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Jim was a silent star of the Ruby community. Some newer Rubyists might not see how important his work on Rake was on Rubys road from a toy language to a serious development environment. Also, Rake was (to my knowledge) one of the first libraries that aggressively leaned on Rubys block syntax for writing DSLs.

On top of that, he was well known for his talks and ability to explain things.

A recommended read: an early statement on Ruby on the C2 Wiki (scroll down to "User stories")


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