[MacRuby-devel] A Future for MacRuby

Conrad Taylor conradwt at gmail.com
Fri Dec 23 09:23:25 PST 2011

On Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 2:45 PM, Dan Farrand
<danf at greenrivercomputing.com>wrote:

> It's been great to read everyones thoughts on this subject.  It's helped
> me get a better perspective on what MacRuby is.
> I am a Ruby newbie but have been working on Mac for a long time, mostly in
> the "business applications" space.
> Here is my 2 cents.  I am very much a Mac fanboy and consequently an Apple
> advocate.  However, I think Apple's weak spot going into the future is
> Objective-C.  I view this issue as somewhat separate from Cocoa, but maybe
> folks who know more than I do will tell me that they are fused together.
> I don't actually find it pleasurable to code in Objective-C.  There just
> seems to be too much abstraction, syntax and long rambling class/method
> names cluttering up the the editor window.  I do find Ruby enjoyable to
> code in.
> I view Ruby as a way for Apple to provide more accessible pathways for
> would-be Mac and iOS developers.  I had thought this might even have been
> Apple's idea in supporting MacRuby,   But after hearing from everyone,  I'm
> guessing it's more of a "lets keep our options open" attitude and Apples
> support is real but speculative.
> There is certainly no indication that Apple sees a problem with it's
> dependence on Objective-C.  The Steve Jobs Apple probably sees it as a big
> plus because they effectively control the language.
Objective-C isn't controlled by Apple.  However, the Cocoa and iOS APIs are
because it's specific to their underlying operating systems.  BTW, Apple
has also open sourced all of the Objective-C specific features so that
other Objective-C implementation like GNU can evolve as well.  Next, Tim
Budd, the original creator of Objective-C, who comes from a Smalltalk
background wanted something similar to Smalltalk which allowed one to
easily interface with both C/C++ libraries.  This is how Objective-C was
born.  Now, if we go back even further in time, Steve Jobs also received a
demonstration of a Smalltalk environment.  It would have been nice to write
applications in Smalltalk for the Mac OS back then but Apple in the past,
present, and future has the following operating objectives:

a)  understands that their core expertise is designing, implementing, and
deploying awesome products.
b)  enhanced existing language features to meet the needs of the project
and support the developer community
c)  if a language's feature set is truly awesome and it's a step above what
we are currently using, then let's do some prototypes
     and evaluate its potential.
d)  a plethora of other things to consider

As you can see, running a business is not the same as running an open
source project.  You need to look at something like a language
change/addition from business perspective as well as the overall investment
of resources and still be able to fulfill the goals of (a).  Please don't
get me wrong but I truly enjoy MacRuby but you cannot always expect Apple
to fully support every open source project that comes there way.  It must
be in the best interest of the company to do so.  If you want to build Mac
OS X and iOS applications today, you'll need to get comfortable at some
level with Objective-C.  Xcode is great and it beats a Makefile any day.

Think different and code well


> If nothing else, it looks like MacRuby is a fun way to poke around inside
> Cocoa so it's worth pushing into.
> thanks everyone for taking the time to respond to my original query.
> _______________________________________________
> MacRuby-devel mailing list
> MacRuby-devel at lists.macosforge.org
> http://lists.macosforge.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/macruby-devel
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.macosforge.org/pipermail/macruby-devel/attachments/20111223/39216332/attachment.html>

More information about the MacRuby-devel mailing list