Tuesday, April 10, 2007

XRuby 0.1.4 released

I am glad to announce that XRuby 0.1.4 is now available for download at: http://code.google.com/p/xruby/downloads/list

The most significant change in this release is: one of our team member, dreamhead, single-handly created a new runtime (the core of the system that manages ruby types, methods...) to make it very close to the classic C ruby, and therefore fixed several compatibility issues with C ruby. As a translator of the Chinese version Ruby Hacking Guide, dreamhead has very good knowledge of the ruby internal and gives a great lift on the XRuby's development.

As we have learned rewriting is very difficult, we learned it again in a hard way. Dreamhead wrote most of code last year, several months before 0.1.0 release. First we tried to make a wholesale replacement of the runtime, but problems were here and there and lots of unit tests broke. Since we do not want to have a broken system in the SVN trunk, we decided to take 'refactoring' approach and merge changes step by step. It is still very hard, but dreamhead made lots of efforts and finished the merge yesterday.

Actually it may take less time if we insist on following the 'rewrite' approach (replace all the old code and fix broken tests), but the benefit of 'refactoring' is significant: it gives us a stable code base so that we made several releases during this big change.

There are more exciting news behind the scene now: Beanworms is working on the debugger support, and Femto and Yuesefa have showed interest to migrate our ruby parser to ANTLR 3.0.

Thank you for people who helps us on making this release. It has been a great learning experience working with the project.

No comments: