - November 24, 2008 00:13
I totally vote for the Phusion guys, they had *the* most relevant impact on the whole community, definitely.AkitaOnRails - November 24, 2008 02:14
The Phusion Guys, for Passenger
Giles Bowkett, for his presentation
Smarticus, for TATFT
Jeremy McAnally, for Context and Matchy
_why, for Shoes
Zed, for keeping us on our toes.PJ Davis - November 24, 2008 04:27
Guy Decoux (ts)

We miss him still.

RIP Guyrobert - November 24, 2008 05:01
if I had to sum up the year of 2008 for Ruby, I think of these things, in particular ... some may have existed pre-2008, but I associate them with this year ...

* Github
* Passenger
* Thin
* RailsCasts
* RubyFlow
* JRuby
* Shoes
* Merb

Rack is hotness, but I associate it more with 2007. Cucumber is also hot, but I think I'll eventually associate it with 2009.

Github has made a *huge* impact on the Ruby community. Passenger/Thin has made huge impacts on the way we deploy our Ruby web apps. _why's always doing awesome things - this year, it was mostly Shoes. RubyFlow's been a great addition to the community, as has RailsCasts. I feel like JRuby really became a viable option for a Ruby implementation this year and I feel like Merb really became a viable option for a Rails-esque Ruby web framework - both were around pre-2008, but are much more stable, currently.

It's been a really exciting year :)remi - November 24, 2008 07:47
You all seem to forget the Rail i18n team, which made localization of Rails apps not only possible but possible without neccessary pain. As a result of their work, every string in Rails itself is now localized.

For the (positivive) "general impact", of course Github guys are clear winners to me. Github really elevated coding, learning from other's code, sharing code, installing code (and using Git) on completely another level.karmi - November 24, 2008 08:57
Thoughtbot: Paperclip, Shoulda, Hoptoad, Factory Girl
Ryan Bates: RailsCastsovamode - November 24, 2008 09:28
+1 Yehuda Katz, Merb 1.0
+1 Charles Nutter, JRuby
and the RailsEnvy guys, for keepin' it all funny.Jake - November 24, 2008 17:36
Coolest/Best Ruby tool of 2008: Cucumber/Aslak
Coolest/Best tool to help a Ruby developer of 2008: Github
Coolest/Best Ruby implementation in 2008: MacRuby/Laurent

I don't think "Best" is a relevant metric for the Ruby community and its contributions. Coolness, amusement, quirkiness. These are the things of value, I think.drnic - November 25, 2008 04:56
Jeremy Evans (sequel, scaffolding extensions, etc.)
Chris Neukirchen (rack, bacon, etc.)

Less ego, less ranting, more awesome code from these guys. The loudest aren't necessarily the best.ben - November 25, 2008 07:07
PS: The phusion guys.ben - November 25, 2008 07:11
In general, I think the Ruby world is maturing very the sense of wine, not turning to disillusioned drones with a mid-life crisis. Special mentions from my point of view:


* Wayne Meissner for making FFI available to all Ruby users.
* The Merb team for practical application of TAMTOWTDI and just a very Rubyish web framework.
* Hongli Lai, Ninh Bui and the rest of the folks working on Passenger.


* Laurent Sansonetti for the literally awesome MacRuby by himself!
* The JRuby team for their continued excellent implementation work, definite help in introducing Ruby into the "enterprise" field and fearlessly jumping in on the Rubinius FFI initiative.

Lifetime achievement:

