Exactly, Ruby Isn't An Insurgency

November 14th 10:31
by why

Tim Bray: Look, dammit, Ruby isn’t an insurgency or a conspiracy or a party, it’s a profession and a vocation and we’re getting getting paid for doing it. So why the flaming hell are we meeting on weekends like Trekkies or scrapbookers?


I saved all year to go to RubyConf. Really, I did! But I blew the money on a new clarinet. What kind of person does that? Gaa, I’m such a retard that way!!

People, Ruby isn’t a game. It isn’t a hobby. It’s certainly not a very good food source and it’s not an article of clothing. You can’t just put Ruby in the wash with a load of whites. Nice try, but no. No. Jeez, grow a brain. Ruby isn’t a tambourine you can bang loudly in my ear. I’m trying to use my iPhone here, guy.

And Ruby is not some bachelor’s party with a foxy lady in a sherlock holmes hat. Hardly: Ruby is all dads. Put a petticoat on, woman. Pop those balloons. We’re all getting paid here and we’re all having kids here. Get with the program.

Ruby is serious business. Real business and totally bankable. Fact: You cannot do it late at night. The office is closed during those hours. You should be in bed like all the other dads. Now, have a nightcap and go put your PJs on, we’ve got to wake up early tomorrow, it’s pancake day.

Ruby requires your curriculum vitae, notarized and sealed in a tamper-proof envelope, on its desk by midnight tomorrow. Do not screw it up. You won’t get paid to go to RubyConf.

You see, it’s so simple. Relax, enjoy your family. Heck, play Nerf swords with them, if you want to. But be a dad. Get paid. Punch the clock. Write your employer some sensational code. That’s how Ruby works. We don’t need an insurgency. Star Wars needed an insurgency. But they didn’t have any good dads back then. Vader was a bad dad. We have plenty of great dads getting paid! We’re covered. We’re quite bankable.

So, yeah, alright, #1 BEST DAD. And, as Dad says, “Okay, troops! L-L-Let’s getta move on!”



said on November 14th 13:15

Best. Response. Ever.


said on November 14th 13:17

I luvs you _why


said on November 14th 13:18

Off to Dadhouse it is!!!


said on November 14th 13:33

I don’t understand. Have I gone wrong? Have all of you?


said on November 14th 13:53

For some reason that makes me think of Ted Stevens’ Series of Tubes remix

“The Internet is not a big truck…”


said on November 14th 15:06

i’d like to have an employer that would pay me to go to ruby-related events, but somehow that would make it less fun and more like business (which it clearly is, as I get paid to do it)

that said, i like my dad, and he doesn’t have to make pancakes on pancake day for me to be happy. he just has to play catch every once in awhile, and help wash the dog with tomato juice when the dog decides to launch his own insurgency against small woodland creatures.

this is how i feel, and even tim bray can’t change how i feel about my dad. or the dog.

Turing Bicycle

said on November 14th 15:22

Isn’t Tim Bray the guy who bears primary responsibility for inflicting XML on us?

He seems to have a long-term mission to suck all the life and fun out of programming.

We should listen to what he has to say why, exactly?


said on November 14th 18:22

“He seems to have a long-term mission to suck all the life and fun out of programming.”

Wow. Do comments come any more ignorant that that?

BTW, how much do you know about Unicode, and who’s been helping improve I18N in Ruby?

Kevin Lawver

said on November 14th 19:32

Great post, and I love you too, _why (strictly platonic, like a dad even). Ruby doesn’t need an insurgency. It’s just the right thing to do, and yes, it’s time to come out and admit our dad-ness and that some of us do get paid to write Ruby all day.


said on November 14th 19:34

nat: Thankyou. Enlightening. That really sums things up for me right now. With where I’m at.

lemon: Let’s operate on the assumption that you’re okay, that you’re not in the wrong, you’re even steven with humanity, and that this is merely a fanatical and nearly incoherent blog.

nap: You make a very sore point about dads wanting to play catch. I had completely forgot!


said on November 14th 20:31

I’m a dad, but I suck at playing catch. What can I do instead?

