[Ironruby-core] "Start spreading the news"

Orion Edwards orion.edwards at gmail.com
Sun Aug 8 17:43:14 EDT 2010

I'm sure most of you have seen this already, but I hadn't seen Jimmy's "farewell Microsoft" blog post posted to the list, so here it is if anyone hasn't read it


I'd like to thank Jimmy for his work thus far on IronRuby, and certainly wish you the best of luck at your new job and living in NYC. From that point of view, it's happy days.

The news about Microsoft's internal handling of IronRuby however makes me rather sad, and frankly a bit worried about the future of IronRuby in general. If there's now only 2 part-time developers working on IR inside Microsoft, and they've been told not to develop any new features, then where does that leave us?

While IronRuby is open source (yay), It unfortunately hasn't seem to have become quite big enough (unlike JRuby) to be self sustaining.

I personally also perceive somewhat of a problem, in that (again, unlike with JRuby) Microsoft "owns" IronRuby. Last I knew, committers still had to sign a copyright assignment form to MS, and MS controls all the repositories and other assorted stuff. (AFAIK Charles has personally controlled all the JRuby repos since day one and still does).
This provides a LARGE (to me at least) disincentive to contribute to IronRuby in the future. Because MS owns IronRuby, I feel like if I were to commit code, it would not be for the benefit of a nice friendly community-driven open source group, it would be for the benefit of Microsoft Corporation.
I was happy to accept this when MS were putting a lot of work into IronRuby, but now that they're not, my feeling is "So Microsoft have bailed and left us hanging, why on earth would I want to do work on their behalf after they've just done that?"

At any rate, I've not committed any code to IronRuby (I've come close several times, but never just had the time) so my opinion is largely irrelevant, I just hope that other potential committers with more time and skill than I don't end up feeling this way too :-(
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