Open Letter to the Rails Foundation09 Mar 2023
I sent this email to Amanda at the Rails Foundation this morning.
Hello, my name is Ryan and I run the Gem Foundation: https://ryanbigg.com/2022/11/the-gem-foundation.
(Just quietly between you and me, id rather you answer this email than David. We’ve got… history.)
I’ve also written several books on Ruby, including the same Rails book 3, almost 4 times: Rails 3 in Action, Rails 4 in Action and Active Rails 1st and 2nd editions. Oh and I wrote a bunch of the Rails guides too. And contributed enough on Rails answers on Stack Overflow to earn me 100k rep, as well as a cool SO T-shirt and socks. I also took over the #rubyonrails IRC channel there for a time.
Point is: I have written multiple of millions of words about Rails to further its adoption.
As we approach the 4 month mark of the Rails Foundation launch, I am absolutely STUNNED that there has been not a single cent that has left the organisation’s coffers since its inception.
The announcement was grandiose in nature. A fat sack of cash for those who do unpaid labour for Rails. Sounds delightful. I like money for the way it buys hot chocolates for my daughter who then proceeds to wear them more than drink them, amongst other things.
Why hasn’t the Rails Foundation donated money to Rails Girls? Why haven’t they incentivised mentoring through FirstRubyFriend for Rails-focussed mentoring? Current and past guide authors: do they get funding? Rails gem authors or those gems that Rails depends on outside of its immediate vicinity? (Oh I maintain i18n as well btw, and GitHub recently sent me an award for that.)
You want to further adoption of Rails. So do I. I love most parts of Rails. I say most parts because after 15 years with a thing you start being really good at seeing the warts. Overall, it’s a framework that’s provided me with a stable income (and some tiny level of notoriety) over the last 15 years.
The framework and its related resources are a monumental achievement of open source collaboration.
So my question today is when will the Rails foundation start funding these projects? Are we going to be waiting weeks, or months?
I don’t send this email with cap-in-hand expecting money — I’m already paid the Bigg Bucks through my work with Rails and my books.
What I’d like to see is the Rails Foundation actually putting their money where their mouth is and helping grow this wonderful community of ours, and helping it thrive for another 15 years.