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Ruby Compilation on .Net Maturing


eWeek looks at efforts that are underway to get Ruby onto the .Net platform. John Gough, a professor at Queensland University of Technology, recently spoke at Microsoft's Lang.NET Symposium about his team's work on a Ruby compiler for the .Net CLR called Gardens Point Ruby.NET Compiler. The compiler has recently been released in a beta form on the team's Web site and is a full compiler, as opposed to a simple wrapper or translator.

Developing such a compiler has not been without its problems:

"The central issues have to do with mapping the type system and the implementation of such dynamic language staples as closure," Gough said. "There also are issues of blocks in Ruby. Ruby enables methods to be attached to individual objects as opposed to just classes. They can be passed on a per object basis or as a block. So the issue of blocks, continuations and dynamic inheritance present challenges to implementing Ruby on the CLR."

However, Gough and his team have been constructing a Ruby compiler for six months now, he said. "It's a real compiler, not an 'interop' wrapper," he said.

IronRuby is another effort in the .Net / Ruby field and even features some basic integration with Visual Studio.

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