In what is definitely the “coup of the week,” the JRuby team has decided to move wholesale from Sun to Engine Yard. Engine Yard has done an outstanding job of concentrating major amounts of Ruby experts in one place. With the JRuby move, I’m inclined to say that the bulk (or close to it) of Ruby development (i.e., development of the Ruby language and related technologies not development in the Ruby language) seems to be occurring under Engine Yard’s umbrella. I spoke with Charlie Nutter, JRuby Architect, and Michael Mullany, VP of Marketing at Engine Yard, about this news. Here’s what they told me.

The JRuby core team is three-and-a-half people right now. The three people who work full-time on it were employees of Sun (the fourth person, who works part-time, is still with ThoughtWorks) and are now employees of Engine Yard. Charlie told me that the reason for the move is that Engine Yard is a company that really understands Ruby development and has a strong commitment to it. They have the talent and experience in house and can dedicate more resources to JRuby, which means that it is a going to be even more successful in the future.

I also talked with them a bit about where JRuby fits into the great Ruby and Java communities. Charlie explained that JRuby has very good performance because the JVM is now an extremely fast environment; in addition, working on the JVM opens up a lot of possibilities. Another advantage with JRuby is that Java libraries can be called from within Ruby code, allowing Ruby developers a lot more flexibility in their code.

Overall, it sounds like this is going to be a positive change for JRuby, and I wish the team the best of luck. I hear nothing but great things about JRuby, and I think that it is wonderful how many options have opened up in the world of Java development over the last few years.


Disclosure of Justin’s industry affiliations: Justin James has a working arrangement with Microsoft to write an article for MSDN Magazine. He also has a contract with Spiceworks to write product buying guides.


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