RubyConf 2008 Keynote by Matsumoto

Thursday AM Keynote by Matz

This is Matz:

He’s talking about his love of languages, and why he got into Ruby.

He’s addressing some of the criticisms, that it’s slow, poorly implemented, embedding issues…he says the list of complaints goes on forever.

But, now he’s talking about why is Ruby good. He says people say it’s enjoyable, that Ruby made programming fun again.

He says he got into BASIC in 1980, and is talking about his problems with it. He says that one thing was the lack of being able to define data types. Everything is predefined, and you can’t change much.

He is talking a bit about LISP, and says some good things about it. He then complains about the parentheses in LISP, then puts up a slide that just says “No.”

He says he likes the aristocracy, as long as he is in power. BASIC gives you no power, LISP gives you full power. But, the problem is that at both ends of the spectrum, we lose popularity. It’s all about balance. You don’t want to go off the cliff of power with LISP, but you want to be able to be near the edge of the cliff — where BASIC isn’t.

He’s talking about why people choose Ruby. When he asks how many people choose Ruby because of Rails, about 60-70% of the room raises their hand. Matz points out that Rails is basically just a DSL for turning Ruby into a web language. He also points out that they are not at RailsConf, they are at RubyConf. This gets a laugh.

Again, talking about LISP, he says it’s a good DSL.

“There are under one million professional Ruby developers now, and we’re projecting there will be four million plus by 2013” — Mark Driver, Gartner analyst

Matz says “The future is bright…too bright maybe. Beware commercial success” He says, right now, we have the community and enthusiasm. In the coming years, we’ll have more money and more job titles. With these resources, come better implementations of Ruby. He says some of these are here now, but there will be more to make Ruby faster, more feature rich, and providing more satisfaction to us, the developers. He also says one of the great things will be all the new developers who are coming to Ruby, and he says “Welcome them, nourish them”. He says there are people who learn Ruby as a first language, and they go on to become great programmers. [Tim: I wonder what happens to people who start in Ruby, and then see C++]

He says he loves us all.

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