Mid-way through last year, Lookout's investment in JRuby started to really take off. Having struggled with the harsh realities of MRI, we finally had a platform that gave us a way to grow our technology without having to throw out vast amounts of existing Ruby code. After an exciting weekend at JRubyConf EU 2014 and eurucamp I started hacking on a brand new project, one that I hoped would bring Ruby into harmony with the rest of the JVM ecosystem: JRuby/Gradle
JRuby/Gradle is a collection of Gradle plugins which make it easy to build, test, manage and package Ruby applications. By combining the portability of JRuby with Gradle’s excellent task and dependency management, JRuby/Gradle provides high quality build tooling for Ruby and Java developers alike.
The past twelve months have seen some incredible developments in the JRuby/Gradle toolchain. Much of which would not have been possible without Schalk W. Cronjé's massive contributions and help getting the project off the ground. And more recently the help of Christian Meier whose contributions have been partially funded by Lookout, Inc.
Currently, JRuby/Gradle is ready for prime-time. Lookout is using it to unify dependency and task management across a number of different projects, as well a few other notable use-cases here and there.
One of the most useful aspects of JRuby is the ease at which one can integrate tools from the Java ecosystem. For developers building hybrid applications though, using Ruby tools like Bundler and Rake can result in unpleasant hacks. If you stick to classic Java tools like Maven, it can feel like writing Ruby with a straight-jacket on. This lack of mature tooling to support Java/Ruby applications leaves developers in an uncanny valley between the two universes..
With the recent rise of Gradle, which was designed to support a polyglot ecosystem through a rich plugin architecture, there is light at the end of the tunnel for JRuby developers!
This talk will introduce the jruby-gradle project, an effort to combine the very best in Java tooling with the Ruby world, providing top-notch integration for JRuby devs. During the talk we will cover the motivations of the jruby-gradle project and describe how it helps bridge the gap between Java and Ruby. By combining the flexibility of JRuby with the power of Gradle, we can breathe new life into JRuby, opening it up to an even broader audience than before.
I'm very excited to give this talk at JRubyConf, less than a calendar year since the project was inspired at the very same conference.
If you're in Europe and have the time/means to get to Potsdam, I cannot recommend JRubyConf EU and eurucamp highly enough, and I hope to see you there!