Moving On

When Jamis Buck wrote last year about ceasing development on Capistrano, his post really struck a chord with me. If this post reminds you of that one, it’s because I re-read it before sitting down to compose this one. It was the next best thing to having Jamis on hand to give me a pep talk before I had to stand up and say something that I’ve been putting off saying for too long. As a bonus, I could visualize him calmly and quietly making one of those neat little string figures while I tried decide exactly what it was I wanted to say.

It is with mixed feelings that I announce that I’m stepping away from FXRuby development, effective immediately. I will no longer be accepting bug reports, support requests, feature requests, or general emails related to FXRuby. I will continue to follow the mailing list, but I am no longer the maintainer of this project.

When I started developing FXRuby back in late 2000, it was a lot of fun for me. I was still new to Ruby (most of us were, back then) and Ruby was in need of a good GUI toolkit, so working on FXRuby provided me with not only a good way to learn the ins and outs of the language, but also to get really plugged into the community. In recent years, however, working on FXRuby has become a chore. I’m a decade older, at a different place in my life and career, and there are frankly just too many other things that I’d rather be working on at this point. These feelings are compounded by the fact that FOX development has, as best I can tell, stalled out, and without anything new to look forward to on the FOX front there’s little motivation for me to continue working on FXRuby. So it’s time to make a clean break and call it quits.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who did participate in the FXRuby community over the years. Knowing that you found my work of some value means a lot to me, and I appreciate the encouragement that I received from you along the way. I was never successful at organizing a development team around FXRuby, something which I regret, but a number of people contributed patches or third-party tools and extensions to FXRuby. If I tried to name all of those contributors, I would invariably leave someone off the list by accident, so let me just say: Thanks, you guys; you know who you are. A special thanks as well to those of you who bought the book. And of course, I owe an immense debt of gratitude to Jeroen van der Zijp, without whom there would be no FOX toolkit, and thus no FXRuby.

Someone on the mailing list asked whether FOX and FXRuby are “pretty much dead.” I can’t speak for Jeroen or the FOX project. As for FXRuby, however, that’s up to you. FXRuby is, and always has been, an open source project. If you are interested in hacking on FXRuby, or even taking over maintenance of the project, please feel free to fork the project on GitHub and release updates as you see fit. The Wiki has a lot of information about setting up a development and build environment on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, and if you have specific questions about the build chain I’ll do my best to help you get set up.

If no one steps forward to maintain FXRuby, that’s fine too. The code has been pretty stable, if not bug-free, for quite awhile now, and it may the case that the code’s “done” anyways. If you feel that way and want to continue using FXRuby, it’s not going anywhere. If on the other hand, you have some fresh new ideas about how to move ahead, go for it! I will be cheering you on from the sidelines.

In closing, thanks again for all of your support over the last ten years. I’m certainly not done with Ruby, and I’m looking forward to exploring other ways in which I can participate in the Ruby community in the future.

Posted August 4th, 2010 in FXRuby.


  1. Brian Wisti:

    I’m sad to see you step away from FXRuby, but I do understand. You’ve put a lot of work into it – code, documentation, a book. FXRuby has been tremendously helpful in several of my own projects. Thanks for all that you’ve done!

    So – what’s next?

  2. Lyle:

    I don’t know exactly what’s next, Brian, but watch this space. 😉

  3. Björn Bergqvist:

    Thanks for the work you”ve done! Which projects are the largest using FXRuby?
    Are there commercial projects using FXRuby who have the resources to fork FXRuby, will it then be closed source?

  4. Lyle:

    Bjorn, you’re welcome!

    I’m not sure what is the largest project using FXRuby, but one of the largest is probably BeERP, a commercial ERP system. I don’t know if they have the resources or desire to fork FXRuby. Note that FXRuby is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License, which ensures that any forks of FXRuby will also be open source (i.e. the fact that I’m not working on FXRuby anymore doesn’t change anything in that regard).

  5. trans:

    I was always impressed by your dedication to the project. And it clearly excelled for your efforts. Whatever you endeavor into next, please keep us informed, for I am certain it will share the same great fortune by having you at it’s helm.