* Guy Decouxrue - November 25, 2008 12:53
* Evan Phoenix of Rubinius
* Aaron Patterson and John Barnette of JohnsonPhil - November 27, 2008 04:19
And how about the ruby master Christian Guimaraes, from Reuters agency staff?Arian Ferdinand - November 27, 2008 13:06
Clearly, Sven Fuchs for leading rails-i18n. Also the passenger guys.Marko - November 27, 2008 18:14
Rick Olsen and Ryan Bates. Yes, they've been around for a while but they haven't stopped!
And the github guys.
Also, Pat Allen (thinking-sphinx).Anonymous Coward - December 03, 2008 03:09
Hongli Lai & Ninh Bui, for Passenger!Andre L - December 11, 2008 06:26
Come on, someone has to mention Flay! Sure Cucumber is awesome, but Flay makes me smile.eipipuz - December 11, 2008 06:47
JRuby guys for delivering a masterpiece :)globtroter - December 11, 2008 07:18
Hongli Lai, Ninh Bui and the rest of the Phusion team working on Passenger. They have done brilliant work!Willem - December 11, 2008 07:27
Confreaks - for making high quality videos of many Ruby conferences and then giving all of the content away on the web for free. Such a great resource. B - December 11, 2008 08:17
Scott Chacon for sharing his vast knowledge of Git:, GitCasts, Gist,, Git Internals book, GitHub gem, conference talks, the list goes on.Scott B - December 11, 2008 08:23
So it seems the nominations have been made already, but appreciation is still nice:

Pat Allan (Thinking Sphinx) has been extremely helpful and generous with his time on the Thinking Sphinx mailing list. All while doing pro-bono webdev for a NGO in Cambodia:

Mike Gunderloy ( has blogged in great detail about Rails 2.2 news which has been very helpful.

And everyone that has contributed to and

Also the Merb team for getting to 1.0. Merb has improved in leaps and bounds.Henrik N - December 11, 2008 10:37
RGhost the best gemVladmir Vlazi - December 11, 2008 11:12
Top Teacher: Dr Nic
Top Tool: GitHub
Top Gem: Sinatra
Top Team: Logical AwesomeAslak Helles√ły - December 11, 2008 11:30
Top Teacher: Ryan Bates
Top Presentation: Greg Pollack - Scaling Ruby/Top 25 Ruby Innovations of 2008
Top Blogger: _Why
Top Tool: Github
Top Implementation: JRuby
Top Team: Rubinius/JRuby
Top Event: RubyConf/RubyFringeMatthew Williams (@mailliam) - December 11, 2008 12:44
Yet another vote for:

Giles, presentation
_why, shoesPhill - December 11, 2008 15:39
Top General Tool: Github
Top Testing tool: Cucumber/Aslak
Top Teacher: David Chelimsky
Top Team: Logical Awesome

Also of mention I think is Pivotal labs. Pushing lots of great tools out there.josephwilk - December 11, 2008 15:50
Top Innovation Tool: GitHub - Logical Awesome
Top Testing/Design Tool: Cucumber - Aslak & Dave
Top Deployment "Tool": Passenger - Phusion
Top Ruby Implementation: JRuby - Charles & Crew
Coolest Coder: _why
Coolest Blogger: Dr. NicOle Christian Rynning - December 11, 2008 16:18
Err bolds in wrong places, and on second thought, I don't like Passenger enough to that much. (And some other minor adjustments).

Coolest Innovation Tool: GitHub - Logical Awesome
Coolest gem: Cucumber - Aslak
Coolest Ruby Implementation: JRuby - Charles & JRuby Crew
Coolest Coder: _why
Coolest Blogger: Dr. NicAnonymous Coward - December 11, 2008 16:26
What about Gregory Brown for his Ruby Mendicant project which brought us Prawn?tie-rack - December 11, 2008 16:34
This is awesome - thanks for the pointers!

I will try and roundup those who are mentioned here but not part of the top 10 (of my choosing - which doesn't make it authoritative of course!) into a post on December 31.. nice way to round off the year with some hearty congratulations!PeterCooper - December 12, 2008 03:35
oh yeah and those Phusion guys~!Authlogic - December 12, 2008 06:39
Some thoughts...

_why for Shoes
Ben Johnson for creating the best damn authentication scheme for Ruby frameworks
Bryan Liles for telling people to Test All The Fucking Time
The RSpec team (Aslak Helles√ły) for Cucumber

Tough for me to choose. But I would have to pick _why. He's really decoupled Ruby from the web frameworks that have made it famous. (Shoes 2 is awesome)bcardarella - December 21, 2008 19:29
Pretty cool set of resources...thanks
Mobile POS
Contactless POS
Fingerprint POS
Credit Card Terminal
Point of Sale
.mecoo - July 20, 2009 03:49

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