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You may have encountered a bug in the Ruby interpreter // Friday, 5th July 2019

Alyssa Ross


People sometimes say “it’s never a compiler error”. They don’t mean it literally — what they mean is that it’s very tempting to blame the compiler or interpreter for a bug that is actually in our own code. But sometimes, when the stars align, there it is. The mythical interpreter bug.

I’m going to show you how I narrowed down from “the website is crashing on my computer” to a real, live bug in the Ruby interpreter. We’ll look at how we can use techniques we already know, like unit testing and git, in the unfamiliar context of Ruby’s C internals. And, when we’ve finally figured out what’s causing our bug, we’ll go through the bug reporting process and learn how to share our findings and help make Ruby better for everyone.

A free software developer on the Developer Platform team at FreeAgent, where she has worked on Ruby’s standard libraries and other key components of the Ruby ecosystem.