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First-ever JRubyConf Announced

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Today it was announced that, immediately after November's RubyConf in San Francisco, there will be the first-ever JRubyConf conference, held at the same location as RubyConf. InfoQ spoke with JRuby project co-lead Charles Nutter to learn more about this conference and what it means for the JRuby Community.

The first-ever JRubyConf is scheduled for Sunday November 22nd, the day after RubyConf. Admission will be free, but space is limited. Produced by Engine Yard and sponsored by ThoughtWorks and EdgeCase, the conference will include several topics of interest to the JRuby community, such as JRuby on Rails, JRuby on GAE, JRuby for Business, and Monkeybars. There will also be a Question and Answer session with the full core JRuby team, and presentations by speakers such as Charles Nutter, Thomas Enebo, Nick Sieger, Ola Bini and Joe O'Brien.

When asked what the main drivers were behind creating a standalone JRuby Conference, Charles Nutter said that although JRuby is an implementation of Ruby, it is also a distinct platform and runtime which has some unique opportunities available to it. JRuby has a large appeal to two groups: Rubyists who want to know about the advantages offered by JRuby over the standard Ruby implementation, and Rubyists who want to expand into Java-heavy organizations. This conference will allow for both business users and developers to learn more and to share their needs with the JRuby team. Nutter indicated that the intent of the conference is to cover a wide range of topics including JRuby on Rails, cloud deployments, desktop and game development. The program is very user-heavy, with most talks being by users of JRuby that have done unique, interesting and challenging things with JRuby in real-world projects.

In describing how JRuby fits into the two major ecosystems that it sprang from, Ruby and Java, Nutter said:

We have always focused on making JRuby a solid Ruby implementation first, but running on the JVM opens up a whole other world of opportunities to JRuby users. We're one of the fastest Ruby implementations. We're one of the best JVM language implementations. I think we can continue to do both, and help Ruby and the JVM find continued success in both small and large development shops. We're the glue that's helping bring the beauty of Ruby and the power and open standards of the JVM together, keeping both of them moving forward.

Nutter also indicated that there is future potential for conferences in other parts of the world due to rapidly increasing demand for JRuby talks, events and information, but that there are currently no concrete plans.

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