This article is part of the “Meta Advent 2019” series. I’ve committed to writing a new blog post here every day until Christmas.

Did you know that Ruby has two birthdays? I’ve always been a bit confused that some people think Ruby’s birthday is somewhere in 1993 and others believe it’s in 1995. I’m fairly certain that some days I believe Ruby’s birthday is in 1993 and on others - in 1995. Still, I never took the time to look into this matter, until I saw this tweet by Matz earlier today:

Turns out Ruby has two birthdays:

  • February 24th, 1993 (the start of Ruby’s development)
  • December 21st, 1995 (Ruby’s first public release)

In this spirits of Ronald Reagan’s favourite proverb “Trust, but verify” I’ve decided to dig quickly into this and I learned a bit more on the subject. Here’s one curious fact - Ruby’s first public release wasn’t 1.0, but rather 0.95. Depending on your perspective and the significance you place on Ruby 1.0, you can even say Ruby has a third birthday - December 25th, 1996. Seems that was the release that started the tradition to do major Ruby releases on Christmas day.1

If you’d like to know more about Ruby’s early history I’d recommend checking out this short article on the subject. There’s a lot of cool trivia there - e.g. the history of the language’s name.

That’s all I have for you today! Happy birthday, Ruby! We’ve had our ups and downs through the past 13 years, but I still love you!2

  1. This tradition has some exceptions, though (e.g. Ruby 2.0). 

  2. I think I started playing with Ruby around Christmas, 2006, while listening to the song “Ruby” by the “Kaiser Chiefs”.