Ruby Weekly is a weekly newsletter covering the latest Ruby and Rails news.

Ruby GUI Survey Results: Shoes Is The Most Popular Ruby GUI Toolkit

By Peter Cooper / February 26, 2009

guis.pngIn late 2008, 399 Ruby developers took part in the 2008 Ruby GUI Survey, conducted by Alex Fenton. The results are now available. There's a brief summary of the results, as well as an excellent 20 page report (!!) and a separate 16 page PDF giving the per-question totals.

Ruby's not well known for being used to develop regular desktop applications. Part of the reason has been, until recently, a lack of good GUI-related libraries. Tk, which is included with Ruby's standard library, can be used to develop desktop apps, but they're frightfully ugly and the API is from the stone age (it also received the lowest scores in the survey for how well it met users' requirements). Things are changing quickly though with developments including Shoes, wxRuby, FXRuby, and Monkeybars (for JRuby).

The key finding of the 2008 Ruby GUI Survey is that why the lucky stiff's Shoes is currently the most popular (amongst the respondents, in any case) Ruby GUI library, with Ruby-GNOME2 placing second, and wxRuby third - though they're all very close. Ruby-GNOME2 was, however, strongly preferred by the Japanese respondents.

For the full results and more insights, check out the results for yourself.


  1. Scott Thorpe says:

    I just wrote a windows application with wxRuby. I have to say building the application with these items as the recipe.

    1. Installed the wxruby gem.

    2. Installed wx_sugar gem.

    3. Downloaded wxFormBuilder.

    4. Xrcise for xrc autogenerated to ruby.

    5. Downloaded RubyScript2exe.

    6. Then I downloaded Inno Setup Compiler.

    Makes a really clean and professional application. PLUS, you don't have to add anything extra like ActiveTcl....YUK. I really, like wxRuby framework. I will certainly be working on contributing to the project.

  2. Felipe Mesquita says:

    RuGUI is also a good project:

  3. Zhao Difei says:

    any famous GNOME application developed by ruby-GNOME2?

  4. ab5tract says:

    Shoes is more of a Ruby distribution than a "GUI library."

Other Posts to Enjoy

Twitter Mentions