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JRuby 0.9 Released; Runs WEBrick, Rails, RubyGems, and Rake

by Floyd Marinescu on Jul 05, 2006 |
Released today, JRuby 0.9 can now run RubyGems, the WEBrick Ruby HTTP server, and Ruby on Rails (on WEBrick).  JRuby co-lead Thomas Enebo told InfoQ that Rake also recently started to work.  JRuby 0.9 also includes a number of bug fixes, an improved YAML parser thanks to JvYAML and RbYAML projects, and all non-native standard libraries are bundled in the JRuby distribution.

JRuby is a Ruby 1.8.2 compatible Ruby interpreter written in Java. It supports most built-in Ruby classes and also supports  interacting with and defining java classes from within ruby. JRuby is seen by many in the Ruby community as a way to take Ruby and Rails mainstream with first class deployment support (the JVM) and strong integration with Java.   In the Java community, some see it as the answer to improving web development productivity while still staying on the Java platform and preserving existing investments in Java.

InfoQ spoke briefly to project co-lead Thomas Enebo who mentioned "The applications we spent a lot of effort on were Ruby on Rails,WEBrick, and RubyGems. Recently we noticed Rake started working as well. These four are all important applications in the Ruby world.  If you look at the complexity of Rails by itself, then you can get some appreciation of the above quoted statement.  We think most standard (non-native) libraries are working, but need users pounding on them to tell us whether that is true or not.  We still know of problems and missing methods, but it feels like we turned a corner on JRuby's correctness as a Ruby interpreter."

On when 0.9.1 is coming out and what to expect, Thomas told InfoQ:
 We want to have another release near the end of this summer (end of August).  We made a promise at JavaOne that we would completely support Ruby on Rails and we want to:
1. Fix more incompatabilities so Rails runs better.
2. Speed up JRuby to make it more attractive as a Rails environment
3. Provide a JEE-backed deployment option for Rails.  This will start  with a servlet acting like a fast-CGI.

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congrats by graham o'regan

I think this is great news. I've been writing Java apps for years and have recently started looking at RoR for a few small applications (in-house and external) and it's nice to get that productivity shot-in-the-arm for crud apps at the very least. I've held back on doing too much in the past because I found that I missed a lot of the functionality that I'm accustomed to in Java, but I'll definitely be investigating this further.

Excellent... Excited about JDBC and Ruby! by Eric Kramer

Over the past year I've fallen in love with Ruby. While I haven't done much with Rails yet, I've fallen in love with the Ruby Way. One thing that has always seemed problematic was the very "native" approach used for the Ruby database integration (typically achieved via the 'DBI' library and associated 'DBD' drivers). While vendors are very likely to produce JDBC drivers for their databases, I'm unaware of any "big players" (Oracle, SQL*Server, Informix, DB2, Cache, Sybase, etc.) providing direct Ruby DBI/DBD support. While ODBC helped a bit here, I found getting ODBC (and drivers) to work on non-Windows platforms to be less than trivial.

With the advent of JRuby, we have the option of using the JDBC API to access virtually any database platform. I think it would be very beneficial if the JRuby project came up with some sort of transparent DBD-to-JDBC driver that would allow Ruby code to transparently use any JDBC driver just like a "regular" DBI/DBD driver.

Congratulations everyone... This is a very exciting development!!

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