JRuby Facts: Ruby ‘Cultivated and vigorously supported’ by Sun

Ola Blini and Charles Oliver Nutter set me straight about JRuby development and Sun’s involvement with the Ruby community.

I missed the memo, but Sun had already been promoting Rails at JavaOne. And they’ve even been sponsoring work on other Ruby implementations. In fact Charles’ comment is worth quoting in full on the blog:

1) JRuby is Ruby. Don’t think of it in terms of Java. We’ve bent over backwards to make it as compatible as possible, and continue to do so.

2) Don’t forget that Tom and I worked crazy hours on JRuby long before we ever came to Sun, and achieved our milestone of running Rails without any corporate backing. JRuby is not a Sun project; it’s a project Sun supports.

3) Ruby and Rails were everywhere at JavaOne. There was a tutorial on Ruby/RoR during the tutorial day that didn’t even get into Java or Java EE. The Ruby tooling in NetBeans had two talks and featured in two of the big keynotes. JRuby was featured in at least three different technical sessions. I demonstrated running and deploying Rails, both with WEBrick and into an app server, during the major technical general session.
4) Sun already has major internal projects running on Rails–both under Ruby and JRuby.

Trust me, Rails is not just being contained…it’s being actively cultivated and vigorously supported.

There’s no reason to post FUD like this. You make unsubstantiated suppositions about a big scary Sun that’s trying to squash the Ruby/Rails community. You claim Sun is trying to “contain and control” Ruby and Rails. You claim JRuby is somehow less Ruby than Ruby. And all the while, here I am working 15 hours a day to support Ruby developers looking for another option, with Sun being nothing but supportive for our efforts.

Sun hired Tom and I. Sun is working to support a research grant for Koichi Sasada, the man behind Ruby 1.9’s VM. Sun donated a high-end server to the Ruby core team for 1.9 development. Sun shipped me and the other Rubinius developers to Denver for a code sprint. Sun promotes Ruby and JRuby at almost all developer events. At what point would you appreciate the efforts happening at Sun instead of fearing them?

Please get your facts straight, and stop spreading FUD. Sun believes in Rails and Ruby, or I wouldn’t be working here.

So it looks like I got this one pretty much all wrong.

Although Ola claiming that mongrel deployments aren’t “ready for the enterprise” raises my heckles no end. We’re using in an enterprise environment (whatever that means) already thanks, and it’s talk like that - FUD of its own variety - that make it hard to get Rails taken seriously within a much larger technology department where most of the expertise is either Java or .Net based.

As for my comments about Rails evangelism - they still stand, and I think there is a lot of work to be done. But by evangelism I don’t mean developer flamewars, or even evangelism aimed at developers. I mean educating relatively non-technical decision makers about how Rails deployments differ from the conventional approaches they might be used to, and how they are also feasible.