fredag, juli 27, 2007

The IronRuby scoop

As you almost certainly now at this time, IronRuby was released the beginning of this week (read more here, here and here). Now, this of course begs a few question. But first things first: note that Microsoft have decided to host the project on RubyForge, and will do so sometime next month. Not only that, it's actually a very open source license called MsPL: Microsoft Permissive License. If you look at the license, you will see that it's almost exactly a BSD license, except that the patent restrictions have been clarified. Obviously, I'm not a lawyer, but I can say that this license seems very nice and will allow good usage of IronRuby in many cases.

The code base is strictly limited right now. The things that actually work is most of the core language structure, the Array and String classes and .NET Interop. Of course, that is an extremely large achievement to have this working so well. Also, the compiler seems to generate very good code and judging from microbenchmarks, it has the possibility of having very good performance. It's important to remember that many of the more important corner cases aren't supported yet, and it is these that usually drags the performance of Ruby implementations down. I'm confident that Lam and company can handle this, though.

Overall, I would say that this is looking very good. I would recommend .NET people to take a look at it, and also try to contribute. Very soon, you will be able to contribute code back to everything except the core compiler and DLR.

Finally, the question on everyones mind: when will IronRuby be finished? I don't know, but I think it can happen with 6-12 months. The concerns raised two months ago have been resolved internally by Microsoft, which makes IronRuby a very real and important project.

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