I prefer posting brand new content and usually avoid “re-propagating” news, even in the Rails space. However, the major happenings of the last two weeks in the Rails community have prompted me to speak up. It all started with some rather unpleasant video exchanges between Rails-ists and Merb-ists about their differing theories in framework development. Out of that came a big discussion about where Rails and Merb were headed and before anyone knew it, The Merge was announced.
At first I was amazed. I’ve always loved having both Rails AND Merb. I felt that having two different philosophies side-by-side allowed the community to try out new ideas in a very small and agile way (in Merb), and the ones that were really good surely found their way to Rails shortly after. Let’s face it, Rails is growing up fast and doesn’t have the luxury of breaking backward compatibility like it used to and it’s no longer able to explore the “what-ifs” like before. But we still had that ability in Merb. So at first I was a bit concerned. But I still think this is a great new direction to take. And even with the reduced flexibility, I’m really excited to have all this awesome brainpower concentrated in one place. I can’t wait to see (and use) the end result.
Today an addendum was added to this new revolution. It’s been announced that there will be a Rails Activist group. The Rails Activists will champion Rails (and of course Merb) across the universe. They will act as a voice for the community both to the Rails Core team and to the world-at-large. There’s a UserVoice site, a Google group, and more for helping the community express their opinions. This is a truly awesome idea and I’m even more excited to see what these guys can do for Rails.