Exciting new World

Posted by – 25/06/2008

I’ve just tested the improvements in the performance of Javascript in Firefox 3 and WOW! Javascript in FF3 is really fast. While googling about it I just ran across a recent interview with Brendan Eich about the future of Javascript and I got excited about two things about this future.

First was what we already have, still in the beginning, but with a lot of potential: HotRuby. Really interesting to script a webpage in Ruby (which is my favorite language) and, while it’s not embedded the way Javascript is, it gets “compiled” in the server side with YARV (the new bytecode compiler for the next version of Ruby, 1.9), and then served to the browser in the form of JSON objects, so it can be interpreted by the Javascript engine in it. All this is transparent and work with XMLHttpRequest. It’s not a coincidence that Eich mentions it as being a form of ARAX (changing the J in AJAX for R – from Ruby).

I already do a lot of coding in Ruby… not having to deal with Javascript anymore is surely a plus. ITOH, Eich is talking about improvements in Javascript that would render it as a real programming language… Maybe coding in it would not be so painful anymore by then 😉

The whole interview have to do with this Project Tamarin, a “high-performance, open source implementation of the ECMAScript 4th edition (ES4) language specification” [ ECMAScript 4 is the same thing as Javascript 2 ] by the Mozilla developers. And this is the second thing I got excited for: they’ve planned to glue IronRuby (Ruby compiler for argh! .NET) to it via IronMonkey.

So… exciting news! Either via Tamarin or via HotRuby, we’ll get Ruby browser scripting. My “free mind” tends to favor HotRuby instead of IronRuby/IronMonkey/Tamarin… But in the end what matters is that all those people now cursed by Javascript will finally have a taste of what a real programming language feels like.. Who knows! They might even like it ;-D

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