I last wrote about Engine Yard back when they were working to create a language reference for Ruby.  It’s great to see that Engine Yard remains committed to the Ruby community.  Last week Engine Yard & the Ruby core team announced that it has taken over maintenance for the 1.8.6 branch of Ruby.

Ruby 1.8.6 was released in 2007 and the new 1.9 branch was released earlier this year.  According to the Ruby core team, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain the 1.8 branch, which most Ruby users are on, and introduce new features into the 1.9 branch.  Engine Yard stepped forward to lighten the load on the Ruby core developers since 1.8.6 users want to see it supported well beyond the time frame that the Ruby core team had originally planned.

This is a win-win for Engine Yard and the Ruby community.  Rapid bug fixes for the widely used (amongst Ruby users) Ruby 1.8.6 release ensures current Ruby users can continue to run those apps without having to migrate.  New features faster into the 1.9 relapse stream means it’ll be easier for the Ruby community to attract new developers to build new applications with Ruby.  This in turn is goodness for Engine Yard’s hosting offerings for Ruby applications.

I often forget how much I dread migrating my application to newer, supported, runtimes.  I only do it when I absolutely have to. I’m certain that I’m not alone.  Kudos to Engine Yard for recognizing this and helping Ruby users.

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