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CIOL’s Vishnu Anand spoke with Neville Roy Singham, the chairman of ThoughtWorks, about the future of open source and how Ruby changed the game.

Anand asked Singham why Ruby became so popular so quickly.

“If you look at the big picture, between the late 1980s and 90s, the software industry had gone through a 10-year cycle where there was no radical innovation in languages,” Singham explained. “Nothing happened in the commercial space other than C# and Java. I believe this was a major disaster for the software and IT industry and it was driven by economic reasons and not by technical reasons. The creation of software has been commoditized.

Ruby Central in the Unites States became the world’s home for language innovation. And the Ruby community today is an embracing, open, intellectual community. Then the other partner who actually helped accelerate the change was Sun. Sun’s JRuby reduced the barrier to entry for new language (which is runtime).”

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