When I look on the JRuby website at the instructions for installing
JRuby it seems to me that a big opportunity is being missed to take
advantage of the capabilities of the JVM by presenting JRuby as a single
simple-to-install package with examples and by showing that most JRuby
apps can be ported unchanged to other operating systems.
To demonstrate what I have in mind I have put together a Zip file that
contains a complete JRuby implementation and a few example programs to
help a beginner get started.
Assuming the JVM is already installed the Zip file installs and the
examples work on Ubuntu and Windows7. I don’t have a Mac for testing.
To get started all a user has to do is extract the Zip file to a
suitable directory, double click the shell script or batch file to open
a terminal and run the examples. There is no need to use RVM or Bundler.
All of the gems for a project are stored in GemHome for that project. To
create more JRuby projects all the user has to do is extract the zip
file to a a new directory for the each project. Each project will be
fully self-contained. The examples can be deleted or just ignored.
To distribute her/his JRuby app to someone else the user just has to
copy the entire project to another PC that has the JVM on it. There are
no external dependencies apart from the JVM.
I fully understand that people who are already established JRuby users
may not have any use for this and the other versions of JRuby should
still be there for those who prefer them.
But I believe my approach will make JRuby very attractive to many
newcomers. And it demonstrates very clearly the strong advantages of
JRuby over MRI Ruby. As well as being easier to get started than MRI
Ruby I think it will also be easier than Python.