You know I'm not sure I completely agree on this point. As someone that's lived in both the Java and Ruby worlds for a long time I'd say that in a many number of cases you're right. The "shiny object" syndrome is much less of a factor in the Java world and things like backward compatibility are engrained in the culture which manifests itself in the various open source projects. In the ruby world things are simpler to get started with and the surface area of a project is usually smaller and fairly easy to get integrated compared to Java. But ruby projects tend to "rot" much more quickly and aren't nearly as strict about compatibility. That's probably because Rails, the biggest reason for ruby's popularity, is very much about breaking compatibility without a second thought if it means improving the framework. But I've also seen some really well written and tested ruby gems in my time, compared to some java projects... and visa versa.