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Ruby’s Top 10 of 2008: Thanking Those Who’ve Made Ruby Great This Year

By Peter Cooper / December 11, 2008

rubytop10logo.png2008 has been an interesting year for Ruby. Some people are going to remember 2008 as a snarky, uncivil year, filled with call outs, lay-offs and bitchiness. There has been an increase in negative articles about Ruby, even from prominent Rubyists. Back in November, KirinDave said that Ruby is in "a very bad place" and lacks momentum.. as if!

Back in the real world, Ruby has been doing just fine. Ruby 1.9.1 is due for final release any time soon, a ton of awesome libraries and technologies have been released or previewed, and Ruby (and Rails and Merb) powered Web apps have continued to flourish. This isn't because of any significant strides in the development of Ruby itself, but due to an ongoing effort by new and old Rubyists alike to keep making things better (and, in some cases, to put money in their own pocket - but who doesn't want to do that?)

Launching the Ruby Top 10 of 2008!

To celebrate just some of the people who've been working hard in the Ruby world in 2008 (or projects or companies), Ruby Inside is running a series of posts highlighting "top" Rubyists or Ruby achievements in several areas. The series starts tomorrow with "Top Teacher" and runs till the end of the month / year.

As each post goes up, this post will be updated with links to them, but for now - the categories are:

So now you're saying "You could thank them in a single post!" right? Noooo.. they're all going to be profiled in posts spanning from now till the end of the year. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. Alternatively, get into the comments right now and say who/what you think should come top of these categories. It won't change the ultimate result, but it'll be interesting to see a wide range of opinions.

Want to feel some love right now?

If you're really anxious to find out who loves who, check out this 38 comment thread on RubyFlow where people made some nominations for this top 10. Ultimately I chose entirely based upon my own opinion, though only two of the top 10 were not mentioned there.. so it's well worth reading.


  1. SoftMind says:


    I would like to suggest one more category to be added along with others.

    Top Rails/Merb Hosting Provider.

    No project is completed without deployment, and Hosting is a significant part of development.


  2. Peter Cooper says:

    These categories are already defined (and they're arbitrary - if I do it again next year, they'll probably be different) but if enough people have nominations for other categories I can certainly give them a roundup on December 31.

    So.. if you want to nominate a top host, top screencaster, top [whatever], by all means do!

  3. Don says:

    Due to the font, and me skimming that list quickly, I thought you had a "Top Hitler" category. That would have been... something.

  4. Peter Cooper says:

    Ha, it does look like that doesn't it :) Well, any nominations for Top Hitler are also welcome. I'm sure I could think of a few myself *g*

  5. Ryan Bates says:

    Since we're not talking baseball, what is a Hitter?

  6. David R says:

    I bet I know who's leading the running for "Top Tool"! But "Similar Posts" seems to have its own prediction... wonder how it knows.

  7. Peter Cooper says:

    I had trouble naming that category. I wanted to use "slogger" but I didn't think it'd carry well in the US - being a cricket term. The best parallel I could think of was "hitter". As well as being a cricket term, "slogger" is slang for someone who consistently works hard and "gets stuff done." In this case it's someone who's released a lot of libraries, worked on a lot of projects, etc.

    "Top Effort" sounded a bit childish, "Top Grafter" sounded even more slangy than "hitter".. but I'm open to suggestions for a replacement..!

  8. Peter Cooper says:

    David R: Hahahaha. No, not tool in that meaning unfortunately ;-)

  9. Brandon says:

    Those of us across the pond appreciate your efforts to localize to en-us. However a little English flavor never hurt us (except maybe the flavor of tea in the 1700s) and "Top Slogger" is a bit more interesting than "Top Hitter"... perhaps it would have stuck in the Ruby world, and we'd all start (unknowingly) using a cricket term.

  10. Peter Cooper says:

    Thanks Brandon :)

    However, I hate cricket with an absolute passion, so I certainly have no problem going with the US variant in this instance ;-)

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