Today, we are excited to announce the launch of The Rails Foundation. Its mission is to improve the documentation, education, marketing, and events in our ecosystem to the benefit of all new and existing Rails developers. It’s been started by some of the most important companies involved with Rails, and will work to ensure a prosperous ecosystem that continues to improve, and becomes even more attractive to newcomers going forward.
Why was the foundation started?
It’s been over 18 years since Ruby on Rails was first released, and since then, an incredible ecosystem has emerged around it. Millions of applications have been built using Rails by hundreds of thousands of happy developers over the years. Companies have gone all the way from HELLO WORLD to IPO using Rails, creating billions of dollars in value along the way. It’s been a glorious run, and we’re still going!
On the technical side, we’ve also never stood stronger than we do with Rails 7. The Rails Core Team, together with thousands of contributors, have steered us forward with fixes, enhancements, and improvements in release after release. The code we all depend on is in great condition and under great care.
But after all these years, it’s also become clear that building a strong ecosystem depends on more than just great code. There have never been more options for new web developers than there are today, and if we want to continue to celebrate the success of Rails in another two decades from now, we need to make the best case possible for why someone should come join us.
Right now, that case isn’t being made as well as it could be.
The reason for that is largely a question of documentation, education, marketing, and events. It’s not nearly easy enough for a developer interested in learning Rails to find their way through decades of often outdated books, blog posts, and screencasts, connect with others learning at the same time, make the case to coworkers or bosses why Rails is the right choice, or meet up with fellow practitioners at events solely dedicated to Rails.
The Rails Foundation has been formed to address all of these points and more.
Who is a part of the foundation?
In alphabetical order, the eight founding core members of The Rails Foundation are: Cookpad, Doximity, Fleetio, GitHub, Intercom, Procore, Shopify, and 37signals. These corporate members have together generously endowed the foundation with $1,000,000 USD in seed funding to make a real difference on all the aforementioned areas of improvement.
The founding core members are each represented on the foundation’s board, which is then chaired by the creator of Ruby on Rails, David Heinemeier Hansson.
The board’s first task will be to hire a full-time executive director who will run the daily operations of this new non-profit 501(c)6 foundation, and work with freelancers and contributors to fulfill the foundation’s mission.
The Rails Foundation has secured a long-term exclusive license to all the Ruby on Rails trademarks, and will be responsible for the maintenance and evolution of the rubyonrails.org website, social media channels, and all other outlets that may serve to further its mission.
The Rails Core Team will continue to be fully responsible for the technical evolution of the framework, managing code contributions, and shepherding new releases.
Together, The Rails Foundation and The Rails Core Team will work to ensure that our ecosystem stays healthy, continues to improve, and becomes even more attractive to newcomers going forward.
What’s next for the foundation?
From the foundation’s side, there are a million ideas on how this might be done, and now there’s a million dollars to make it happen. But we will not stop there either. The Rails Foundation is also immediately open to new contributing corporate members, who may apply for membership by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. If your company has been benefiting from Rails over the years, but not sure how it might give back to the ecosystem, now there’s a clear and obvious choice.
We’re excited to get started on this new era for the Ruby on Rails ecosystem!