JRuby 1.5 Ships

The JRuby community has announced the availability of JRuby 1.5, the latest version of the JRuby programming language.

The JRuby community has announced the availability of JRuby 1.5, the latest version of the JRuby programming language.

Engine Yard, a Ruby cloud computing software and services company that employs the lead developers of JRuby, lauded the May 12 release of JRuby 1.5 as it brings significant enhancements to the platform that make it easier for developers to use.

JRuby is a Java implementation of the Ruby programming language. It is a popular open-source package that allows Java developers to use Ruby to expand the capabilities of Java applications, provide service-oriented architecture/Web service architecture (SOA/WOA) interfaces for existing Java applications, or create entirely new applications.

Ruby continues to gain adoption in the enterprise market because it offers significant productivity gains. Indeed, on May 11, Heroku, another Ruby/Rails cloud software provider, announced a new $10 million round of funding to grow its team and overall presence in the market.

Engine Yard officials said the 1.5 release of JRuby makes it easier than ever for Java developers to take Ruby for a spin because of the seamless interaction it allows with commonly used Java components.

In a notice about the 1.5 release on the JRuby site, the JRuby team said:

"This development cycle has been our longest cycle yet (nearly 5 months), but it also has the most fixes. It also includes many new notable features (see below). Most of our bug fixes have been more of what we consider fine-tuning, since we keep getting into smaller corner-cases of compatibility for individual Ruby methods. In that sense, we expect if you had a good experience with JRuby 1.4.0 then 1.5.0 will be a no-brainer upgrade. If you haven't tried JRuby in a while with your application, then please give us another try. Odds are whatever issue you were having before no longer exists!"

Key features in JRuby 1.5 include tighter Java library integration, as JRuby 1.5 delivers more efficient memory and CPU usage, and enables faster development cycles; improved Ruby compatibility, as JRuby 1.5 is the most Ruby-compatible release yet; and improved Windows support so that Windows developers interested in Ruby can select JRuby with greater confidence. Engine Yard said JRuby 1.5 eliminates dozens of challenges to running JRuby on Windows.

"With JRuby, we can accelerate development by four to 10 times while writing 80 percent less code," said Joe O'Brien, co-founder of EdgeCase, a Ruby development shop. "The true cost of software is in testing and code maintenance, and JRuby allows more thorough testing, which helps to keep maintenance costs down. In addition, we lowered our costs for engineering resources on one project by 50 percent and reduced the time required for deploying code changes from six to eight weeks to three weeks. These productivity gains give us more time to build new applications."

Engine Yard employs Thomas Enebo, Charles Nutter and Nick Sieger-three of the JRuby project's core contributors.

"This was our most ambitious development cycle yet. With the fantastic support of JRuby contributors and the Java and Ruby communities, we've made JRuby 1.5 a release everyone deserves to be proud of," said Nutter, who is lead JRuby developer and co-lead of the JRuby core team at Engine Yard.

Moreover, Engine Yard officials said the company also congratulates the entire community of JRuby contributors, as over 30 developers contributed more than 1,000 individual commits that comprise JRuby 1.5.

JRuby provides productivity benefits to Java teams, including the ability to deploy Ruby code to the same servers, use the same libraries, and integrate with existing Java code and applications that they are familiar with.

For a full description of all the improvements and bug fixes in JRuby 1.5, or to download JRuby, go to www.jruby.org.

Engine Yard also recently announced its JRuby commercial support offering, which includes JRuby 1.5. Commercial JRuby support from Engine Yard includes developer assistance and advice on how to tune and optimize JRuby. It covers the most recent version of JRuby and the following libraries: jruby-openssl, activerecord-jdbc-adapter, warbler and jruby-rack. It also covers bundled JRuby components such as Joni, Yecht and jrubyffi.