Sun Polishes JRuby For Purchase

    September 11, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The two developers working on JRuby, a project to enable Ruby on the Java Virtual Machine, now work for Sun Microsystems.

Charles Nutter and Thomas Enebo will carry on their work as part of Sun. The JRuby project is a 100% pure-Java implementation of the Ruby programming language, which has gained popularity among web developers for building applications.

In joining Sun Microsystems, the developer duo will have the opportunity to clean up and optimize their implementation, and make it more useful for other developers. Nutter discussed that in his post:

The potential for Ruby on the JVM has not escaped notice at Sun, and so we’ll be focusing on making JRuby as complete, performant, and solid as possible.

We’ll then proceed on to help build out broader tool support for Ruby, answering calls by many in the industry for a “better” or “smarter” Ruby development experience.

I’m also making it a personal priority to continue growing the JRuby community, foster greater cooperation between the Java and Ruby worlds, and work toward a “whole-platform” Ruby-on-JVM strategy for Sun.

Enebo also posted about the move to Sun:

Expect big progress in the next few months. I am very impressed with Sun’s ability to understand the importance of additional languages on the JVM. To give them even more credit, they have been moving down this path already (Semplice, Rhino, JSR223, Groovy).

Both Enebo and Nutter noted that JRuby would continue to be an open source product. Sun recognized that the existing Ruby community might not take kindly to disrupting that.

They also credited famed technologist Tim Bray for evangelizing their cause within sun. “Yes, I helped make this happen, and for once, you’re going to be getting the Sun PR party line, because I wrote most of it,” Bray said on his blog.

He also answered the question that will be on the minds of web developers who work with the Ruby On Rails framework for their online applications:

Why JRuby and not Ruby on Rails?

Rails is built on the Ruby language, and already (sort of) runs on JRuby. It may be the case that it will run better on JRuby than on the native platform in certain application scenarios.

There are also things we can do to make JRuby on Rails a compelling option, not the least of which is integrating Rails into existing Java frameworks and applications.

More about JRuby from its creators can be found in a tutorial available online.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.