Ruby on mobiles


#1

Seems like XRuby beat JRuby in the race to mobile platforms:

murphee


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#2

Werner Schuster (murphee) wrote:

Seems like XRuby beat JRuby in the race to mobile platforms:
http://www.infoq.com/news/2008/12/rhodes-iphone-winmobile-rim

And JRuby actually runs Ruby apps. So what’s your point?

  • Charlie

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#3

Werner Schuster (murphee) wrote:

Charles Oliver N. wrote:

Werner Schuster (murphee) wrote:

Seems like XRuby beat JRuby in the race to mobile platforms:
http://www.infoq.com/news/2008/12/rhodes-iphone-winmobile-rim
And JRuby actually runs Ruby apps. So what’s your point?
Code written with the Rhodes platform are Ruby apps.

Yes, they’ll probably work fine, so long as they don’t use Ruby features
XRuby doesn’t support. Last I checked XRuby’s core classes were missing
a lot of functionality, and there were pieces of syntax that just blew
up.

It would certainly be possible to strip down JRuby in the same way; I’m
surprised we were never approached about it.

Also: no, I don’t have a point - I was just very surprised to see XRuby
resurface again.

You may want to reconsider how you spread news. Posting a message to a
JRuby list saying how XRuby “beat” us to something isn’t exactly
friendly. It starts to look like you’re trying to drive up hits to your
article, and I’m sure that’s not what you intended.

  • Charlie

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#4

Charles Oliver N. wrote:

Werner Schuster (murphee) wrote:

Seems like XRuby beat JRuby in the race to mobile platforms:
http://www.infoq.com/news/2008/12/rhodes-iphone-winmobile-rim
And JRuby actually runs Ruby apps. So what’s your point?
Code written with the Rhodes platform are Ruby apps.
Also: no, I don’t have a point - I was just very surprised to see XRuby
resurface again.


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#5

I did some initial work on porting the full MRI to Windows Mobile using
cegcc; the existing Ruby CE port was a very, very cut down version
missing a lot of features.

http://www.target-earth.net/gadgets/code/rubyce.html

However the memory requirements proved to be just too tight to get a
fully working stack, though the interpreter does run and I got things
like sockets working, it even got to the point where gem would run and
download remote gem lists… though unpacking these consume all memory
even on a 192MB+ device.

As a bit of a laugh I even tried running Rails… it actually gets part
way through the startup of the server!

A lot of the problems I found where down to the lack of a relative
directory structure… so the majority of require statements and unit
tests do not work out of the box.

John

Unix & Web Infrastructure Management
Faculty of Medical Sciences Computing
University of Newcastle

Email : removed_email_address@domain.invalid
Web: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/medev

Seems like XRuby beat JRuby in the race to mobile platforms:
to provide 100% complete Ruby implementation right on the phone, with
of view, since developers won’t be able to fully use all those


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#6

Hi Werner,

On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 3:32 AM, Werner Schuster (murphee)
removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

Seems like XRuby beat JRuby in the race to mobile platforms:

The re-emergence of XRuby is indeed puzzling. Also, I’ve been looking
into JRuby in mobile area lately, just to see what our options are.
There was an early prototype of JRuby running on phones a few years
back, presented at JavaOne, it was based on JRuby 1.0.x branch. Since
then, JRuby changed A LOT, heavily relying on Java 5+ features.

It seems that the nature of Java environments on the phones is pretty
restrictive (limited resources, limited CPU, no Java 5 features, no
reflection, restricted classloading, etc), so it is a bit challenging
to provide 100% complete Ruby implementation right on the phone, with
no limitations. Looking at the approach you’ve reported in the
article, those guys also have restrictions like not supporting eval().
Also, looks like they compile ruby code to .class first and then
deliver to the device, right? This is the easier part. Much more
interesting would be to have a full interpreter right on device side,
suitable to run IRB for example. This would be great for quick device
capabilities investigation and for rapid experiments/prototyping.

Having a subset of fulll Ruby implementation is, well, still
interesting, but less practical and less useful from developers point
of view, since developers won’t be able to fully use all those
billions of Ruby libraries out there.

So, it seems to me, the time for a full Java-based ruby implementation
is not arrived. Hopefully, in a near(ish) future, we’ll see full Java
SE stacks on phones, then running JRuby there would be a trivial
matter. But spending time and effort on overcoming severe restrictions
of aging Java ME CLDC stack would be just not very useful.

Thanks,
–Vladimir


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#7

John S. wrote:

I did some initial work on porting the full MRI to Windows Mobile using cegcc; the existing Ruby CE port was a very, very cut down version missing a lot of features.

http://www.target-earth.net/gadgets/code/rubyce.html

However the memory requirements proved to be just too tight to get a fully working stack, though the interpreter does run and I got things like sockets working, it even got to the point where gem would run and download remote gem lists… though unpacking these consume all memory even on a 192MB+ device.

That may have improved since they eliminated the bulk index in RubyGems.
Hell, JRuby used to blow its memory cap there for a while…that index
was a terrible load.

As a bit of a laugh I even tried running Rails… it actually gets part way through the startup of the server!

A lot of the problems I found where down to the lack of a relative directory structure… so the majority of require statements and unit tests do not work out of the box.

We’ve improved on that somewhat by having require/load and many File
APIs work equally well with URLs like jar:// (and by equally well, I
mean as far as we know they work well). That would probably help solve
the relative pathing logic when running in an embedded device.

I’m not sure what XRuby does here; presumably they have something
similar to load the compiled scripts, since they don’t have an
interpreter at all.

  • Charlie

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