Rubinius is a reimplementation of the Ruby interpreter initiated by Evan Phoenix who has recently been hired by Engine Yard. Engine Yard is a hosting company that is positioning itself as the hosting provider of choice for Ruby applications by a variety of developer focused strategies. In an effort to raise their profile and gain credibility in the Ruby community they’ve hired Evan to work full-time on the development of Rubinius. They’ve also hired the excellent Ezra Zygmuntowicz of camping fame which gives them huge cred in the developer community. Not only are they just latching onto established efforts, they are creating new markets by going after the shared hosting crew by developing mod_rubinius . I would guess that the benefits are twofold – they look like nice guys by giving back to the community, but they also create a very easy path for them to upsell shared hosting into VPS. Everyone wins when this kind of effort is put into a business model.
Evan and Eric Hodel are out in Australia for the Rubinius Sprint set up by Marcus Crafter and fellow Engine Yarder Dylan Egan . In a side trip Evan came to Melbourne and spent three hours explaining how Rubinius worked and answering a heap of really interesting technical questions from the Melbourne crew before heading out for a few quiet (5am) drinks.