Developer

Aussies bringing Ruby to .NET

Developers at the Queensland University of Technology are currently working on an innovative project to create a compiler for the Ruby language that runs on the .NET Common Language Runtime.

Developers at the Queensland University of Technology are currently working on an innovative project to create a compiler for the Ruby language that runs on the .NET Common Language Runtime.

The project, dubbed the Gardens Point Ruby .NET compiler, is currently in beta at version 0.6. According to the official Web site the project is still in its infancy but developers working on the task have high ambitions:

Implementation is not yet complete but we have now implemented the vast majority of Ruby's builtin classes and modules. We have fixed large numbers of existing bugs, but many still remain. We have not yet implemented continuations or Ruby threads but support most other language features.

In addition to passing all 871 tests in the samples/test.rb installation test suite of Ruby 1.8.2, we are now able to support the standard Ruby test unit library and pass most of the 1864 assertions in the test/ruby test directory.

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.

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The project that is being funded by Microsoft will be an interesting one to keep track of. It follows suit of other dynamic languages which have recently moved to have code run on the .NET platform such as Python, Perl, and PHP among others.
While it's exciting to see this development in Australia there are some other Ruby .NET projects currently in the works. Some of the more active ones include:

* Mono Ruby.NET - http://jaen.saul.ee/rubynet/
* RubyCLR - http://www.rubyclr.com/
* IronRuby - http://www.wilcob.com/Wilco/IronRuby.aspx

On a related note UK IDE developer, SapphireSteel, overnight announced they are offering a free version of Ruby on Steel Personal Edition - a Ruby editing and debugging environment for Visual Studio 2005.

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