Help needed: Hacking JRuby in Berlin

Hi JRubyists,

I voiced some concerns about the state of some JRuby libraries on
Twitter a few days ago[1]. Being someone that uses many nuances of Ruby,
I still run into JRuby<>MRI problems on a regular basis, mostly due to
library issues in JRuby-specific libraries like
activerecord-jdbc-adapter, not due to the base system itself. Often,
those problems are already known or reported, but unfixed - and
sometimes need some effort. Also, some of those libraries require
special knowledge e.g., database specifics or details of JRuby.

I would like to start a series of Ruby Hackdays to improve the Ruby
ecosystem under the umbrella of Ruby Berlin e.V… For the reasons stated
above, I would like to pick the JRuby ecosystem as our first project to
hack on. The goal of the first day is to get new hackers educated about
JRuby, provide them with worthwhile projects to work on, get them up to
speed and also to motivate them to work on the “boring” parts[2] from
time to time. If the day is a success, I’d like to do rerun it

This is going to happen soon: We do have a room and will have a date set
by the next Ruby Berlin meeting (10th of January) - expect it
to be at the end of January, beginning of February.

What we do need is support by project maintainers providing tasks and
maybe documenting their pain points with the project[3]. If you read
this mail and lead a JRuby project or a project with JRuby issues,
please get in contact with me - I’d like to compile a list of things for
attendees to get started with quickly. Also, depending on the date, it
would be nice if some support on IRC or github issues could be given to
those getting started with new things.

My current list is:

  • activerecord-jdbc-adapter, especially on Oracle (in that case, along
    with oracle-enhanced) is somewhat behind the current Rails
    state-of-the-art and sometimes buggy because of that
  • warbler has a long issue list
  • Generally, I find the documentation about Java-to-JRuby-integration
    lacking. While there are big projects using it around (like Nokogiri),
    it is hard to find guidelines.
  • On a similar note, I find documentation of actual differences between
    MRI and JRuby lacking.
  • Finally, Kernel.spawn is a fake in JRuby ;).
  • At least in my case, Bundler and the asset pipeline seem slower than
    on MRI, I’d like to investigate that

Florian G. [email protected]

[2] Yes, Oracle is not fun :).
[3] Just a statement like: “Does not work well in 1.9-mode” or
something, nothing big.

Florian -

Great that you’re doing this.

Do you have any plans to make your meetings available via Google

Also, regarding JRuby informationalthough it’s not free, the JRuby book
“Using JRuby” ( was really
helpful for me. Did you mean something more detailed and low level
implementation oriented?

  • Keith

Keith R. Bennett

Hi Keith,

thanks for your interest.

I haven’t thought about options for making those meetings available
online, but I’d definitely like to make it possible for others to
interact with us. I’ll keep you posted.

About the JRuby book: its definitely a good piece, but I wouldn’t count
it as “readily available and open” documentation when all you want to do
is a minor integration. Its definitely a recommendation for Pros :).

Florian G.

Florian, if you generate a list of questions as a result of holding
these hackfests and especially if you see patterns of questions then
please forward them to the list or me and hopefully we can get answers
and probably improve documentation. We really really need more
maintainers on some of these gems and probably more importantly we
need folks keeping most gem authors aware of the compatibility issues
between MRI/JRuby/rbx. Thanks for starting these Hackdays. :slight_smile:


On Sun, Dec 23, 2012 at 3:29 PM, Florian G.
[email protected] wrote:

My current list is:

[2] Yes, Oracle is not fun :).
[3] Just a statement like: “Does not work well in 1.9-mode” or something,
nothing big.

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