[MacRuby-devel] Future of MacRuby

Laurent Sansonetti laurent.sansonetti at gmail.com
Fri Apr 6 04:20:35 PDT 2012

Hi guys,

Yes, I'm still alive :) As you may have noticed, I have been absent
here for a few months. Last year we got a baby, then we moved back to
Europe. I decided to leave Apple a few months ago to achieve one of my
dreams: work on a startup, in part so that I would be flexible in my
time and be able to keep hacking on MacRuby.

Believe it or not, in the near future I should have less pressure on
myself and therefore I should have the time to hack on MacRuby again.
I will happily resume maintaining MacRuby, like I did for the last 5
years. MacRuby is quite stable right now so the maintenance burden is
less significant than before.

Also, during my absence, Watson did a great job of smashing all sorts
of incoming bugs, if he keeps up he will likely become the #1
committer of the project :). Mark Rada spent a lot of time triaging
bugs and writing patches. And Josh Ballanco kept the IRC channel in
activity. It's like the project never slept.

BTW, the 0.11 release actually does exist, you can find it on the
GitHub page. The release notes are still missing, but I will take care
of this (we need to automate the whole process).

One thing that people are worried about is that the Objective-C GC is
being deprecated in Mountain Lion. That's not a surprise given that
the emphasis is on ARC now. As Apple generally (but not always)
removes deprecated APIs in the next release cycle, MacRuby needs to be
changed this year to not depend on the GC anymore.

I have been experimenting with different alternate memory models for
MacRuby on my spare time, and one of them seems to work well, modulo a
few leaks. It's similar to ARC in design (but it has a different
implementation). I have been working on a MacRuby app with friends
using the new code, so far so good. I will merge my branch with GitHub
as soon as it's stable, with a few other improvements. That should
happen before Mountain Lion ships, so no worries, we should be fine.

What can you do to help? Well, keep using MacRuby :) Report bugs.
Write cool samples and submit them on GitHub. Write tutorials covering
a feature of OSX that was challenging to program in MacRuby. For the
more technically-inclined, you can check the tickets, try creating
patches, etc.


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