[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.
> 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
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