One of the things I always admired about Linus is that he managed to stay very neutral amongst all the Linux vendors. Back in the dot com days, he could have had pretty much anything he wanted from Redhat, VA Linux, Linuxcare, etc... etc.... but he managed to stay with Transmeta, and then go to the Linux Foundation, which is neutral territory. That's allowed him to focus on Linux without having a Corporate Overlord, benign though it may be.
With Rasmus Lerdorf working at WePay, this means the creators of the two most presently popular web programming languages, Ruby and PHP, are now working for YC companies.
(Which is a teency stretch since Heroku is now SalesForce and hence no longer really a YC company, but we'll count them to keep it interesting.)
Anybody knows the truth on "Fraud work"?
Edit: "Fraud work" at WePay (YC)
While ruby(usually rails) is unfortunately only popular for web programming (probably because python is a very similar language that out-competes it, partially due to specialized libraries and more stable interfaces) where it seems to be more popular then python.
We also have another more "corporate" type piece of software that uses python that gets... less use, but that is more due to it really being written in java and having performance closer to a glacier. Which is why we have puppet now in the first place.
I've used both ruby and perl for equal amounts of time, and I've recently started to use it at work to replace old perl and shell I have. That and I've switched vm's to rubinius so those old "ruby is slow" gripes to be honest never cause problems. That and having a jit+vm that isn't java on each of our os's is really awesome.
Don't get me wrong, Python is a great language but you are 100% right, there isn't much need for learning both Ruby and Python. They both are roughly equivalent featurewise, but they both take completely different roads about how you approach general purpose programming. That said I know both but rarely use my Python knowledge much. But it does have some great libraries out there for numeric computation/etc... I also know of a few companies that use ruby as their goto language to get failing (java) projects out of the door.
Disclaimer: I never use rails at all, haven't since I looked at it source in the 1.x days. Was REALLY put off with all of the monkey patching they did.
Or even (this one surprises me, since I figured Python generally would come out on top when not selecting for web stuff):
"There are people who actually like programming. I don't understand why they like programming."
Speaking of dot coms and Linuxcare and such, much as I don't care for working with PHP, Rasmus is a really smart, friendly and nice guy who is well worth talking with even if his language is not 'hip'.
I use Rails, and love Rails, but back home Rails is not yet the core Ruby use case, not by a long shot. Rails has peculiar needs with regards to typical Ruby applications, and a certain portion of the developer community feels that people who write themselves peculiar needs can write their own solutions to them. 
With Matz working on the most Rails-oriented hosting platform, perhaps this will change.
Heroku just keeps getting better though. The releases of things like Cedar and node support are a huge indication of the platform's forward momentum and this news is quite the coup d'etat. Kudos to the Heroku team and Kudos to Salesforce for an acquisition gone right.
I figured Heroku would have had the same fate, glad they are (without a doubt) blazing on.
I like the idea of Heroku going the same way as EngineYard. And investing in technology.
But dreww is correct, he's keeping his other positions so is this merely a marketing and bragging rights thing?
>> He [Mark Benioff, CEO of Salesforce] said he could provide us some support and that's why I decided to join Salesforce.com through Heroku (Note: Several members of Ruby Core are currently under negotiation to join Heroku).
>> So, the core of our work will not change. Our mission is to develop Ruby Core, to make Ruby more functional and higher quality. Having said that, I am expecting that the job security we are being provided and Ruby usage feedback we get from heavy Ruby users such as Heroku will accelerate the progress of Ruby development. Otherwise, there would be no point to accepting the offer.
The "support" there refers to a conversation between Benioff and Matz where Matz said a primary concern of his was for Ruby devs who either work on Ruby in their spare time or worry about job security. It sounds like Salesforce is committed to helping by hiring multiple Ruby-core devs. I think that's very real support, not just PR of any kind.
 http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2757134 (HN thread on the Matz interview (so far, no comments)
I think his presence there will serve two purposes: 1) share his Ruby cachet with Heroku, and 2) when Heroku finds a way to improve Ruby, they have a way to fast-track it now, big time.
Not that I think this will lead anywhere particularly bad.
Nah, I don't think so. Ruby is a community effort.
Should Matz ever turn into an asshole (which just seems hiiiighly unlikely), someone else would fork the project.
I'm wondering if there's not a single person out on HN that sees this the way I do? It's not a bad thing that Matz is joining Heroku, but it does give them a very different stature in the Ruby community than they had pre-Matz. Nothing inherently evil or snarky about that.
I'm a Heroku user who hopes that this produces an even better experience on the platform. But I find it hard to see this as just another hire. Google's got a huge leg up in Go since they've got the two Robs and Ken, Joyent has Node + Ryan Dahl.
They don't own the language, but they do "own" it.