Ruby and Rails have been amazingly successful over the last three years in winning the mind share of young and independent developers. One area where Rails has been less successful is with corporations and corporate developers. This is due to a number of factors but one big one in my mind is the lack of a large corporate backer who has pledged money and people to provide products and services to the Rails community. No one wants to be the first person to take a risk on a new “unproven” system when they can just use .NET or Java instead.
Now it looks like Sun has decided to take this leap and I applaud them for it. I thought Java was an amazing advance over the C/C++ world 10 years ago and thought that Ruby/Rails was a similiar leap 2 years ago. It’s nice to see Sun’s leadership come to the same conclusion and devote resources towards building the Ruby marketplace. It doesn’t hurt that by promoting JRuby, they kill two birds with one stone: 1) help Ruby’s scaling problem tremendously while 2) promoting the use of JEE containers and the Java VM as a viable Ruby deployment platform.
Remember: a rising tide raises all boats. With Sun pushing Ruby, we will only see an increase in Ruby usage and more customers for our software.