[MacRuby-devel] The future of MacRuby

Matt Aimonetti mattaimonetti at gmail.com
Thu Apr 5 15:06:27 PDT 2012

*Many of you have been wondering what is going on with the MacRuby project
given the lack of up-to-date releases and overall communication.
I feel we owe you some explanation.

As a lot of you have noticed, our de-facto project leader Laurent
Sansonetti has been M.I.A since October 2011, his last post to this mailing
list being
MacRuby 0.11 really soon.
His last commit was a change of license back in October:
Laurent is fine. As described on his twitter http://twitter.com/lrz and
LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/sansonetti accounts, Laurent is no
longer with Apple and is clearly also no longer directly involved with the
MacRuby project on a day-to-day basis.
Laurent is currently busy with another project and and hopes to someday be
able to contribute to the MacRuby project again.

While no one on this list can speak for Apple, and Apple as a company does
not tend to comment on its future plans or intentions, I think it's
reasonable to imagine that Apple would be more than happy to have the
MacRuby project decide for itself what its destiny is and how to achieve
it.  If they did not want the community to be involved or drive such a
process, they would not have released MacRuby as open source or created the
project infrastructure to facilitate it.   It is time for us to stop
looking to Apple to provide guidance, leadership and coding for the
project, in other words, and take on those challenges for ourselves!
  MacRuby is already very powerful and comparatively stable as a
development platform, now it's time for us to take things to the next level.

I personally think it will finally allow us to communicate and collaborate
on the actual process of development as it occurs, rather than the previous
practice of simply seeing code appear from some hidden, internal branch
which was driven almost exclusively by a single person

Doing all of this in the open should lead to far more people being
interested in the project, not just as users but as developers and leaders.
 No one rushes to fill a position that is occupied by someone else, but now
we have a vacuum to fill, and that can be a good thing in terms of
encouraging more people to step forward.

Here is how I see things and I would love to hear more about what you guys
MacRuby is a great project, but:

   - the target audience & projects aren't clear
   - the target platform (OS X) isn't the one we all really want to target
   - Cocoa's API is awesome but not user friendly/easy to grasp

What I'd like to suggest is the following:

1. Define clear goals for MacRuby that we can easily evaluate:

   - Focus primarily on making MacRuby the tool to use for quickly
   prototyping OS X and iOS applications.
   - Remove dependency on libauto so MacRuby can run post Mountain Lion and
   on iOS.

2. Increase the number of contributors:

   - Define areas of contribution:
      - implementation itself (mainly requires C, C++ knowledge)
      - prototyping focus (templates, wrapper APIs, modules, tools: a full
      ecosystem aimed at being more productive)
      - documentation (getting started, guides, FAQs, wiki, demos, hacker
      - support

   - empower contributors:
      - move the website to github for easier contribution
      - better release process and roadmap
      - better process to review pull requests & give commit rights

3. Improve communication:

   - start an active and official chat room (IRC, campfire like or
   something else)
   - open discussions about plans for the project and progress made
   - better collaboration with other Ruby implementation teams (Rubinius,
   JRuby, MagLev and of course Matz/C Ruby)

Let's not forget that MacRuby is and will remain a free Open Source project
and that means we need your help and support.
Without you, this project doesn't mean much so please voice your opinion
and if you decide to do so, become an active participant to MacRuby's

I would like to thank Apple for their historical support and Laurent for
starting this project and all his work so far. Without those contributions,
MacRuby would never have existed and the project will more than welcome any
future participation by either Apple or Laurent.
At the same time, I don't think the future of this project can or should
rest on the shoulders of a single corporate entity, or that of a single
individual.  That does not encourage the kind of broad participation, or
the kind of overall longevity (in the form of future generations of
contributors) that Open Source projects really need to survive over the
long term.
Finally, I'd like to make clear that I see myself more in a role of a
facilitator than a technical leader on the order of what Laurent was. This
role has been left vacant for more than 6 months now and needs to be filled
by a group of people with greater technical skills than mine. Additional
contributors are therefore more than welcome to join the team, and their
support will be as much appreciated as it is needed.

Finally, in addition to the already numerous great MacRuby contributors and
soon to become contributors, Evan Phoenix (Rubinius) agreed to act as an
advisor for the project.

So, MacRuby community what do you think?*
*- Matt*
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