Don’t Blink: Keeping Up with the Exploding Ruby Space

I recently realized I have more things tagged ruby and toread on than I can possibly hope to process. I’ve never been close to a developing technical community before, if following blogs and news sites, and occasionally trying stuff out for myself counts as being close. Is this how it normally goes? Just when you feel like you’re keeping up with one web framework, here come two more. Finally got the hang of Active Record? Forget that, it’s for losers! All the cool kids are using something else. Thor’s Hammer? Johnson? Good grief. Take a look at RubyFringe’s program. Are you on top of all that?

Maybe it’s just the process of better things displacing others, or spurring them to improve themselves and compete. But I wonder, how many of these new technologies will survive the calendar year? Maybe you should look now, and don’t blink, because this looks more like churn to me. There’s nothing wrong with that — sometimes a good idea won’t make it big, but it influences a slicker execution, albeit one you’d have to learn an entire new language to use. Heck, maybe Ruby will only serve to get us all programming in Erlang. One thing is certain: grokking a new framework, or a continuation-based web server, or an ancient programming language, isn’t a task for a single distracted afternoon. It’s going to continue to be hard work.