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Do something!

Dion Almer: Sun: hire a couple of people to work on JRuby so Rails can run on the JVM. Or, fund Groovy to finish the job, or.... do something!
This comment on Dion's post is interesting too:
Mikael Gueck: Please Sun, do about Python and Ruby exactly what you did about VB - concentrate on building actually useful tools. Pandering to bored programmers is not a viable long term strategy, it's not like the current fad will last any longer than any of the previous ones.
I'm not sure that pandering to bored programmers (developing "crippety crap," as the Drunk and Retired guys might say) is a bad strategy as there are probably a lot of them out there, but I do agree that Groovy, Jython and JRuby are very important efforts.

This is why context is the king. Dion was speaking of acting in this space as a response to Microsoft's Python move, but that is not a good motivation to follow Dion's advice. Developing something as a defensive act is not a viable long term strategy for a company with a quality-centered position such as Sun. Playing a defensive game means you play on the attacker's terms, and playing on Microsoft's terms is not a good idea.

Posted by Mikael Gueck on January 06, 2006 at 01:13 PM EST #

Indeed, there's plenty of bored and frustrated programmers out there: they're that group of coders that do long term support on and create new versions of all the Grahamian wundersoftware that gets bought out and then goes into maintance mode.

It ain't sexy by a long-shot like Python, Ruby, or TheNextThingOnRails, but the old "crappity crap" pays the mortgage bill quite well, for those code-slingers who've traded in their guns for life-style.

Posted by Cote' on January 06, 2006 at 03:09 PM EST #

I posted a comment on Dion's blog too, but as the JRuby developer responsible for redesigning the core interpreter, I can honestly say there's a lot of work needed to get dynamic-typed languages running on the JVM. The approach I've taken is to build a partial "JRuby VM" that provides or mimics the missing services necessary to support Ruby. So far this has proven to be fairly effective, and as future JVMs start supporting the features we need, we can transition subsystems at will. Ultimately, though, it would be ideal if I could work on this stuff all day, every day. Right now I spend as much as 30 hours a week on JRuby, on top of my normal work hours. I'm sure things would move faster if JRuby WAS my happening during my normal work hours.

Posted by Charles Oliver Nutter on January 14, 2006 at 09:43 AM EST #

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