Share this project


Share this project

Hello Ruby is a children’s book that teaches programming fundamentals through stories and kid-friendly activities.
9,258 backers pledged $380,747 to help bring this project to life.

Dealing with delays

Posted by Linda Liukas (Creator)

All I eat for dinner is the internet. It tastes awful. – Poet Patricia Lockwood Dreams of Roasted Pturkeydactyls 

Tenth update

Sorry for the slow update. I promise I’ll do better in November. September was a big whirlwind of people. After a slow and dreamy summer I’ve been in Stockholm, Krakow and Oslo, and going to Frankfurt and London for book stuff.

The main reason behind all this travel is to talk to people smarter than I am and try to understand what I’ve started. What does it all really mean? What is Ruby about? The current tagline goes like this: Hello Ruby is the worlds most whimsical way to learn about computers, programming and technology. What do you think? Yes or no?

The bad news of the month are that I still don’t have a confirmed shipping date for you. I’m a girl who returns all her essays on time, gets only As from exams and when making choices goes for the smart and safe. But this thing is bigger than I am and for the first time in my life I don’t have all the answers or all the time I need. And I apologise for that. These monthly letters however are my attempt at keeping you all in the loop and a part of this creative, chaotic process. And you, my backers keep me sane. This letter from a backer made one of my gloomy Mondays:

“Project delay is a matter of life. Obstacles are to be overcome. Once you get over, that’s it.

There’s no need to feel sorry. We are happy to see you keep going after for the Ruby dream, no matter how long the delay going to be

Cheers. Be happy, only then you’ll be productive”

My offer still stands. If you have a special someone who is going to be very disappointed for not receiving the book for birthday/housewarming/something else, send me a message and I’ll give a little illustration exercise for your gift receiver to let them know the book is coming. 

 In other news, you can catch a video from the GRID conference, where I share some of the philosophical background of Hello Ruby. It’s 17 minutes and one of my favourite talks I’ve given in recent times.

Thank you everyone for the support. You matter.



Make a computer

Last time I sent you the Make your first computer -exercise and asked for feedback. (If you want to do it still, you can find the instructions here).

What I didn’t anticipate was the global response. I got even pictures from kids in Afghanistan designing their own computers. Angela made this beautiful blog post about what she learned and below is a selection of pictures from computers all over the world. Just look at these essential moments of discovery, joy and magic.

 I got wonderful responses that really help me shape up the curriculum around the computer. There was a reason I didn’t include more instructions on the components - I wanted to hear what you thought was missing. After all, often times the real learning comes from prompting questions. You can catch a glimpse of the v2 of the computer after a few paragraphs.

Make a question

I loved hearing from you and want to keep this up. And I’ve pretty much decided not to send these without some sort of an interactive activity - it’s just way too much fun.

Last spring I received an e-mail from little Juno from Slovenia asking me the following questions:

  • How is it possible that a computer can move things 
  • How to make a computer? 
  • Where does all the information on computer screen come from? 
  • How do you create a web page? 
  • How do visual effects (e.g. stretch or twirl) in Photoshop work?

I’ll try to answer these over video in my next update. But before that it’s your turn - do send me your questions, the curious things the kids ask and I’ll do my best to have an illustrated answer by next. You can add the question in the comments of this post or just hit reply.

Make a brand

Since I’m currently the biggest bottleneck in everything I try to do, we’ve been hard at work with Kokoro & Moi, creating the Hello Ruby brand. This is just a sneak peek to all of the awesome things that are coming your way: the new logo, some custom stickers and a new, modified computer. I like to think that this is the way Ruby sees the world.

What I especially love is the systematic approach of the design (also a nod towards programming). The logo characters rotate a full 360 in sequence and both the fonts and the illustrations are built of smaller, reusable components that basically allow anyone to create Ruby’s imagination.

Linked List 

The worthy diversions of the month.


Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Linda Liukas Creator on

      Hi guys, so sorry for the late response to your comments here! Thank you for these messages, it’s great to hear your reactions and your kind words of encouragement.

