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Happy 18th Birthday, Ruby!

By Peter Cooper / February 24, 2011

Yes, I'm sad enough to have had this in my calendar for some time but.. it's Ruby's 18th "birthday" today! Happy Birthday Ruby! While this means it can drink, vote, and otherwise join its slightly older friends Perl (24) and Python (21) in the nightclubs of Europe, I was surprised to learn that coming of age in Japan is at 20 years old.

From Wikipedia's Ruby entry:

The name "Ruby" was decided on during an online chat session between Matsumoto and Keiju Ishitsuka on February 24, 1993, before any code had been written for the language. Initially two names were proposed: "Coral" and "Ruby", with the latter being chosen by Matsumoto in a later email to Ishitsuka. Matsumoto has later stated that a factor in choosing the name "Ruby" was because it was the birthstone of one of his colleagues.


If you're interested in learning more, this interview with Matz back in 2001 will give you more history and background to the creation of Ruby.

While Matz has said that February 24, 1993 is Ruby's "birthday" (back when I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston was topping the charts), the first public release wasn't until December 21, 1995 when Ruby 0.95 was released and the first mailing list established. Ruby 1.0 followed a year later on December 25, 1996, establishing the tradition of Christmas Day Ruby releases.

Here's to 18 more years of Ruby, I hope!


  1. Matthew Rudy Jacobs says:

    The same time as "I will always love you"?
    Seems appropriate that they're planning a remake of that

    Perhaps we should remake Ruby with a "young female singer with global appeal" as the new Matz.

  2. pinnicky says:

    The young girl isn't hot enough -- also ruby should be a japanese female.

    I vote for:

    Also note the red hair ;)

  3. Domenico Delle Side says:

    It is sad for all italian Ruby programmers that whenever we search something related to the programming language on the Internet the results are dirtied by many links related to our prime minister's sordid sex scandals!

  4. Peter Cooper says:

    If I arbitrarily picked a "hot" Japanese woman for this post, I would have gotten way too much stick..

  5. Andrew Chalkley says:

    Sadly I knew who that young woman was without the need of your foot note.

  6. Kerry Buckley says:

    The name "Ruby" was decided on during an online chat session between Matsumoto and Keiju Ishitsuka on February 24, 1993, before any code had been written for the language.

    18 years since conception then, surely, rather than birth?

  7. Peter Cooper says:

    Nowt wrong with a bit of Eastenders every now and then! That said, I'd rather watch Hollyoaks.. *g*

  8. Antonio says:

    Yeah i share my birthday with Ruby, I'll never forget it now.

  9. Pepe says:

    Heh. You made me think about Berlusconi.

  10. Peter Cooper says:

    @Kerry: Haha, it would seem that way, but the word "birthday" was used by Matz also so.. :-)

  11. skrat says:

    And still... so far from adulthood.

  12. Pablo says:

    I had never thought of ruby as a "she"... I aways imagined it as a badass samurai.

    Makes sense though

  13. Fellipe Soares says:

    Representing developers Ruby of Brazil, what a great day! Come the adult!

  14. Berlusconi says:

    How about Berlusconi's "Ruby"? Don't know if she's 18 yet though...

  15. Peter Cooper says:

    There are a lot more Berlusconi fans reading than I'd have thought!

  16. Avdi Grimm says:

    Frustrating... I was going to post a link to the original Japanese Ruby mascot, which was (I am not making this up) a scantily-clad manga girl. But I can't seem to dig it up.

  17. Avdi Grimm says:

    Ah, here we go, straight from 1999: (warning, mildly NSFW).

  18. Pingback: Tweets that mention Happy 18th Birthday, Ruby! --

  19. Just a Guy says:

    Ruby is 18 years old? How can it be modern? I thought old languages sucked and Ruby was the new hotness?

    Did a framework make it useable for the web? i'm so confused! I have to reconsidere everything about PHP, ASP, Java, ColdFusion, Python and Perl.

  20. Pingback: Celebrating Ruby’s Birthday | ChurchCode

  21. Andrew Grimm says:

    "it's happened before *sigh*"

    How long ago was this?

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