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The ruby glint on the horizon
by Jeff Hobbs

Jeff Hobbs, October 29, 2008

After more than 10 years of playing around with dynamic languages and building strong stacks for them, we are out to strengthen our offerings further. Ruby is a language for which we have good IDE support, but the lack of...

After more than 10 years of playing around with dynamic languages and
building strong stacks for them, we are out to strengthen our offerings
further.  Ruby is a language for which we have good IDE support, but the
lack of any standard maintained distributions has added unnecessary
bumps in its growth.  We are looking to solve this with an ActiveRuby
distribution - and up-to-date, cross-platform and consistent distro for
all.  What do you think?  What would you like to see in an ActiveRuby?

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Jeff Hobbs is our VP, Engineering and oversees all ActiveState product development including our cloud solutions. Though he’s responsible for leading and fostering our talented development team, Jeff is a coder at heart! He is passionate about technologies that just work, making the lives of developers easier. His current obsession is making Stackato the best private PaaS platform for developers: using any language, any infrastructure, and leveraging open source - so that applications just deploy and scale in any cloud.

Comments

10 comments for The ruby glint on the horizon
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Native code compilation like TraceMonkey or V8
and ActiveRuby XPCOM component for Komodo IDE))

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Would this be MRI (Matz Ruby Implementation) packaged up with database drivers and that sort of thing? I'm running Leopard, which comes with all that. But it might be nice to have a friendly installer for 1.9.1 when it's released (Jan), assuming Apple isn't quick to update there install.

Rubini.us looks the most interesting, but still 6 months out. And MacRuby seems to be coming along well. I don't personally have an interest in JRuby or IronRuby, but others may.

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After reviewing what's out there, we are looking at 1.9.x as the base for ActiveRuby. It would be the core with key packages. The definition of "key" is of course a moving target and the main item we are looking for input on.

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I was wondering when it would happen. I asked a few years ago if you guys were going to do an AR distro. I think it is great.

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I would be very interested in ActiveRuby. I use ActivePython and appreciate it very much.

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Ruby is a worthless esoteric language. Don't spend a penny on it. You would be making millions if you would put serious focus on building a PHP compiler for the Windows and Unix platforms. That way people could write commercial apps with PHP. My two cents.

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As an Ex-ActivePerl fan who migrated to Ruby... this would be great news... Full speed ahead.

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Hmm, it's not clear to me the value it would add. I'm a big fan of Activestate's commerical products - I've purchased Komodo, The Perl Dev kit and most recently, ActivePerl Pro Studio, but when not using Windows, I either use the OS language distribution, or I compile from source when the distribution is broken (e.g Perl on Redhat/CentOS). Can you provide some examples of the "bumps" you hope to rectify wih Ruby?

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Dan - you really answer the question in your own post. You gloss over notable bumps like broken OS distributions, lack of an OS distro on Windows, and then there is keeping things up-to-date. OS X mostly updates languages with OS releases (as do most linux distros). That's maybe once every 18 months, not considering the lead time to getting in the QA window. Barring the occasional security patch, you can end up with 2 year old versions of the language.

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Hey, Nissim.

Nice to see you're alive and kicking. Good call on Ruby, too.

Don't be a stranger.