Ruby.Net Lives! Is RoR on the CLR coming too?

Funny, I had a couple conversations about Ruby.Net this week and we all were disappointed because we thought it was dead.

Ruby.Net Lives!  New beta release.

From the release,

We have just started work on getting Ruby on Rails to run on Ruby.NET and have started
work on adding interoperability features to allow .NET programs written in other languages
to conveniently use Ruby components and vice versa. We hope to include some of these features
in the next public release.

About Jeremy Miller

Jeremy is the Chief Software Architect at Dovetail Software, the coolest ISV in Austin. Jeremy began his IT career writing "Shadow IT" applications to automate his engineering documentation, then wandered into software development because it looked like more fun. Jeremy is the author of the open source StructureMap tool for Dependency Injection with .Net, StoryTeller for supercharged acceptance testing in .Net, and one of the principal developers behind FubuMVC. Jeremy's thoughts on all things software can be found at The Shade Tree Developer at http://codebetter.com/jeremymiller.
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  • http://www.lazycoder.com Scott

    Jeremy,

    I haven’t heard anything official, as in on MSDN or bogs.msdn.com, but John states in his “I’m going to Microsoft” post that he is going to work “in the CLR team to help bring the love of dynamic languages out to the statically typed heathens :)”

    Considering that most of the tech talk at our table (not dealing with how Microsoft can’t ship anything quickly) was about dynamic language support in the CLR, and Don Box’s love of Scheme and Ruby, I wouldn’t be surprised if more dynamic languages made it into the CLR. Given that they went after John Lam specifically, and had folks from the IronPython team present at OSCON and at the dinner, I’d be surprised if Ruby support didn’t make it into the CLR.

    http://www.iunknown.com/articles/2006/10/20/dynamic-languages-microsoft-and-me

  • http://codebetter.com/blogs/jeremy.miller jmiller

    Scott,

    Is there anything public about that? I knew they hired John Lam, but I hadn’t heard about anything Ruby from MS itself.

  • http://www.lazycoder.com Scott

    Were you folks aware that John Lam is working at MS on integrating Ruby into the CLR a’la IronPython? I met John last summer at OSCON along with an IronPython dev, they were both pretty upbeat about CLR support for dynamic languages. Much farther along (internally at least) than the Ruby.NET project. (No offense intended towards them).

  • http://hammett.castleproject.org hammett

    Yes, totally. Maybe it’s time to switch back to java… ;-)

  • http://codebetter.com/blogs/jeremy.miller jmiller

    The interpreter/compiler combo is a good point. I’d love to be able to code against the interpreter and only compile when it’s time to deploy to testing or prod.

    The IronPython guys have been pretty upbeat about dynamic languages on the CLR.

    It’s ironic to me that .Net’s supposed multi-language advantage seems to be getting trumped by the JVM. .Net has a couple of interchangeable *mainstream* languages while the JVM is getting conceptually different languages (JRuby, Jython, Groovy, Scala).

  • http://hammett.castleproject.org hammett

    Jeremy, the CLR is not ready for a truly dynamic language, I’m sure Ruby.Net contains (and will always contain) a lot of hacks, so it will not be fully embraced anyway. It’s an experiment to prove that a dynamic language can (kinda) be supported by the CLR, not to prove that it will perform well, or be smoothly implemented.

    Fortunately Sun and MS share this problem, and both of them are trying to get it solved. But from my point of view, Sun is far ahead, and JRuby has supported RoR for quite sometime. The difference is that JRuby guys are creating an interpreter, while Ruby.Net will be a compiler, AFAIC.

  • http://codebetter.com/blogs/jeremy.miller jmiller

    Hamilton,

    I agree with you on idealistic principles, and I think an OSS model would get it done faster in a way. They are saying that they want to start running it more on an OSS model where they will accept patches and extensions.

    The harsh reality is that we probably can’t recommend Ruby.Net to the average client without that official seal of approval from MS. Plus, I’m sure this would go a lot better with some technical assistance from MS’s CLR teams.

    Jeremy

  • http://hammett.castleproject.org hammett

    I just wish it was an open source project, instead of an academic exercise sponsored by MS. A port of JRuby would be a better alternative to the .net community.