The problem

Ruby 1.9 is here, but not really. Ruby 1.9 won’t really be here until we are all using it, and we won’t all be using it until the majority of Ruby gems are working.

What Can We Do?

Here is the idea. What if instead of trying to make every project maintainer learn all the tricks and skills needed to convert a piece of code to 1.9, we put up a little money to get one expert to work on converting gems over. Someone to work with maintainers to get their gems up to date. Someone who would gain practice as he converts gem after gem and who would dedicate real hours to making this conversion done. What if at Rubyconf this year we could go around saying “You’re not still using Ruby 1.8 are you?” the same way we go around saying “You’re not still using Ruby 1.6 are you?”.

How?

I’m putting myself out there to be that guy. However I still need to eat and my wife would be kind of pissed if we lost our house. So I need your help too. My goal is to be able to work 20 hours a week for the next 2 months on converting gems over. To do that I would need to get 400 of you to donate $30. I don’t expect that to happen over night (it would be cool though ;-) So in order to get started I’m looking to raise $3000, enough to work for 40 hours. Once that amount is raise the project will be officially on and I’ll clear the time in my schedule to devote to it. Though my current plan is to start by going through the reported failures on Is It Ruby 1.9 and fixing them based on their popularity, I’ve put a poll at the bottom to let you tell me how I should do this. If after one month we haven’t made that target I’ll clear time to do work for as much as we did raise. As a good faith effort I will be converting all of the current gems I maintain in the mean time.

Is This Really Necessary?

I’ve been programming in Ruby since 2003. I remember the transition from 1.6 to 1.8, I was trying to learn Ruby at the time. It was painful, agonizing, and took way to long. As a community we are already doing better this time, but the faster we get on with it the faster we get all the goodness that is 1.9. Also the sooner we don’t have to maintain both, and the sooner noobs won’t wander around saying things like “but the documentation doesn’t match, WTF?”

Should I Trust This Man?

I’ve got a history working with Ruby, I’ve done Rails full time professionally since 2005 and I run Notch8 consulting in San Diego. I’m a regular member of SDRuby. You can hear me speak on our podcast. I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and have worked in embedded C and Java. I really respect and love the Ruby community and I want to see it flourish. I promise to be very transparent and accountable with my actions. I am used to tracking my hours, to keeping a schedule and to being accountable to clients. In this project you, the community, are my client and so my time logs will be completely open to you. I’ll be posting them each week along with blog entries and how to documents. You will know what I have worked on and how long it has taken me.

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