Some eWEEK readers say they welcome Ruby and other languages in the browser; others want no part.
Readers weighed in on a recent story about support for Ruby in the browser,
some saying they liked the idea, and one going so far as to ask, Why stop at Ruby? Why not add support for more established languages such as Visual Basic?
Indeed, that is exactly what Taft Software founder Troy Taft, who was quoted in the article, said.
manager for technical evangelism at Microsoft Germany, said: "The DLR [Dynamic Language Runtime] can not only run Ruby (ARAX) but also Python (APAX) or-and this is a community project-PHP (APhpAX) ... you can go down the line with dynamic languages as far as you can."
Taft said as a programmer, he knows what it feels like "to not be bound by the stateless Web server and how great it feels to be permitted to write code on the client again where state is welcome. The Web server doesn't want to remember who you are and why you were there. The browser is another story. It belongs to just one user at a time and it is actually beneficial to keep state about the application with the user. This is how the old client/server technology that made VB great worked. It also naturally strengthens the SOA [service-oriented architecture] model by allowing a stateless connection to any service provider."
Moreover, Taft said he is seeing "a possible return to client/server development inside the browser using more powerful languages and plug-in frameworks that download automatically, and it will make Ruby an option (as well as VB, C# and Python). I think that more than a few programmers will be smiling."
Taft said he believes ARAX with Microsoft's IronRuby is one example of this return to the client. "But will VB be a bigger thing? Who knows," he added.
A commenter on the ARAX article on eWEEK's site named Gary Edwards said, "It seems to me that Adobe and Microsoft are using the browser plug-in model as a distribution channel for their proprietary run-time engines. Or should we call them VMs [virtual machines]?
"The easiest way for Web developers to sidestep problematic browser wars, and still be able to push the envelope of the interactive Web, may well be to write to a universal run-time plug-in like Adobe AIR or Microsoft Silverlight. IMHO, the 'browser' quickly fades away once this direct development sets in."
In a blog post entitled "Same McNuggets, Different Sauce,"
"The whole point of Apex Code, in particular, is that code doesn't have to run in the variegated environments of different browsers on different fat-client stacks: The application's logic runs in the cloud, with consistency guaranteed as an inherent property of having only one execution environment."
Another commenter on the eWEEK site, who identified himself as Frank Lygato, said he had no interest at all in seeing Ruby in the browser.
"I have zero interest in running Ruby in my browser unless it becomes an official standard for browsers (i.e., not
dependent on a plug-in from one supplier). I hate Flash for similar reasons," Lygato wrote. "When the security of my browser starts depending on complex third party plug-ins like Adobe's and Microsoft's, I'm unhappy."