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Ruby In Steel, Sapphire and Amethyst
by Huw Collingbourne
Thursday 14 August 2008.

I admit I am jealous whenever someone tells me about their holiday! The reason being that we have been busier than ever over the summer and it’s been a very long time since I’ve had a day off, never mind a whole week!

The good news is that all this work is starting to show fruit. We have three major projects in development at the moment. They are: Ruby In Steel 1.3, the Sapphire programming language and a new project code-named Amethyst.

Let’s take these in order:

- Ruby In Steel 1.3

The 2nd beta of this software was recently released to registered users of Ruby In Steel Developer. If you are an existing customer and want to try out a copy, the download details can be found in the Registered Users area of the forum. The major new features in RiS 1.3 are user selected IntelliSense libraries and Configuration Dependent Property Pages. The new IntelliSense Librarian tool lets you create your own pre-compiled IntelliSense libraries and add them as ‘references’ in the Solution explorer. This feature is in addition to our normal ‘on-the-fly’ IntelliSense interpreter. The Librarian gives you the ability to auto-require code units which are not specifically required in the code itself (so is particularly useful when working with Rails or other frameworks in which code dependencies are ‘glued together’ at runtime rather than at design-time). Meanwhile, the Configuration Dependent Property Pages option allow you to define named sets of properties (e.g. ‘Run’, ‘Debug’, ‘Test’ etc.) which can be selectively applied to your project. This means that you might, for example, switch between versions of the Ruby interpreter, use sets of predefined interpreter options and so on just by selecting a new Configuration. Ruby In Steel 1.3 will be a free upgrade to all registered users of Ruby In Steel 1.x.

- Sapphire

We have previously given a few details of the Sapphire language which we are developing. This is a new language which will have a simple syntax broadly similar to that of Ruby. It will compile to the .NET DLR (Dynamic Language Runtime) and will be highly modular and ‘safe’ for creating robust, fast and reliable .NET applications. I should emphasise that Sapphire is not a ‘type of’ Ruby or a ‘fork of’ Ruby. It is a totally new language - designed from the ground up. While its syntax should generally look reasonably familiar to Ruby programmers, the features of Sapphire will be substantially different. For more background, see this list of articles. Bear in mind that Sapphire is a project which is in active development and some of information and ideas in those old articles may already be out of date! We will provide more in-depth details of Sapphire soon.

- Amethyst

This is a really exciting project for us at the moment and one that is coming on very rapidly. It is all the more frustrating, therefore, that I can’t say any more about it yet. What I can say is that Amethyst is an important project for us and we expect to launch it early in 2009. As always, when there is more I can say on the subject, I’ll be saying it here on the blog. Stay tuned...

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  • What are your plans about IronRuby with Asp.Net MVC in Future
    16 August 2008, by SoftMind

    What are your plans about IronRuby with Asp.Net MVC in Future..?

    Hi,

    You are doing great things for Ruby Community...

    (1) Book based on Ruby (2) Sapphire... A New Ruby version for supporting DLR (3) IronRuby on Steel (4) Ruby in Steel

    Its really nice of you to think for Ruby Community in .Net.

    Since Asp.Net MVC is shaping well and IronRuby is sure to add lots for fuel to that fire, and make it more popular, i am sure you must have started thinking in that direction also.

    What are your futuristic plans to support IronRuby with Asp.Net MVC environment.....?

    Thanks

    SoftMind Technology

    • What are your plans about IronRuby with Asp.Net MVC in Future
      16 August 2008, by Huw Collingbourne

      Thanks for the comments. Yes, the new MVC framework looks interesting and this is definitely something we are looking at. We haven’t any firm plans relating to support for this which we can announce at the moment. We also keep an eye on any support that may be under development by the IronRuby development team - we certainly don’t want to duplicate any of their work unnecessarily ;-)

      Just one correction to your comment, by the way - Sapphire isn’t actually a ’new Ruby version’. It is a completely new language that happens to have a syntax that closely resembles Ruby. There is no attempt to have any ’Ruby compatibility’ at all in Sapphire. It really is a significantly different language. This should become a little clearer when we blog about the Sapphire language definition soon...

      best wishes

      Huw

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