A Fresh Cup is Mike Gunderloy's software development weblog, covering Ruby on Rails and whatever else I find interesting in the universe of software. I'm a full-time Rails developer and contributor, available for long- or short-term consulting, with solid experience in working as part of a distributed team. If you'd like to hire me, drop me a line. I'm also the author of Rails Rescue Handbook and Rails Freelancing Handbook.

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Monday
Jan052009

Announcing the Rails Activists

I've got two major announcements to make affecting my professional life this month. Today the first of them is ready to go live: I've accepted a position with the new Ruby on Rails Activists team. Probably the easiest way to explain what that means is to quote from the blog entry announcing our existence:


The mission of the Rails Activists is to empower and support the worldwide network of Ruby on Rails users. We do this by publicizing Rails, making adoption easier, and enhancing developer support.


Generally speaking, the Activists will be working alongside the Rails Core team, with the intent of helping publicize Rails and pull together efforts from all parts of the Rails ecosystem. We have a lot of ideas about what this could translate to in terms of concrete initiatives, but I'd like to emphasize that we're here to support the rest of the community, not to direct it. If you want to get involved with promoting Rails and improving things, feel free to contact any one of us to discuss how we can help out. I'm easy to find:

  • mikeg1 on Twitter

  • MikeG1@larkfarm.com via email

  • mikeg1a on IRC (freenode.net, almost always in #rubyonrails)


  • It's also important to note that although there are four of us who are now in some sense authorized to speak on behalf of Rails, this does not mean that everything we say is an Official Statement. We all have our own businesses and blogs and so on, and we have lives beyond Rails activism, shocking though that may be. For example, just because I link something on this weblog doesn't mean it's gotten some official stamp of approval.

    We also intend for the communication to flow in as many directions as possible - one of our roles is to serve as ombudsmen for the Rails community. If for any reason you're feeling frustrated in an attempt to talk to the core team (though personally, I've found them very approachable), do get in touch to see if we can help.

    As some of you have probably guessed, the new team owes something to the much-discussed merger of Rails and Merb. In addition to picking up the best ideas from Merb, Rails is also working on picking up some of the best patterns from the Merb community. Just as Rails isn't throwing out all of its old code to become a copy of Merb, we're not throwing out all of our old activities (such as the Rails Guides) to copy Merb's ecosystem. What we are doing is trying to incorporate some of the energy from the combined communities to revitalize both of them as they become one.

    So stay tuned to see what initiatives emerge from this new group and its interactions with the wider Rails community. If you have any questions, I'll be more than happy to address them in comments here or privately.

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