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Archives / 2009 / December
  • Most Wanted: IronRuby Integration in Visual Studio 2010

    ironruby This week the IronRuby team announced IronRuby version 1.0 RC at RubyConf 2009 and IR is really starting to shape up into something awesome when looking at compatibility and performance.

    The blog to really, really follow if you’re interested in IronRuby is Jimmy Schemanti’s (PM and developer on the IronRuby team). He’s got up-to-date information on the project as well as good tips on how to make best use of IR in your other .NET projects.

    In a couple of places on the Net, there’s been discussions and also deep concerns about the fact that there is no proper support for the Iron* languages inside Visual Studio. One interesting discussion is going on in the IronRuby mailing list –> http://www.mail-archive.com/ironruby-core@rubyforge.org/msg05124.html and another over at Sapphire Steel, who released an alpha version of IR integration in VS2008 –> http://www.sapphiresteel.com/Who-Needs-IronRuby 

    A couple of months ago, Matt Ward wrote a blog post about IronRuby integration in SharpDevelop 3.1. SharpDevelop being an open source IDE for the .NET platform which supports various project types and multiple programming languages. Today, this might be the best option for people who are used to the the programming support you normally get in Visual Studio.

    Personally I would hate to see the thousands of hours from the IronRuby team and the wonderful community being spent on a product not used just because the lack of VS integration. It’s my personal view that most .NET developers have been totally spoiled by the wonderful support VS gives us. We’re used to getting project support, syntax highlightning, refactoring, F5 debugging and at least *some* intellisense. 

    I know that some people over at Microsoft is a bit disappointed in the community (IronRuby is a kind of an Open Source project after all) for not doing something in VS for IronRuby already – Sapphire shows is possible for sure, and it should be even “less hard” in VS2010 – but I think I know why. Coding up a good VS integration with the features I listed above is NOT a walk in the park to get right. We’re talking thousands of hours that MIGHT go down the drain if Microsoft eventually releases something themselves.

    For a while now there’s been a suggestion on Microsoft Connect for IronRuby integration into VS2010, which has now become the most up-voted feature request for VS2010!

    A couple of days ago, Jimmy commented this on his own blog post:

    VS integration will happen eventually; we've been focusing on the languages up until now. After the 1.0 is released we'll probably have some time to make the VS integration. However, I'm a little disappointed in the community for not making this already ...

    And yesterday Jimmy wrote:

    After 1.0 is released, we’ll probably take a bit of a break, but then look to do some features we didn’t get to finish in 1.0, as well as Visual Studio Integration, since it’s the highest voted feature for VS2010.

    So, there you got it. It WILL happen eventually, I wish it will be sooner than later and I hope to see the same kind of short release cycles we’ve seen for IronRuby. :D