RubyFlow The Ruby and Rails community linklog


The Ruby and Rails community linklog

Made a library? Written a blog post? Found a useful tutorial? Share it with the Ruby community here or just enjoy what everyone else has found!

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.

How about the team at Thoughtbot: Shoulda, Factory Girl, Paperclip

Satish and _why

Meaning and Shoes!!

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 !

Akita on Rails, author of first Rails 2.0 RESTful tutorial

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.

You can’t leave out the Phusion guys. They radically changed the deployment of Ruby on the Web. :)

Heh, I actually think his post explaining the security fixes was extremely useful.

Giles Bowkett

for his innovative music generator and this awesome presentation

Yehuda Katz of Engine Yard Ezra Z of Engine Yard

for Merb 1.0 !

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 :)

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.

Aslak Hellesy with Cucumber

Aslak Hellesoy with Cucumber

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)

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. :)

I would suggest the JRuby team!

_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)

Peter Cooper for RubyInside, RubyFlow The Merb Team

DataMapper and Merb contributors: they are actually about 10-15 people and not 2-3 “core members” like some tend to think.

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.

I totally vote for the Phusion guys, they had the most relevant impact on the whole community, definitely.

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.

Guy Decoux (ts)

We miss him still.


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 :)

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.

Thoughtbot: Paperclip, Shoulda, Hoptoad, Factory Girl Github Ryan Bates: RailsCasts

+1 Yehuda Katz, Merb 1.0 +1 Charles Nutter, JRuby and the RailsEnvy guys, for keepin’ it all funny.

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.

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.

PS: The phusion guys.

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 Decoux
  • Evan Phoenix of Rubinius
  • Aaron Patterson and John Barnette of Johnson

And how about the ruby master Christian Guimaraes, from Reuters agency staff?

Clearly, Sven Fuchs for leading rails-i18n. Also the passenger guys.

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).

Hongli Lai & Ninh Bui, for Passenger!

Come on, someone has to mention Flay! Sure Cucumber is awesome, but Flay makes me smile.

JRuby guys for delivering a masterpiece :)

Hongli Lai, Ninh Bui and the rest of the Phusion team working on Passenger. They have done brilliant work!

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.

Scott Chacon for sharing his vast knowledge of Git:, GitCasts, Gist,, Git Internals book, GitHub gem, conference talks, the list goes on.

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.

RGhost the best gem

Top Teacher: Dr Nic Top Tool: GitHub Top Gem: Sinatra Top Team: Logical Awesome

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/RubyFringe

Yet another vote for:

Giles, presentation _why, shoes

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.

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. Nic

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. Nic

What about Gregory Brown for his Ruby Mendicant project which brought us Prawn?

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!

oh yeah and those Phusion guys~!

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 Hellesøy) 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)

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