Ruby at OSCONs Past
2014-08-02 22:53:13 -0400
As a follow-up to my earlier post, "Ruby MIA at OSCON":
I went back and found the schedules of OSCONs past. Here's a brief summary, complete with a link to the Ruby track in the schedule (where appropriate) and the number of talks found there:
- OSCON 2014: 1, "Tapping into Ruby from the JVM"
- OSCON 2013: 1, and that was sponsored by New Relic. Ruby is mentioned in other talks, but more as a point of comparison, not the subject.
- OSCON 2012: No Ruby track, but I see a Ruby tag that shows 4 talks, though only 1 seems to be Ruby-specific. (The others are about code metrics, Hypermedia APIs, and building clusters)
- OSCON 2011: 8
- OSCON 2010: 7
- OSCON 2009: 14
- OSCON 2008: Talks aren't broken down by track, but I'd say there's at least 9 talks there.
- OSCON 2007: No tags or tracks to search on, but I see 1 tutorial -- Learning Ruby -- and 3 talks with Ruby in the title.
- OSCON 2006: 13 Ruby talks! Both Dave Thomas and Jim Weirich spoke.
- OSCON 2005: 6 talks, including DHH presenting how he extracted Rails from Basecamp, and why the lucky stiff talking "A Starry Afternoon, a Sinking Symphony, and the Polo Champ Who Gave It All Up for No Reason Whatsoever "
- OSCON 2004: 6 talks, no Rails, though Chad Fowler gave a talk on Dave Thomas' "Rublog" engine.
- OSCON 2003: 6 talks, including "Ruby for Perl Programmers"
- OSCON 2002: Only a Birds of a Feather meeting
So, what did we learn? Ruby made its first official appearance at OSCON in 2002. Rails debuted in 2005. Things peaked in 2009, faded slightly in 2010 and 2011, and all but disappeared in the last two years.
This all started with a conversation I had at OSCON this year with someone who had attended multiple times in past years. He said that Ruby had made a big appearance at the show a few years back (he might have guessed 2010, which is in the right time frame, as you see above), but had all but disappeared now.
I'm just curious as to why. One other possibility, of course: OSCON has a political component to it of open source changing the world through caring and sharing. And while the Ruby community is one that shares heavily and whose tools have helped change the world, it does feel like Rails was the thing that brought Ruby to the fore, and most of the people interested in that (by sheer quantity) were doing it as consultants with building social networks and ecommerce platforms, not world-changers and political thought leaders. As the Rails boom has peaked and numerous other technologies fight for space on the OSCON schedule, Ruby and Rails programmers have moved on to be excited by new technologies, or to just move with their own flock.
Or the OSCON schedulers hate Ruby and are shutting it out.
I doubt that last one, of course, but in the interests of bringing up all the possibilities, there you go.