Bozo Bit

said on November 14th 21:59

Your face is I18N! Oh!


said on November 15th 02:49

Will you father my children


said on November 15th 03:25

Wow, you’re right! Tim Bray sure is a prick for daring to say that he prefers spending time with his kids to chilling with WACKY NERDS and their KERAZY NON SEQUITURS! LOTS OF EXCLAMATION MARKS!!! “AMUSING”, UNHELPFUL DRAWINGS!!!! CHUNKY BACON RIDING AN EXPLODING BANANA BICYCLE TO THE MOON!!!!!


said on November 15th 08:05

Sun is the company that pays Tim a big salary at the end of each months. So he writes what they want him to. In this case Sun’s executives are a little bit worried about their strategy.

Remember why Sun marketeers (and Tim) promote Ruby:

1. Ruby on Rails sucks less than the established J2EE web framework (that’s kind of easy) and Sun desperately needs a popular web programming environment.

2. Unlike Python’s (which has had a JVM implementation since 1998), the original Ruby’s VM sucks enough not to compete with Sun’s own Java VM.

The trouble with this “worse is better” strategy is that it worked very well and has now materialized in the form of an army of proud Java morons wreaking havoc in Ruby’s community.


said on November 15th 08:26

I’d be asking “Why the flaming hell won’t my Sooper Serious Important Adult Type Job let me take off a couple of other days to spend with my kid if I happen to spend the weekend at a job-related conference?”

Oh, and Tim? Halloween falls on Friday next year, so you might want to get a head start on the your rant for when someone schedules something during the week. Maybe you could write it in XML-encoded UTF-32 Klingon, with each individual byte nested inside about 50 levels of useless, anal-retentive markup. That would rock! As well as getting you Major Geek Cred!

No Fighting

said on November 15th 11:00

He’s always had that “I have come down to bless your puny language with my presence” attitude. Relax NG, man; you can’t, like, “schedule” a Ruby conference.


said on November 15th 21:12

Maturity? Na, haven’t seen it… want a funyon?


said on November 16th 13:08

This is the best blog post ever.

gilza bwakit

said on November 16th 13:26

boo yah!


said on November 16th 18:23

My dad likes funyons.


said on November 16th 21:49

I’m a dad… and I get paid to write Ruby, sometimes. In my PJs, too. And now my kid is waking up and I’ve got to stop spending time on Ruby.


said on November 16th 22:36

amen, tim. amen, _why. amen, phred. ruby’s cool. kids’re cool. explaining weekend confs to kids is not cool, but sometimes must be done.


said on November 17th 06:06

Ruby is not a party?

/me sheepishly removes lamp shade from head.


said on November 18th 16:39

I am not a dad. Nor am I a Ruby programmer, by trade or by hobby. Wait, why am I even on this page?

sneaky cow

said on November 19th 11:44

Hey tom, I got a totally different meaning from Tim’s post. I thought he was daring to say that he prefers working insane hours to spending time with his kids. Good news though is that so much of the conf world is made available, for free even!, through things like confreaks. So instead of giving up his weekends, he can spend 9 a.m. through 3 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday watching all the recorded videos. Choices are great!!!!!!!!!!!!

Minute Hand

said on November 21st 08:25

I had to read this post three times before … before it hit me.

Goodbye Helicopter

said on November 21st 19:09
  • _Farewell
    • corporate
      • sponsors.
        • hello personal
          • responsibility
        • and
      • real
    • human
  • priorities._


said on November 30th 14:39

Dammit, Jim, I’m still wearing my Mr. Spock ears. I can still nerd out on Ruby and get paid for Ruby. Besides, not a dad and, at this rate, not gonna be one.

Comments are closed for this entry.