More on Ruby Implementations

by Pat Eyler

"Rubinius is a project to watch", so says Charles Nutter in his post Rite, Rubinius, and Everything — I think he's right. Evan is hard at work making things work better in rubinius. He's now got continuations working (I think this makes him the first alternative implementation of Ruby to do so), and says he should have serializable continuations soon (see his post on it here). W00t!

A lot of this progress, Evan's and others, is getting better visibility (and is having a better chance to affect other implementations) because of the recent implementers summit at RubyConf; see coverage here ( or here ( or over here (

The most important outcome of the summit is the summit is that it's generated a number of ongoing discussions among the various implementers. One of thing that this is going to do is prevent the splintering of Ruby ( that some people are predicting.

Two more big wins are the revivification of the RubySpec project and the RubyTests project. The first is an attempt to build a complete Ruby 1.8 specification that all the implementations can build against. The second is a unified (light-weight) test suite that all the implementations can use to verify that they're really Ruby.

Cool things just keep happening, and I can't wait to see what the next six months old for Ruby and all the little rubies that are popping up.