[Ironruby-core] Regarding IronRuby... How true it sounds from this blog

Antonio Cangiano acangiano at gmail.com
Mon Apr 28 11:44:50 EDT 2008

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Charles Oliver Nutter wrote:
> I disagree, and you need look no further than this mailing list to see
> the truth. Of the perhaps 40 threads I see started since Apr 3, I see
> only 8 that were started by folks from Microsoft...all John Lam...two of
> those SVN update emails. So perhaps 6 substantive threads where the
> initiator is someone from the IronRuby team.
> In order for an OSS project to work, any core team needs to be having
> conversations in the open. Since this is clearly not happening, it would
> be the first thing to change. I don't know if it's Microsoft policy or
> just an oversight by the IronRuby team.
> And obviously not tossing SVN bundles over the wall would help foster a
> bit more dynamic community. It's far more difficult (maybe impossible)
> to run an OSS project well if the community members can't update their
> working copies to exactly what the core team sees day-to-day. This one
> is most likely an MS issue.

I don't usually like to criticize open source projects but I must say
that I wholeheartedly agree with you on this point. The development
process behind JRuby and Rubinius is very open, while IronRuby's one is
not nearly enough so. The end result is that JRuby and Rubinius appear
to be improving really fast, while IronRuby seems to proceed at a
glacial pace. Behind the scenes, this may not be the case, but by
looking at the repository this is the impression that one gets.

According to ohloh, IronRuby has 2 contributors who made commits, JRuby
has 22 and Rubinius 152. JRuby and Rubinius get several commits on a
daily basis, while IronRuby's commits are rare and 1 year after its
announcement there still hasn't been a single release, the trunk is at
version 96 and x = 2 in interactive mode is still broken.

While granted IronRuby may appeal to less people than Rubinius or JRuby,
I still feel that the development process could benefit a lot from
incremental/daily commits, more transparency and a greater deal of
control handed to the community.

As Charlie mentioned somewhere else, JRuby is not Sun's, it belongs to
the community. That statement is entirely backed up by facts, but I'm
afraid that, at this stage, it isn' possible to claim the same for
IronRuby. This, coupled with the fact that ASP.NET and languages like C#
are clearly Microsoft's main interest, lead me to believe that IronRuby
is not living up to its full potential.

Microsoft has the resources and brilliant minds (e.g. John Lam) to
seriously reconsider its approach to this project, in order to really
let it take off.

Just my 2 cents,
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