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Interview: John Lam About IronRuby

by Abel Avram on Aug 06, 2008 |

In this interview, John Lam, Program Manager on the Dynamic Language Runtime team at Microsoft, talks about IronRuby, what it means to .NET supporters and how it has been received by the Ruby community.

Watch: Interview: John Lam About IronRuby (17 minutes)

John says that, generally speaking, IronRuby has been well received both by "kids coming out of school", as he likes to call them, and by veterans like David A. Patterson. When he enters into details, he notices that, while some .NET developers easily embrace a dynamic language, others want languages even more statically strong typed than C#. While everybody has his arguments, John remarks that what it mostly matters today is software shipping, software that is done and delivered quickly, and dynamic languages are good at that.

While it seems natural for the .NET developers to have mixed feelings about IronRuby, everybody would expect the Ruby community to eagerly embrace it. But it does not seem to be so according to John: "You would be surprised by that [Ruby community's attitude towards IronRuby], because I wouldn't say that people in Ruby community are hostile towards our efforts: I think it is worse than that." But John does not stop there and explains why IronRuby matters to the Ruby community.

John also talks about Ruby's scalability and the challenges met trying to introduce a dynamic language into the static world of .NET CLR.

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