May 21, 2009, 9:10 PM — Engine Yard, which has offered services for the Ruby language and Ruby on Rails, has taken over maintenance responsibilities for an older release of the language.
The company will maintain the Ruby 1.8.6 line, offering fixes for security and bugs as well as looking to increase the speed of the Ruby interpreter, said Ezra Zygmuntowicz, founder of Engine Yard, on Thursday afternoon.
[ Related: Ruby developers urged to use test-driven development. ]
With many of its clients using Ruby 1.8.6, Engine Yard was concerned that the Ruby development team in Japan might discontinue support for the line as it focuses on the newer Ruby 1.9 version. Engine Yard offered to take over maintenance for the older line, Zygmuntowicz said. There are some incompatibilities between the two lines, Zygmuntowicz said. "Not all of the libraries and frameworks work with Ruby 1.9 yet," he said.
In a blog post, Engine Yard's Kirk Haines sought to reassure Ruby users about the company's new role with Ruby 1.8.6 and allay fears about possible forking.
"I have heard some people express concerns about Engine Yard maintaining Ruby 1.8.6: That we're going to fork it or do other unfriendly things with it. I want to make it clear that our plans are to be conservative as maintainers," Haines said in a blog post. "We will fix bugs and performance issues, address security issues, and test to ensure that when releases are made, they are of as high a quality as possible. Anything else, like adding new API's or behaviors is completely outside of a maintainer's role, so we won't be doing that."
Engine Yard anticipates supporting Ruby 1.8.6 for at least two years, said Zygmuntowicz. Bug fix requests can go to the same bug tracker as before, found at this Web page.
The company has offered cloud-based hosting for Rails applications.