There is major news in Rubyland today. MacRuby’s team just released their fist beta of version 0.5 (an experimental, still incomplete version of Ruby), which brings JIT, removal of the dreaded GIL (Global Interpreter Lock), native threads, GCD (Grand Central Dispatch) for multicore computing, and a whole new set of features found in the release announcement to the table.
The most important new feature is the presence of a compiler. That’s right, thanks to this release, Ruby code can now become highly optimized executable code. How awesome is that? I can sense that you’re pumped by this news, so why not head over to MacRuby.com and download the installation file for yourself? After you’ve done that, the next thing you’re going to want to do is run a small test like the following:
$ macrubyc world_domination.rb -o world_domination
Can't locate program `llc'
Oh noes! llc is a tool that ships with the LLVM (upon which MacRuby is built), however it’s not included with MacRuby’s installer (it will be in the future). But fear not my friends, there is a solution:
$ svn co -r 82747 https://llvm.org/svn/llvm-project/llvm/trunk llvm-trunk
$ cd llvm-trunk
$ UNIVERSAL=1 UNIVERSAL_ARCH="i386 x86_64"ENABLE_OPTIMIZED=1 make -j2
$ sudo env UNIVERSAL=1 UNIVERSAL_ARCH="i386 x86_64"ENABLE_OPTIMIZED=1 make install
If your machine does not have 2 cores, remove the -j2 option from the fourth line or adjust the number accordingly.
The compilation phase may take a couple of centuries, depending on your machine’s speed, but it should eventually build the LLVM. 😛 llc will be placed in your PATH, and you’ll finally be able to compile Ruby code and obtain an executable to help you carry out your world domination plans.
Antonio Cangiano is a Software Developer and Technical Evangelist at IBM. He authored 'Ruby on Rails for Microsoft Developers' by Wrox (2009) and 'Technical Blogging' by The Pragmatic Bookshelf (2012). He is also the Marketing Lead for Cognitive Class, an IBM educational initiative which he helped grow from zero to 1 Million students. You can follow him on Twitter.