It is with great excitement that we want to announce the transition of legacy maintenance duties for Ruby 1.8.6 from the capable hands of Urabe Shyouhei to Engine Yard (and specifically to myself). Going forward, I will be the primary point of contact for bug and security fixes for the 1.8.6 branch of Ruby, and will remain in continual contact with Urabe to ensure the transition is completed smoothly.
Our interest in taking on 1.8.6. maintenance is specifically to maintain that legacy version for the community of developers who have written libraries/applications with specific 1.8.6 dependencies, who do not intend to port forward to future versions.
I have heard some people express concerns about Engine Yard maintaining Ruby 1.8.6: that we're going to fork it, or do other unfriendly things with it. I want to make it clear that our plans are to be conservative as maintainers. We will fix bugs and performance issues, address security issues, and test to ensure that when releases are made, they are of as high a quality as possible. Anything else, like adding new API's or behaviors is completely outside of a maintainer's role, so we won't be doing that. (Also we're pretty excited by the new stuff in 1.9)
I look forward to working with the rest of the core team to do my part in continuing to make Ruby a top notch language.