[Ironruby-core] why use IronRuby

C. K. Ponnappa ckponnappa at gmail.com
Wed Nov 11 23:41:13 EST 2009


As an experiment, I'd suggest pick a toy client-server problem. Try 
building out your server as a Rails app that has no human consumable 
view and only exposes REST resources (ok, Rails resources aren't very 
RESTful, but that's another story altogether). Build your client using 
standard C# if it's a desktop app or silverlight, or build another Rails 
app as the client if it's going to be a website. Stick with TDD the 
whole way on all components and keep your build green all the time (this 
is important if you're looking to experience a productivity boost).

This should give you a reasonably good idea about what you can expect 
and the tradeoffs that you make with Ruby. It will be even better if you 
can find an experienced Ruby hacker to pair with over the course of the 
exercise, preferably one who is familiar with .Net.
> I would really use this though besides maybe in writing scripts to do 
> little things or to help out with builds.
Absolutely! I swear by Rake, it's fabulous as a build language and 
hammers ant/nant in terms of ease of use and longer term 
maintainability, especially on larger codebases which tend to have many 
stages in the build. There are several projects on multiple platforms 
(including .Net, Cocoa, Java and of course Ruby) that have discarded 
their traditional build scripts to move to Rake.
> I think I can actually develop a fair bit quicker given current tools.
The catch with writing Ruby is that most of the dev tools are part of 
the OS. It's been a few years since I used a serious IDE (IntelliJ) but 
IDEs are primarily valuable for their magnificent support for 
Refactoring. These days I use TextMate with a bunch shell scripts which 
give me everything except the Refactoring (which I sorely miss, I can 
tell you). On Windows, you're rather stuck when it comes Ruby dev 
tooling (at least for now). In my experience, at least to begin with you 
can do with IronRuby what most people do with JRuby - develop on 
Ubuntu/OSX using the MRI and deploy onto IronRuby on Windows. You get 
the developer productivity boost associated with any *nix based OS and 
the ability to finally deploy onto Windows. You'll need to watch out for 
gem dependencies though, since only the pure Ruby ones will be 
automatically available on IronRuby.

Best,
Sidu.
http://blog.sidu.in
http://twitter.com/ponnappa
>  
>    I have been playing with IronRuby 0.9.2 for a week or so and I have 
> to say that it is alot of fun to tinker with, I am having alot of 
> trouble trying to figure out where I would really use this though 
> besides maybe in writing scripts to do little things or to help out 
> with builds.  My development is all desktop Client/Server code.  I see 
> people mention testing and rapid development, I think I can actually 
> develop a fair bit quicker given current tools.  I really am 
> interested in working this in if I can see some areas that it would be 
> helpful. 
>  
> Thanks,
> Patrick
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