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RubyKaigi Day 1 The Matz Keynote

Okay this is my notes from Matz’s Keynote. I was 5 minutes late since finding lunch took a really long time to find anything around the area unfortunately. Unfortunately, most of the visiting Rubyists decided to do KFC however Charles Nutter decided to stick it through and we finally found a nice Yakiniku restaurant to eat at but that ended up being the reason I was 5 minutes late… okay anyways here are my notes from in the middle of the talk…

Matz was talking about sanctuaries and how some technologies have built their sanctuaries over time. Here are some sanctuaries he mentioned and some of their defining characteristics:

  • UNIX
    • The filter (wahoo!)
    • “Worse is better” aka the New Jersey School of Design (I always ask myself just how much worse though..)
    • Convenience over perfection
  • Smalltalk
    • OOP, deep OOP
    • Targeted at children (funny how only greybeards really use this language now discounting eToys)
    • Bytecode VM but not the first to have one but one of the more prominent ones
    • A dynamic language implementation with decades of hard-earned experience, wisdom and knowledge around it
  • java
    • Well Java seems to fulfill business and ‘enterprise needs’ (for now)
    • Java was originally slow however time has changed that perception. Java’s speed complaints have mostly faded away (But I still complain about a 30 second startup time for the VM)
    • Absorbed many other ideas from other languages (VM, Garbage Collection, Exception Handling)
    • Java has one of the fastest Garbage Collected VMs now (with the amount of engineering effort thrown at it I’d hope so)

    Matz then describes that Sanctuaries tend to go through the following phases

    • Hackers gathered
    • New technology is born
    • The world changed (because of the technology? Missed this…)

    Don’t forget about centripetal forces during these stages. The community matters quite a bit. According to Matz, 50% of the types of OSes out there in this world are some type of UNIX.

    Finally, he goes on to describe the Ruby Sanctuary and its defining characteristics

    • For Rubyists, feeling matters. Focus on the human and the joys programming
    • It inherited many things from the past. Lisp metaprogramming, Smalltalk OOP, UNIX text processing
    • Productivity matters. Machines are faster but people’s time is much more expensive
    • Agility matters. Environments change and embracing the changes is the right thing

    At this point a person from Rakuten comes up on stage and talks about some projects that Matz has been collaborating with.

    One is called ROMA which is some sort of distributed memory data storage (think memcached with some more ability for data integrity in case of failures)

    The other one is called fairy which is supposed to be a lightweight distributed programming framework.

    Unfortunately it seems that both projects are rather delayed and it doesn’t seem apparent if these projects will be Open Sourced or not. That is rather disappointing to me but can’t have everything for free now can we?

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