      As you know, a lot has happened and I’ve been hard at work ever since the campaign, and I’m so sorry that I’ve neglected to respond to your questions here!

      Marko, lovely photos thanks for sharing the link!! Is that an external harddrive? :)

      Casey, DLM, Brad, yes I’m in talks with a publisher and can soon share more info on this. Before I have a final understanding of the schedule, I am cautious to set any expectations on this. In all certainty I can share that it unfortunately won’t be before January.

      I’m sure no one feels their work is ever “complete” but I can say that I’m about 95% done with the contents, and we’re now working on finishing touches with formatting, layout etc.

      Paola, yes, the age-old gendered color question, so hard to balance! You can see a glimpse of how I decided to color Ruby’s world on - let me know what you think!

      Pat, thanks for your comments. I know I’ve had more than my fair share of delays, some self-caused in my quest to make Ruby’s world as great as I am able, and some due to external issues.

      Robert, I will do my best to communicate about schedules as soon as I can! Sorry for having to make you wait!

    2. Missing avatar

      Robert Paluch on

      Hi Linda,
      fine that you are enjoying your live, taking the money to have some exiting journeys and so on, but under the line nobody expects the best book ever about progamming.
      Please spend more time with the development and the delivery (maybe these are also useful chapters in the book, as they are in the real world).
      And off courese it would be nice to have in general more information about your schedule.

    3. Glen Bodor on

      Okidokee, well I've backed a lot of Kickstarters but this one takes the cake.
      Your posts are a joy to read, as are your videos to watch.
      I backed you because I believe in your goals, your enthusiasm and your mindset. I backed you because I believe you'll start something that's needed to be started a long time ago. And I backed you because being Kickstartered allows you to follow your heart's process, to learn and to shape your mind toward progress, and to combine both to produce something that you can be proud of which leads me to be proud to share it with my kids.
      Delays are natural with all Kickstarter campaigns. Take your time and do it the way you feel is right.

    4. pat on

      I don't know where you've worked previously but almost all of the business world involves deadlines. I'm beginning to think this KS was a ruse to avoid getting a job because, again, that would mean you've have to meet a deadline.

      If I was running a book business and hired you as an author, I would've fired you're ass long ago.

      You're LinkedIn says you're an author. You haven't written a book though so how are you an author?

      "What does it all really mean? What is Ruby about?"

      It's too late in the game to be asking these questions. Here's the reality of the situation: YOU are blowing though more than a quarter of a million dollars flying all over the world meeting strangers about a book YOU are supposed to write, asking questions you've should've had answered prior to doing this KS.

      I know people like you and I know this thing is no where NEAR done. You're so fucked.

    5. Missing avatar

      DLM on

      Thank you, Brad and Casey. I also agree w/Mark that we supported a "process". I'm just not satisfied that we have seen much of what was promised, in her own words:
      "Follow my journey in making this book reality through exclusive backer updates full of information on making a children's book..."

      In addition, there has been no mention of the Workbook or its progress.

    6. Paola Kathuria on

      Wonderful video. I always love reading about this project. I have been using Hello Ruby as an example of a powerful way to open up opportunity to young girls and to present a great positive female role model to both young girls and boys. So, yes, these things take time.

      However, I'd like to suggest that you drop the pink in the branding and in the book headings/icons. As part of redefining what being female means, I honestly think that we need to move away from the pink, because the pink/blue gender-cueing isn't helpful.

    7. Mark Fox on

      You're doing great work, Linda. I love the updates and it's clear you are thoughtful and thorough and though I'm quite excited for the end product I'd like underline I didn't give money simply for a product: I gave money for the process. Thanks for your dedication!

    8. Brad Dancer

      @Steven - no need to be rude, @DLM was expressing their own opinion, which they are entitled to. I don't mind the delays and these updates are always a joy to read. However, I'm with Casey and DLM - specifics would be helpful. I appreciate all the work she's doing around this, its important work that she clearly has a passion for. Doesn't change that we pledged for a project and would like to hear more specifics, not to much to ask. @Steven, you can be as insensitive to the other backers as you want, but no one disrespected anyone here, just asked questions. I assume Linda is mature enough to handle questions.

