Ruby is an open source, interpreted, object-oriented programming language created by Yukihiro Matsumoto, who chose the gemstone's name to suggest "a jewel of a language." Ruby is designed to be simple, complete, extensible, and portable. Developed mostly on Linux, Ruby works across most platforms, such as most UNIX-based platforms, DOS, Windows, MacIntosh, BeOS and OS/2, for example. According to proponents, Ruby's simple syntax (partially inspired by Ada and Eiffel), makes it readable by anyone who is familiar with any modern programming language.
Ruby is considered similar to Smalltalk and Perl. The authors of the book Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide, David Thomas and Andrew Hunt say that it is fully object-oriented, like Smalltalk, although more conventional to use -- and as convenient as Perl, but fully object-oriented, which leads to better structured and easier-to-maintain programs. To be compliant with the principles of extreme programming(XP), Ruby allows portions of projects to be written in other languages if they are better suited.
Editors at our sister site, The Ajaxian, blog about Ruby news and trends.