Salesforce.com and Engine Yard proclaim Ruby to be the language for cloud applications, yet recent announcements by Amazon.com and Oracle's NetBeans project raise questions about Ruby's current and future enterprise adoption.
Ruby, the language for the cloud?
Salesforce.com acquired Heroku, a Ruby and Ruby on Rails platform service provider in early December 2010. At the time, Salesforce.com CEO, Marc Benioff, spoke highly of Ruby's future:
Ruby is the language of Cloud 2 [applications for real-time mobile and social platforms]. Developers love Ruby. It's a huge advancement. It offers rapid development, productive programming, mobile and social apps, and massive scale. We could move the whole industry to Ruby on Rails.
Tom Mornini, CTO of Heroku competitor Engine Yard's, echoed Beinoff's views about Ruby's affinity with cloud-based applications.
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I've previously highlighted data from the Tiobe Programming Community Index that indicates Ruby's usage declined in 2010. Additionally, among enterprise job postings on Indeed.com, the actual number and growth rate of jobs requiring Ruby skills trailed jobs requiring PHP and Python skills.
If Ruby is in fact the language of the cloud, enterprises haven't received the memo as yet.
Amazon.com endorses Java -- not Ruby -- first
Amazon.com recently announced the AWS (Amazon Web Services) Elastic Beanstalk beta, based initially on Java. Although Amazon.com alluded to future AWS Elastic Beanstalk for languages, it started with Java, not Ruby.
I said it last week: "When the de facto public cloud provider, Amazon.com, launches a Java-based cloud platform offering ahead of another language such as Ruby, it speaks volumes about Java's future."