The Queensland University of Technology (Australia) has announced the preliminary Beta release of their Gardens Point Ruby.NET compiler. It is not complete nor something that can be used in a production environment, but I’m going to keep an eye on it.
The opportunity to build .NET 2.0 assemblies from Ruby code has its appeal, and it opens interesting prospectives. For example, I think one of Ruby’s weakest points is its lack of a well done and extremely easy to use RAD tool to develop GUI applications (yes, I know there are a few, but they are miles behind VS.NET). Who knows, in the future this project may enable the usage of Ruby with Visual Studio .NET, Sharpdevelop or MonoDevelop. Furthermore, the integration with existing .NET applications and assemblies may lead to another means by which Ruby can enter into the world of enterprise.
Even if they clearly state on their site: “Please note, that we have so far made no attempt to optimize the performance of our system”, based on a few tests that I’ve run, the speed is good (faster than Ruby 1.8.4 on Windows XP). But a number of basic programs I’ve tried, fail to run given the fact that the project is in such an early stage of its development.