    9. Missing avatar

      Casey Fox on

      I have to say I'm with DLM. Initially it was a little fun to get a glimpse into your process, but as we've blown past the deadline with zero information on a timeline, it's a bit disheartening. Yes, you're in talks with a publisher, so tell us about it. Have you signed a contract? How quickly can they turn around the books? Is the book even complete? Will the ebook and hard copies be available at the same time? Your lack of providing any of these types of details is a bit worrisome.

    10. Steven Pickles on

      Oops, in future I should just speak for myself; it looks like @DLM feels entitled to be quite demanding for their 0.01% stake in this project :)

    11. Missing avatar

      Jennifer F on

      Thank you for the update, please keep us in the loop with your creative process.

    12. Missing avatar

      DLM on

      This is a very confusing update. I am more interested in specifics of the progress of the book itself:

      1) What % of the writing is complete?
      2) What % of the illustrations are complete?
      3) When will the digital version be available?
      4) When is it being sent to a printer?
      5) When will hardcovers be shipped?

      This other information, while very interesting and certainly inspiring, is not the project your backers supported.

      We supported a children's book ...a digital/hardcover book.

      Please, answer with specifics. Thank you.

    13. Missing avatar

      Lorna Goulden on

      By Kickstarter standards you haven't really come close to being late yet so don't worry too much! It is very welcome, and very important, to keep backers up to date with progress, in an honest and open way, which you are doing at just the right level for me. Most projects end up being a great learning experience !
      If you are hitting some really sticky problems causing the delays you might want to consider reaching out to backers for advice, you never know there might be someone here, who knows someone. Anyway, I hope things start moving towards delivery in the right way for you soon.
      If it starts looking like you are going to really slip terribly with your deadline . . . past Christmas? Next Spring? Then you may consider to leaning on the special advantage that you have . . . a special drawing of a rather late Ruby . . . and I am sure backers will be delighted by the delay :-)

    14. Missing avatar

      Joek van Montfort on

      When the book finally arrives you'll notice that these updates double as a second book, thanks for sharing how the project is going and thanks for all the inspiration you bring us with stories, drawings, and references to books, websites and more.

    15. Steven Pickles on

      I'd drop the "worlds most" part from the tag-line. Comparison-mind will mess you up. "Hello Ruby is a whimsical way to learn about computers, programming and technology".

      Also, it's clear you are doing your best. What do we as backers need to do to make you feel like you don't need to apologise? Sure, keep us up to date, we want to be a part of it, that's why we backed you but I don't think any of us want to be your silent taskmasters :)

    16. Missing avatar

      Kate Farrell on

      I'd rather have a better book than a quicker book, and I think most people will feel the same. Thanks for the update!

    17. Stuart Alexander Arnott on

      Don't worry about the delay, just keep us posted. Make "Hello Ruby it as good as you want it to be. If that takes a bit longer, that's fine with me. I'd rather it was late but was something you're proud of, than on time, but something you felt you'd compromised. Good luck!

    18. Jouni Lahtinen on

      No worries; There is no such thing as a creative project without delays - the two go hand-in-hand! :)

    19. Marko Koivuniemi on

      I have completely missed this exercise and it seems wonderful. I must do this with my 5,5 and 7 years old daughters while we are waiting for Hello Ruby!. But before that I like to show what my daughters do by themselves (mostly 7 years old Sonja). I saw these after they were finished. And I must say that I'm proud. It was interesting to see that mouse was made separately (of course) and then attached to computer using glue.
      Here are the pictures:…

    20. Christopher Jr Riley on

      That's okay. Delays happen, but at least you're being up front and honest about it. Keep up the good work and be sure to continue to update on your progress; many of us (me included) are very interested in hearing it.