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Engine Yard Has Taken Over Ruby 1.8.6 Maintenance

by Mirko Stocker on May 26, 2009 |

Engine Yard recently took over the maintenance of the Ruby 1.8.6 branch:

It is with great excitement that we want to announce the transition of legacy maintenance duties for Ruby 1.8.6 from the capable hands of Urabe Shyouhei to Engine Yard. Going forward, I will be the primary point of contact for bug and security fixes for the 1.8.6 branch of Ruby [..].

Engine Yard has more than 6000 virtual machines running on Ruby 1.8.6 (see "Engine Yard to Take Over Ruby 1.8.6 Maintenance?" on InfoQ), so they have an interest in keeping this specific version alive for customers that can't or don't want to upgrade.

InfoQ had the chance to talk to Kirk Haines, Software Developer at Engine Yard and the actual maintainer of Ruby 1.8.6.

Are the MBARI patches coming to 1.8.6?

We like the MBARI patches, so we're working with the 1.8.7+ team on a strategy to put them in the entire 1.8 line. We think there are a few more bugs to be shaken out before we can do that, and the 1.8.7+ team needs to be comfortable.

Any other patches (for example from the Phusion/Ruby Enterprise Edition team) that are going to be applied?

Again, we want to be conservative as a maintainer, and something like Phusion should be consistent between 1.8.6+ and 1.8.7+, so it's another thing to work on with the Japanese team. The original concern with the Phusion patch was that it impacted general performance because its garbage collection was O(N), and was generally considered different enough to be something close to a fork. This may no longer be the case, but frankly this is why there needs to be a permanent maintainer for 1.8.6, so we can figure this stuff out.

There were rumors about moving Ruby 1.8.6 to GitHub, are these true? 

This is not true. We may keep a github mirror for development purposes, but the true source will continue to be the svn repo.

What are your plans for 1.8.6's future?

We want to maintain a clean, stable version of 1.8.6 that maintains 1.8.6 API's and behaviors, while backporting the best of performance, security and bug patches and fixes. We intend to maintain our 1.8.6 commitment for at least the next two years.

See the announcement from Engine Yard for more information and comments.

What do you think about Engine Yard taking over Ruby 1.8.6 maintenance?

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