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Event Report: GeekNight with Ola Bini – JRuby for the win

(This is a report of the GeekNight with Ola Bini written by Sandeep Mukhopadhyay)

ThoughtWorks Pune had invited all developers to their GeekNight held on May 25, 2011. GeekNight is a series of talks about cutting edge technology, where you also get to meet like minded geeks. This GeekNight featured a talk “JRuby for the win” by JRuby Core Developer Ola Bini.

Ola Bini is a core JRuby developer and is the author of the book “Practical JRuby on Rails”. He works for ThoughtWorks in Chicago. Ola’s wide technical experience ranges from Java, Ruby and LISP to several open source projects. He likes implementing languages, writing regular expression engines, YAML parsers, blogging, and other similar things that exist at the cutting edge of computer science.

This is a first hand report by Sandeep Mukhopadhyay:

The GeekNight Event kicked off officially with Ola Bini giving an overview of JRuby. JRuby is a 100% Java implementation of the Ruby programming language. It is Ruby for the JVM. A number of companies use JRuby, including Thoughtworks, as it is most compatible version of Ruby as coded in Java.

Ola also displayed a sample Application which showcased integration of Java APIs with JRuby. Using a combination of Explicit Extension API and OO internals in JRuby, integration bridges can be built with Legacy systems. Ola showed how to use Java and Ruby interchangeably in same program, and this feature was quite popular among those present.

Understandably, JRuby seems to be popular among many developers as it gives a free hand to use the best possible features of Java and Ruby in same ecosystem. Ola also discussed integration with different language like Erlang and Clojure just by adding jars into classpath and also talked about build tools for JRuby i.e. (Ant+Rake).

Just like in other technology events, the technical crowd soon started discussing issues like threading, Unicode, Performance, Memory Usage and Garbage Collector. Ola also brought up issues with threading as it runs on Native threads or Green Threads and briefly discussed as how to check memory usage of applications in JRuby using JConsole and other Java tools.

Gautam Rege (Co-founder Josh Software) and whose company extensively uses Ruby on Rails also discussed a few production issues.

Last but not the least, Ola and group also discussed issues about support at the Cloud level by Engine Yard as well as using Ruby Frameworks (Cucumber and JtestR) for testing.

It was a productive GeekNight

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