Left to right: Stephanie Francis, Ben Chapman, Brendan Hastings, and Chris Murphy at the Web Awards Oct. 22nd 2014. Photo credit: Ben Keenan.
When we began planning Distill 2014, we knew content would be our core, starting with the keynotes. A keynote speaker, for all intents and purposes, can set the tone for each part of a conference. We knew we wanted to kick things off quickly and with a hard technical edge.
When presented with the idea of Mirah (a language based on the JVM languages but also borrowing heavily from Ruby) it would seem we are being given a more palatable, less enterprise way of looking at Java. Mirah hopes to eventually be a replacement for Java, though there is still a large amount of work to be done before reaching that goal.
Picture it! Summer 2004! “Confessions Part II” by Usher is the number one song on the radio, Zach Braf’s “Garden State” has just been released in theaters, and James Patterson’s “Sam’s Letters to Jennifer” is atop the New York Times Bestsellers list. And amidst all this, a young developer in Chicago decided to open source a tool he was using to put Ruby on the web.