[LRUG] IronRuby - beware

John Scholes j3s1c4 at googlemail.com
Thu Jul 26 03:21:24 PDT 2007

Is it really sensible to tangle with this? The objective is it tie you 
in to MS and, more immediately, to get free comment etc. We have seen 
this umpteen times before with MS. Stay away!

See eg 

which unfortunately needs registration. But here is the first part to 
give the flavour:

> Often lumped together with other web dynamic scripting languages like 
> PHP, Perl, and Python, Ruby has drawn significant buzz thanks to the 
> rails framework that made it even easier to develop web apps. And now 
> Microsoft has released a community preview of its own dialect, 
> IronRuby, which it claims fixes some of Ruby’s shortcomings.
> According to John Lam, program manager for dynamic language run times 
> at Microsoft, the benefit will be much faster performance for web apps 
> that use the Microsoft stack. That means that Ruby gets access to 
> native debuggers, code profiling tools, a C# compiler, and other 
> goodies courtesy of the .NET Framework.
> But it also means that, unless you refrain from using .NET libraries, 
> IronRuby will only run in Microsoft environments, with one exception. 
> Using Silverlight, Microsoft’s multi-browser run time, you could also 
> develop IronRuby-based web apps to reside and run inside the browser 
> client as well.
> The key to IronRuby is that it is designed to run on Microsoft’s 
> Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR), which as the name implies is the 
> add-on designed for web dynamic scripting languages. Like IronRuby, 
> DLR is only in community preview. And, while it would be logical that 
> both technologies would get commercially released at the same time, at 
> this point Microsoft is only saying that it expects DLR to enter 
> general release in about a year, but is not making any 
> prognostications for IronRuby itself.
> IronRuby was first announced at Microsoft’s second Mix conference for 
> web developers, held this last April. This week’s announcement is that 
> the language is being released as a community preview under 
> Microsoft’s “Permissive License.” In effect, it’s Microsoft’s closest 
> equivalent to the BSD open source license, that allows developers to 
> play around with source code. Within six hours after the preview code 
> was released, the Mono Project (implementing .NET server and client on 
> other platforms) incorporated it within six hours.
> In this case, Microsoft is asking the community to develop libraries, 
> but for now, is asking for hands-off on the IronRuby compiler, because 
> it depends on another development release technology, the Dynamic 
> Language Runtime (DLR). As an extension to .NET’s Common Language 
> Runtime (CLR), Microsoft’s DLR is designed to run web dynamic 
> scripting languages. At this point, it too is in community technology 
> preview, but not under any kind of shared or permissive source license.
> Lam said that the dependency on DLR, which itself is still a work in 
> progress. “Because Microsoft has not finalized the public interfaces 
> of the DLR, we didn’t want to end up with external IP mixed into it, 
> as it is part of the CLR.”

John Scholes

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