Ruby is a dynamic, reflective, general-purpose object-oriented programming language that combines syntax inspired by Perl with Smalltalk-like features. It was also influenced by Eiffel and Lisp. Ruby was first designed and developed in the mid-1990s by Yukihiro 'Matz' Matsumoto in Japan. Ruby supports multiple programming paradigms, including functional, object oriented, imperative and reflective. It also has a dynamic type system and automatic memory management; it is therefore similar in varying respects to Smalltalk, Python, Perl, Lisp, Dylan, Pike, and CLU. The standard 1.8.7 implementation is written in C, as a single-pass interpreted language. Starting with the 1.9 branch, and continuing with the current 2.0 branch, YARV has been used, and will eventually supersede the slower Ruby MRI.
Contributions by Yath, Jogloran, and Neilc.