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JRuby Breakfast Briefing

January 28th, 2007 No comments

On Thursday, Charles Nutter and Thomas Enebo gave a “breakfast briefing” on JRuby. It’s a good thing Charlie had forwarded the information on to the RUM list because otherwise I for one never would have found it – when someone at work asked about it, Google was fruitless. Anyway, despite the quiet nature of the advertising, there was a decent sized crowd including a couple of old friends.

While I’ve seen the JRuby/Swing demo several times now it never ceases to impress me. The lads have been quite busy and it’s clear their move to Sun has really helped them move their work along. The “schedule” for the next few months is pretty aggressive: February includes Rails 1.2.1 support, running Rails in GlassFish and a public release of the *outstanding* Ruby support that Tor Norby has been baking into NetBeans. Seriously, I think NetBeans will be a force in the Rails/Ruby editor market – it’s very impressive. And don’t get me started about how slick it will be to deploy a Rails app to a Java web server!

Now I know that last line will probably cause a few of the Rails faithful to yack up their favorite caffeinated beverage but for many, I think it could become the deployment option of choice (for a framework that makes so many things so easy…deployment still leaves something to be desired). Of course it will also break down some of the barriers that slows Rails adoption in certain settings though I suspect some developers would sooner have their MacBook Pro sent through a trash compactor than deploy a Rails app to say, WebSphere (hmm, there might be quite a few Java programmers that don’t particularly relish working with WAS).

Anyway, Charlie and Tom are looking at March as the last “pre 1.0″ release with April earmarked for some heavy bug fixing. Oddly they think they’ll have a big announcement in early May (can’t imagine why). JRuby should do an awful lot to make Rails a first class framework in the Java space and may actually stem a bit of the “brain drain” some companies are experiencing. Look to see more and more interest in Rake and migrations in the Java space too…

While I’m sure there are those that think Ruby on the JVM is heretical, JRuby is positioned to add even more fuel to the fire. If Rails made it OK to look at dynamic languages, JRuby is practically going to make it mandatory.

Categories: Rails, Ruby, Software, Talks Tags:

Commodity Skills

January 14th, 2007 4 comments

If you haven’t read Chad Fowler‘s “My Job Went to India“, do so now. Like many of my peers, I’m wondering what will become of our industry as more and more work moves to countries with lower labor costs (I’ll leave out an obligatory analysis of the increased communication costs that often offset the cheaper wages). Anyway, Chad’s book offers some great advice on how to lessen the likelihood that *your* job will find it’s way to Mumbai.

One way to avoid the outsource machine is simple – supply and demand. Rather than polishing commodity skills, spend your personal development effort on technologies that the major off shore houses aren’t looking at yet (cough, Ruby, cough). It may seem a bit counterintuitive (like the long tail concept) but being fluent in a niche like Lisp could actually make you more employable than being yet another ASP guy. Not sure what to focus on? Take a look at Google Trends

A very wise man asked me the other night how I cost justified spending my own hard earned cash on Rails training and I replied that I see it as an investment. I still earn the majority of my income on Java work but I realize that our industry changes every day – staying ahead of that keeps me employable.

Categories: Development, Rails, Ruby, Software Tags:

JRuby and Sun

September 7th, 2006 2 comments

I suspected this was coming when Charles Nutter started posting about NetBeans but today it became official: the JRuby guys are now employees of Sun! It’s been clear for a while now that Sun is really embracing dynamic languages (JavaOne was widely considered “the one about scripting“) but this is quite a step. Earlier, I talked about Java and Rails and this move by Sun further cements this stance in my mind. I suspect this will have some interesting implications on the enterprise impasse

Anyway, congratulations to Charles (I’ll repeat my plea to get some freakin sleep already) and Tom - best of luck you guys! I just hope you remember us little people

Categories: Development, Ruby, Software Tags:

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