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RubyFlow The Ruby and Rails community linklog

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The Ruby and Rails community linklog

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Ruby in the browser as if JavaScript

Gestalt is a library released by MIX Online Labs that allows you to write Ruby, Python & XAML code in your (X)HTML pages. It enables you to build richer and more powerful web applications by marrying the benefits of expressive languages, modern compilers, AJAX & RIAs with the write » save » refresh development model of the web.

Comments

I’ve had a play with it and it does what it says on the tin. I mislike Javascript and the facility to use Ruby instead is great.

However: it relies on either the Silverlight or Moonlight plug-in being installed. This is becoming more commonplace on Windows PCs, but I don’t know what the uptake is like on Mac and Linux - it may suffer from its link with Microsoft The Great Satan. And its definitely not going to be there on mobile platforms; even Windows Mobile doesn’t have a Silverlight implementation yet.

Even when/if the plug-in does become commonplace, the question becomes why you would be writing complex client-side script in any language when you could just create a Silverlight application and be done with it.

Currently I’d definitely use Gestalt for intranet or enterprise web applications where I can either dictate or be sure of the client platform. But for wider applications, we’re stuck with Javascript for a while yet. The best we can hope for in the short term is that the jQuery guys and the Prototype.js guys take a leaf out of the Rails/Merb book, and combine their efforts to create the One True Framework.

Theoretically it will work in Mac OS and windows, and maybe moonlight for linux? (haven’t tried it…).

I tried it on Linux, I installed the Moonlight 2 preview. The only thing that works is the static rendering of the objects: actually buttons don’t fire anything, and XAML images have no animation. I definitely agree that is too tied to M$. The idea IS really interesting, see for example http://paulhammant.com/blog/ruby-versus-javascript-for-web3.0.html.

I’m not a techie, but I wonder if something like the great SQLite Manager + XULrunner could exists implement a client-side Ruby interpreter.

If not, and if such a Silverlight-based client-side scripting could be even dangerous to Ruby. The world (these days, at least) is running windows on the desktops, and 80% or so of rubyists are on Mac (more to be trendy and cool than for real technical reasons, considering that Ruby and Rails are essentially a “free” phenomenon, and that Ruby/Rails applications are well developed on Linux).

Linux is clearly the enemy to both Win and to Mac.

A client side scripting technology which only worked well on Win and Mac, would be, in the real world, one more barrier to free software.

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