I'm really pleased that two key contributors to the Ruby and Ruby on Rails communities for Oracle Database have been honored.
Takehiro Kubo and Yasuo Honda have both become Oracle ACEs. The Oracle Technology Network's Oracle ACE program describes itself as recognizing Oracle evangelists and enthusiasts. Both Takehiro and Yasuo fit this description exactly.
To me, Takehiro Kubo is most visible in his work on the ruby-oci8 gem. Ruby-oci8 is a Ruby interface for Oracle Database. Takehiro created ruby-oci8 and is actively maintaining it and helping users. He also willingly contributes his knowledge to Oracle Database interfaces for other programming languages, helping both maintainers and users. An eager adopter of new technology, he is currently developing ruby-odpi, a rewrite of the interface that is based on the strengths of Oracle's new ODPI-C wrapper.
Most Oracle Ruby and JRuby developers use the Ruby on Rails web application framework. Here Yasuo Honda is the key person. He has been the lead maintainer of the Ruby on Rails Oracle ActiveRecord Adapter for some years now. He has nurtured an active community of users and contributors, keeping up with both framework and library improvements. He has contributed enormously to its status as a very popular development environment. He freely contributes his knowledge and expertise.
Both Takehiro and Yasuo personify the ideal open source maintainers. They are able to create useful, beautiful software components that other people want to use. They take their roles seriously, and have shown long term commitment to their projects' successes.