My JRuby Talk at Philly ETE

Posted by Nick Sieger Tue, 31 Mar 2009 01:20:49 GMT

Last Friday at Philly ETE 2009 I gave a talk entitled, JRuby: Agile Glue for the Enterprise. The talk was aimed at the skeptical enterprise developer or architect that hasn’t yet considered adopting a dynamic language. (Unfortunately, most of the folks in the room were familiar with Ruby, so the pitch may not have hit the mark. At least they knew what they were getting into.)

The thesis is pretty concise: If you’re developing on a platform that doesn’t make use of a dynamic language, you’re limiting your development speed.

You’re using a heavy vehicle in the parts of your application where you should be driving a bike. I actually don’t care whether you use JRuby or Groovy or JavaScript or Jython. But you should use the right tool for the task at hand, and using Java to do systems integration or builds or frequently changing application logic is the jackhammer trying to hit a nail.


The great thing about this picture is that you can introduce a dynamic language on the slice on the right side without deploying Ruby code into your production application. You can ramp up Ruby (using JRuby) as a testing tool, a build tool, or a monitoring/deploy tool.

Once you’re a little more comfortable with Ruby and JRuby, you can start to embed it in non-critical corners of your application. Maybe you’ll eventually feel confident enough to even try using parts or all of Rails in your application. And doing it in a way that preserves your existing infrastructure when you need it, or phasing it out slowly instead of completely rewriting it.

JRuby can help you with this transition. It’s there every step of the way, bringing the best of both worlds (Ruby and Java) and bridging them in a way that makes programming on the Java platform fun again.

You can download the slides to see code examples for all these areas.

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