[MacRuby-devel] A Future for MacRuby

David Frantz websterindustro at mac.com
Wed Dec 21 19:31:22 PST 2011

Hi Rich;

I understand most of what you say below.   However there are a few issues. 

Sent from my iPad

On Dec 21, 2011, at 9:57 AM, Rich Morin <rdm at cfcl.com> wrote:

> Apple has funded Laurent's work on MacRuby for quite a
> while.  Jordan has played a major role in this project
> (and a number of other Open Source projects :-) and I'm
> sure he is working to keep the effort going.  However,
> he can't make any promises.  Specifically:
>  "We don't comment on future product plans."

This is a huge problem for me.   First Apple does announce future product plans to developers at WWDC.   If Mac Ruby is to become a supported environment it is about time Apple came lean on this.   The project is close to a version #1 release.   
> We also have, as a data point, the fact that Laurent isn't
> the only committer these days.  This indicates that Apple
> really IS open to outside participation on the project.

Actually I believe Apple is honest about its open source plans.   Some of their projects are doing very well.   One just has to look at Lib dispatch, LLVM, CLang and others to see the wide acceptance.   Each of these has been supported by Apple with varying degrees of openness.  So one has to ask what is up with MacRuby.  
> Apple will continue funding work on MacRuby as long as
> there are things that need to be done that will benefit
> Apple.  That is, Apple is not a charity, though they do
> many good things for the community.

No one is asking Apple to be a charity, not even remotely.  What I'm saying, which I thought I was clear about, is that Apple needs to support an interpreted development tool like Mac Ruby officially.  Something that is on equal footing compared to the "C" tools supported by XCode.  You would think there would be reasonable people at Apple that would understand that sometimes a "C" language isn't always the best choice. 
> Open Source projects which have a single, dominant sponsor
> frequently have trouble getting others to volunteer.  For
> example, look at http://opensource.apple.com.  Many of the
> projects listed there are used by others; few (AFAIK) are
> worked on by many contributors outside of Apple.

I really don't know the details there.  My impression was that many of these projects have very heavy outside development.  
> Much of this has to do with perceptions, eg:
>  "<the sponsor> doesn't need my efforts."
>  "<the sponsor> wouldn't accept my changes"
>  ...
> However, when Jordan asks for folks to jump in and help,
> he's being quite sincere.  MacRuby needs many things that
> Apple will not (and in some cases, cannot) provide.  The
> content of this mailing list is an obvious example.  So,
> an active community of outside developers is critical to
> MacRuby's future as a "real" Open Source project.

Frankly I understand the cannot and will nots.   What I don't understand is the seeming unwillingness to fund development of the core properly.   Honestly they could take one of their billions throw it in a bank and fund a team of developers of the interest.   That at today's interest rates.  That would be enough to keep the core of Mac Ruby in sync with Apples other initiatives.  
> The notion of a Kickstarter project is interesting.  If
> enough of us want something developed (eg, HotterCocoa),
> and someone can make a strong case that they can do it,
> we might be able to fund a useful effort.
> However, we should be cautious not to make folks think
> that the only reason for contributing code is to make
> money...

A kick starter project for integration of third party libs or even new libs might be beneficial, but not for core Mac Ruby development.  When I see Apples lack of support it leaves me uncomfortable about anything other than seeing Mac Ruby as a curiosity.  

In the end there are something's only Apple can do to fully support Ruby as a developer tool. 
> -r
> -- 
> http://www.cfcl.com/rdm            Rich Morin
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