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This is our Ruby issue, celebrating ten years of RubyConf, the tenth anniversary of the Pickaxe Book, and the latest version of the language.

The Ruby programming language, as everyone from Kansas to Oz knows, was created by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto in 1993, was first seen in the wild in 1995, and finally came to the attention of forward-thinking American programmers around 1999. With the arrival of the Rails framework in 2005, Ruby got famous, but it hasn’t forgotten its old friends, even as it captivates new friends with its magic.

We’ve put on our Ruby slippers for this issue, so get ready to experience the magic.

Specifically, Pragmatic Dave Thomas explores the magic to be found in Ruby 1.9.2. Named matches and Enumerators and multinationalization, oh my! Dave shows why you ought to be using Ruby 1.9.2 right now. And Paolo Perrotta gives three reasons why you should be using Bundler right now to manage your Ruby gems.

In addition to the articles by Dave and Paolo, Ian Dees starts a new series of features on everyday JRuby, and Chad Fowler talks with us about Ruby from its early days to its bright future, in a wide-ranging must-read interview.

If you’re an experienced Rubyist, you’ll find much to enchant you here. And if you’ve been waiting for an entrée to the magic land of Ruby, consider this issue your engraved invitation. Welcome. You’re not in C++ anymore.

But Wait, There’s More

In addition to our Ruby goodies, this issue has a few other gems. Tim Ottinger and Jeff Langr continue their series of agile articles with a thoughtful essay on the value of “Cohesive Software Design.” Jonathan Rasmusson’s “Way of the Agile Warrior” morphs for the month into the “Way of the Spartan Warrior.” Andy Hunt explains why you should seek “The Perfect Deadline.” And Dan Wohlbruck’s series on technology history wraps up the year with a look back at the era of the personal computer.

Also, as usual, we troll the Twitterstream for Choice Bits and keep you up to date with our Events Calendar, while John Shade offers his view on dice and shell games and the twisted topology of technological progress.