Friday, September 08, 2006

What a Little Bird Told Me About JRuby

Shortly after I read the news about Sun hiring Charles and Thomas to work on JRuby, I talked to Kevin Tew (the developer of the recently revived Cardinal project) about it. Here are some of his thoughts:

How do you think Sun's hiring of Charles Nutter and Thomas Enebo to work on Jruby will affect Ruby as a language?

Kevin: I think it's wonderful. It will greatly accelerate JRuby's stability and execution speed.

Having people working full time on Ruby besides Matz should help eliminate the rough edges and little inconsistencies of Ruby.

I would like to see stable support for tail recursion and continuations in Ruby and JRuby. I hope the JVM can continue to evolve to meet the needs of dynamic languages and not stifle the innovation of dynamic features.

How will it affect the Ruby community?

Kevin: The greater exposure of Ruby in the Java community can have nothing but positive effects for the Ruby community.

I'm a big believer of the positive influences that diversity and new blood can have on a project. I think each new implementation of Ruby is an added benefit to the community as a whole. I'm excited to see what new ideas will come from JRuby, given Charles and Thomas's new elevated status.

How will it affect your implementation of Cardinal?

It's always nice to have more than one example to look at when writing a new implementation of a programming language.

Building Cardinal on top of Parrot is much more similar to JRuby on top of the JVM than Matz's Ruby written in C. Having JRuby as a model will help speed up Cardinal development.

Hopefully a little of the attention JRuby is receiving can rub off on Cardinal.

Any other thoughts?

Kevin: I'm looking forward to meeting and working with Charles Nutter and Thomas Enebo.

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