Microsoft Flashes Its Ruby Bling

At OSCON, Microsoft announces support for the Ruby specification effort and says it will participate in the RubySpec project.

PORTLAND, Ore.-Microsoft officials are continuing to push their open-source IronRuby effort to deliver an implementation of Ruby that runs on the .Net Framework, making several announcements July 24 at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention here.

John Lam, head of the IronRuby effort, said Microsoft will ship all standard Ruby libraries that are implemented in the Ruby programming language as part of the IronRuby distribution, hosted on RubyForge. "They will ship as part of our first binary distribution of IronRuby," Lam said.

In addition, he said Microsoft will participate in the RubySpec project. RubySpec is a standard test suite that will be used to define compliant Ruby implementations. At the conference, Lam displayed Microsoft's initial "commits" to the effort. He said the company would deliver more in a matter of days.

He also said Microsoft will create IronRuby-Contrib, a separate open-source project under the MsPL (Microsoft Public License).

"This project will be a place for collaborative development of code that supports IronRuby, or the underlying platform, but isn't part of the core IronRuby distribution," he said. "We're going to ship the initial drop of the Rails plug-in that we demonstrated at OSCON as the first project in IronRuby-Contrib."

IronRuby-Contrib is going to be hosted on the Ruby hosting facility known as GitHub.

"We're doing this because much of the interesting projects that we work with [for example, RubySpec] are all hosted on GitHub already," Lam said. "We are going to migrate the IronRuby sources to GitHub soon. Traditionally, we own or drive projects at Microsoft. We are rarely a participant in a project. The work that we did to make these announcements helps to pave the way for other teams at Microsoft to become participants in projects that are important to them and their customers."

Lam said, "These are significant steps forward in how we participate in open-source communities. I think we're moving in the right direction-incrementally, pushing the bar higher each time. "