Development of alternative Ruby implementations has been fast and furious in 2008. Progress continues on RubyVM/1.9, IronRuby, MagLev, JRuby, MacRuby, and Rubinius. Each implementation offers niche advantages over MRI (Matz’s Ruby Implementation).
Rubinius is an alternative Ruby implementation with a C++ VM, Ruby standard library, and Ruby compiler. It supports both the existing C-API for writing extensions as well as the emerging defacto standard FFI (foreign function interface) that is supported on MRI via a gem, and on JRuby natively. Rubinius offers the broadest support of all core features as a replacement for MRI.
Rubinius has been a public open source project for just over two years. In June 2007, Engine Yard began financially supporting the project. In 2008, a number of major milestones were reached, including running Rails on the previous C-language VM and the switch to completely rewritten C++ VM that offers many architectural advantages.
This talk will give an overview of the project and architecture and detail major recent changes like switching away from the stackless execution model and improvements in the core library data structures, garbage collector, compiler, and JIT assembler. Challenges implementing Ruby and getting the flagship web application framework, Rails, running again can be discussed depending on audience interest.
Brian is employed by Engine Yard to work full-time on Rubinius and the RubySpec project. Interested in languages of all types, he currently considers Ruby to be his favorite. He intends to make Rubinius the premier Ruby implementation and to facilitate easily exploring and adopting the best features of other programming languages.
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