Happy 18th Birthday, Ruby!
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!