[Ironruby-core] How do you convince .Netdevelopers touseIronRuby?

Nathan Stults Nathan_Stults at HSIHealth.com
Thu Nov 5 10:37:32 EST 2009

You're probably right, you have a much broader perspective than I do (Windows/MS only) and on the larger scale, I can see how acceptance of IronRuby as a first class Ruby platform by the Ruby community will make or break its ultimate success. And I see what you mean about the nature of the OSS communities of the various platforms. Actually, my biggest fear for IronRuby is that the community won't port enough of the native components of the Ruby libraries to make it a truly viable option, exactly because the .NET OSS community isn't as robust, so engaging Ruby developers to step in and help get the work done does seem absolutely critical, in retrospect far more critical than convincing existing .NET developers to slowly start dipping their toes in IronRuby, as progress in that direction is not likely to move the platform towards parity with the other Ruby interpreters, which is the key component. Thanks for the schooling.  

-----Original Message-----
From: ironruby-core-bounces at rubyforge.org [mailto:ironruby-core-bounces at rubyforge.org] On Behalf Of C. K. Ponnappa
Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2009 1:56 AM
To: ironruby-core at rubyforge.org
Subject: Re: [Ironruby-core] How do you convince .Netdevelopers touseIronRuby?

> But isn't the C-Ruby or J-Ruby crowd deploying primarily on Windows a 
> pretty small group, all in all?
This is true. But mostly because none of them actually work for Windows 
shops, because if a shop is open to C-Ruby or J-Ruby they are not a 
Windows shop. Almost a Catch 22.
> After all, Ruby is considerably faster on Linux.
This is true too - but only compared to Ruby on Windows. The MRI 
compared to anything else (any other language) is like treacle. In fact, 
I always strongly recommend JRuby to all my clients, and one of our 
flagship products (Mingle) has been on JRuby since JRuby 0.9.  Pretty 
much the only thing I miss on JRuby in terms of libraries is RCov - 
everything else has been ported, or better options exist in Java 
already. Of course, the fact that JRuby is *way* faster than MRI helps, 
and from everything I've seen IronRuby is going to be just as quick, if 
not quicker.

Now, most shops are either Java or .Net and honestly, at the end of the 
day, this is with reference to the supported production environment, 
really, not the languages used. Taking myself as an example, I believe 
Ruby is a good idea so solve certain problems, and I can (and do) make a 
strong case for Ruby in Java shops thanks to JRuby. With IronRuby 
becoming mainstream, I can now start to make a case for it, and this is 
what I'm trying to get at. It will be dedicated Rubyists that make the 
point that a Windows production environment and a Ruby project are no 
longer a contradiction in terms, not unconvinced VB.Net devs or a suit 
that showed up at a MS dev day by mistake. It's the early adopters that 
evangelise, and someone who has only ever done C# since 2002 because his 
employers asked him to clearly isn't an early adopter.

And finally, the most crucial point for me:  The .Net world doesn't 
contain the most avid open source contributors (or even users) in the 
world. Not by a long shot. The Java world does, and the Ruby world is 
nothing but avid open source contributors and users. This is why you see 
JRuby grow a viable ecosystem in no time at all, with all significant 
gems ported and production deployments even before a 1.0. Without that, 
you simply do not have enough tools and libraries to build stuff. 
Encouraging developers and maintainers of popular Ruby gems to support 
and innovate on IronRuby is of the utmost importance. And almost every 
single popular gem is developed on either OSX or Linux - which means 
IronRuby building and running smoothly on both Linux and OSX is 
essential to get the ecosystem going.

Anyways, long story short, when we get to a point where a hacker can 
confidently offer to solve a problem with a Ruby app (especially in the 
enterprise, because here there be dragons) even though its a Windows 
shop, we've achieved critical mass. Then its all downhill from there.


Nathan Stults wrote:
> Good point. I guess from an evangelism perspective, it makes sense to 
> talk to everyone who walks by the soapbox, as there’s something for 
> everyone. Even so, if the path to significant adoption = IronRuby 
> Evangelists =>  Rubyists  =>  .NET Foot Soldiers, I’ll eat my hat. 
> Fortunately, it’s made of food.
> *From:* ironruby-core-bounces at rubyforge.org 
> [mailto:ironruby-core-bounces at rubyforge.org] *On Behalf Of *Ryan Riley
> *Sent:* Wednesday, November 04, 2009 9:35 PM
> *To:* ironruby-core at rubyforge.org
> *Subject:* Re: [Ironruby-core] How do you convince .Net developers 
> touseIronRuby?
> On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 10:44 PM, Nathan Stults 
> <Nathan_Stults at hsihealth.com <mailto:Nathan_Stults at hsihealth.com>> wrote:
> But isn't the C-Ruby or J-Ruby crowd deploying primarily on Windows a
> pretty small group, all in all? Aren't most Ruby dev's working on Linux?
> After all, Ruby is considerably faster on Linux. I'm having a hard time
> imagining what the value proposition is for this demographic, who
> shouldn't really need to convert, but simply be willing to consider
> IronRuby as an alternative deployment option for Windows. Maybe I'm just
> being pessimistic, but I see convincing established Ruby developers to
> leave their stable, mature interpreters and libraries for 0.x IronRuby
> to gain access to .NET, and at the same time wave goodbye to Ruby 1.9,
> somewhat steeper of a climb than peddling dynamic languages, Ruby and
> IronRuby, to the existing .NET community.
> What about RubyCocoa and Flex development? Not all Ruby is pure web or 
> console scripts. Apple got Ruby devs working on their platform (or 
> maybe vice versa). Why not Ruby WPF or Ruby Silverlight (via Ivan's 
> IronNails or Jimmy's silverline)? It's not a major jump, but it gives 
> them easier access to Windows client development. If nothing else, 
> they may be able to help evangelize the C# and VB.NET <http://VB.NET> 
> stalwarts and show them a better way. ;)
> Ryan Riley
> Email: ryan.riley at panesofglass.org <mailto:ryan.riley at panesofglass.org>
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanriley
> Blog: http://wizardsofsmart.net/
> Website: http://panesofglass.org/ 
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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