On The State of Pony


Hi all,

tl;dr: Pony is doing fine and growing as a community.

This morning, a post was published on LinkedIn about Causality shutting down (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/end-causality-constantine-goulimis?trk=hp-feed-article-title-publish). For those of you who aren't familiar with Causality, it was a company started to commercialize Pony. I'm not sure when it legally ceased operation but from a practical standpoint, any contributions from Causality to Pony stopped early this year.

Some folks on twitter and elsewhere appear to think this is recent news and that work on Pony has been impacted. This tweet introducing the post probably doesn't help:

"How we closed Causality, the company developing the programming language Pony".

Shortly after Causality shut down, a core Pony team was formed to help drive the language forward. I'm a founding member of that core team. During the last few months, we've seen the Pony community expand in a very encouraging way. We are slowly but surely gaining contributors on a regular basis. I'm more hopeful about the future of Pony now than I was at the beginning of the year.

The future health and strength of Pony won't come from a company trying to sell commercial support for it. It will come from each of you, the members of the Pony community. It will come from you telling others about the advantages that Pony brings to the table. It will come from you opening issues. It will come from you contributing code. It will come from you contributing to the RFC process. It will come from you contributing documentation.

In the end, programming languages succeed based on the strength of community, not technical merits. Technical merits can help but in the end, are relatively minor in the overall scheme of things. We on the Pony core team recognize this. One of the first things we did was to introduce a Code of Conduct to put in place rules for the community we sought to grow. A welcoming, thriving, civil community is what will make Pony a success. The more welcoming that community, the more people we will have driving Pony forward. Perhaps some day, that community will be big enough to support a company that provides commercial support for the language, but that certainly isn't where we are at now.

Currently, the core team is primarily focused on:

Performance improvements

Stability improvements

Getting Pony to a "rock-solid, production ready" state

Stamping a new official release

Beyond that, some exciting things we have coming:

Distributed Pony

Value dependent types

Fear not, we aren't going anywhere. We are just getting started. If you are interested in contributing but don't know how, drop me a line.

I'd like to close with some thanks.

Thank you to Sylvan for creating the core language. Thank you to Sebastian and Andy McNeil for their work in the early days of Pony. Thank you to Kevin Cantu who has been working on getting our release pipeline in shape so that we can release a new official version of Pony. Thank you to everyone who has been contributing to Pony on a regular basis, Joe M, Benoit, Theodus, John M, Andy T, Markus and everyone else.

And if you are interested in what is going on with Pony development, I'd suggest you:

watch the commit history on the main GitHub repo- https://github.com/ponylang/ponyc

join the developer mailing list- https://pony.groups.io/g/dev

join us on our weekly development sync call- https://pony.groups.io/g/dev/viewevent?repeatid=935&eventid=43148&calstart=2016-08-24


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