Shoes is a GUI Toolkit originally developed by the legendary _why.
Way way back in the day, there was a guy named _why. He created a project known as Hackety Hack to teach programming to everyone. In order to reach all corners of the earth, _why decided to make Hackety Hack work on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. This was a lot of work, and so _why decided to share his toolkit with the world. Thus, Shoes was born.
Everybody loved Shoes. Many apps were made, and put into The Shoebox, which no longer exists. But, one day, _why left. In his memory, Team Shoes assembled, and carried on making Shoes. They released Shoes 3 in late summer 2010.
Shoes 3.0 and Shoes 3.1 (policeman) fell into neglect and stopped keeping pace with changes in Linux, OSX, Windows and MRI Ruby. Shoes 3.2 (aka federales) restarted Shoes 3 (MRI Ruby) so Red Shoes can run on 2015 versions of Linux, Windows, OSX and Ruby. It fixed some very old and debilitating bugs and adds some spiffy features that bare metal or MRI users may like.
Shoes 4 is a total re-write of Shoes. It's being done in JRuby with best practices. It re-implements the original Shoes 3 definition of Shoes in a pure Ruby friendly way whereas Shoes 3.x is more difficult for Rubyists to modify since it has C and Objective-C components and a build process that is less than easy to understand. Shoes 3.2 also has hardware costs and web hosting costs which makes if difficult for many developers to duplicate.
Shoes 4 uses modern Ruby practices and tools and has spawned a few related projects:
ShoesSpec: An executable specification for Shoes implementations, so that others can co-exist. A few other Shoes projects exist already, and a unified interface will be great.
Shoes-mocks: Sort of the opposite, a dummy set of Shoes that you can use to test applications written in Shoes.
The website: A new website is being made as well. Help here would be just as awesome as work on Shoes itself.