Can Rubinius bring Ruby back?

Can Rubinius bring Ruby back?

Summary: Rubinius, the Ruby virtual machine Engine Yard has been promising, is finally ready. It passed the milestone of running Ruby on Rails a week ago.

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Engine Yard logoCan a Ruby virtual machine written in Ruby bring back excitement to the open source scripting language?

Rubinius, the Ruby virtual machine Engine Yard has been promising, is finally ready, said project lead Evan Phoenix. It passed the milestone of running Ruby on Rails a week ago, and Phoenix is now in marketing mode.

"Because so much of our core is in Ruby we have to get performance up. This means we'll increase the performance of all Ruby code. It can be applied to Rails, and all kinds of code."

This also means Phoenix is ready to push back on claims that Ruby can't scale, spread by failures and downtime at Twitter, which have drawn heavy publicity.

"For something like Twitter they haven't had problems with the parts they have in Ruby, which for the most part is the front end. They've had problems in the back end, some of which is Ruby, but that's not where the scaling is."

Phoenix points to Twitter's architecture as the likely source of its problems.  "It's never the language that scales, it's the overall architecture. Having proper techniques for building a web architecture so it can scale is better."

Engine Yard's next step is to integrate Rubinius fully into the Apache Web server, Phoenix adds. He calls it the equal to PHP and Python in terms of productivity and scalability, and that Rubinius will even help Ruby in comparisons with Java.

"Java has gotten people used to the idea of lots of virtual functions, and sending with methods and dispatch and that kind of thing. Things Ruby does. Once you give people a good description of the features in terms people understand it doesn't take them long."

What he's urging is that you give Ruby and Rubinius a chance, which is the best way to learn the language anyway. "Just do a patch or write a Twitter Bot. You learn a lot from that."

It's not too late to fall in love with Ruby.

Topic: Software Development

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6 comments
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  • Ruby should be the next language for Google App Engine. Google should hire

    these guys!!!
    DonnieBoy
    • I don't know about that...

      I think Google needs to be flexible in its approach to what people write to the App Engine in, and not dictate Ruby over some other scripting system. Give Ruby a solid chance to compete, and let the market decide.
      DanaBlankenhorn
      • I agree

        I was interested in App Engine until I saw that it was limited to Python. Python and Ruby are cool but I'm not into jumping on these language fads and ESPECIALLY not these frameworks like Rails. I have the know how so give me the raw language and the freedom to tailor my framework and reusable code and I'll be fine.
        storm14k
  • RE: Can Rubinius bring Ruby back?

    I wasn't aware that Ruby had actually gone somewhere else. Last I checked the language was still adopting highly: http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html
    nate63179
    • The product is on the shelves...

      ...but its mindshare and marketshare has been languishing for some time. This is an admirable attempt to change that. I applaud Engine Yard for its tenacity and hard work, and wish them well.
      DanaBlankenhorn
  • RE: Can Rubinius bring Ruby back?

    That's great news, but :
    - Rubinius is not only pure Ruby, Rubinius is far from being only Ruby code.
    - Rails is just beginning to work with Rubinius, they still have a lot lot LOT work to do to make it a usable environment, so I will wait a little more ;-) I would not say that "is finally ready", I would say that Rubinius just passed a very important milestone, but not the last to the Rails long and winding road ;-)
    atari_z