Sunday, May 27, 2007

Adding Annotations to JRuby Using Ruby

I love how meta-programmable Ruby is.

JRuby doesn't support annotations because Ruby doesn't support annotations. So what! We can extend Ruby to add something like annotations:

class JPABean
def self.inherited(clazz)
@@annotations = {}
def self.anno(annotation)
@@last_annotation = annotation

def self.method_added(sym)
@@annotations[sym] = @@last_annotation

def self.get_annotation(sym)
return @@annotations[sym]
Given this, we can do things like the following:

class MyBean :sql => "SELECT * FROM stuff WHERE name = 'foo'"
def foo; end

anno :field => :hello_id
attr :hello

anno :field => :bar_in_table
attr_accessor :bar
And here's some output from the resulting class:

p MyBean.get_annotation(:foo)
p MyBean.get_annotation(:hello)
p MyBean.get_annotation(:bar=)


{:sql=>"SELECT * FROM stuff WHERE name = 'foo'"}
So as you can see we really do have all the necessary requirements to annotate classes. Now what if we just had MyBean be a java.lang.Object extension and stuffed the annotations into the resulting generated class? We can already create real Java classes in this way, but with the above syntax and a little magic in the JRuby Java integration later, we've got annotation support in on Java classes too. This should enable things like Hibernate, JPA, and JUnit 4 to work with JRuby's Ruby-based classes. Or at least, I believe it to be possible. It just requires a little work to add annotation information to the resulting generated classes.

I've planted the seed here and on the JRuby dev list...let's see if it germinates.

JVM Languages: The Future

I've started a Google Group for all those interested in the future of alternative languages (i.e. not Java) on the JVM. A number of you knew this was coming, and I've already invited folks that expressed an interest in my RedMonk Unconference session at JavaOne. The rest of you are also invited.

Please plan to talk shop about language implementation strategies, pain points on the JVM, and what we can do to build a common set of libraries, frameworks, and patterns to ease and improve the Java platform's support for many languages. The time for action is now, my friends, and we have a wealth of information across all our language projects to draw from. We must come together to build a stronger base for everyone to stand upon.

I welcome you to the future.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Foo Camp 2007

I've been invited to this year's Foo Camp. Since it sounds like a great time and there's a bunch of other folks going I'd like to talk to, I'm accepting the invitation. My purpose posting this entry is to let other campers know I'll be there and try to hook up and chat a bit beforehand. So drop me a

FYI, if any other campers are coming up from Oakland, I'm renting a car. My times are listed on the "Rides Offered" page.

I'm looking forward to a fun weekend!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Final Bugs

We're within weeks of a final JRuby 1.0. We've pared down the bugs that we think we can or must fix for 1.0 and this email is a summary of the ones we need help with. So whatever time you can spare, please have a look and help resolve these.

In order of decreasing priority in JIRA:

JRUBY-820: Net::HTTP.get behaves differently form MRI, failing to get UTF8 properly
JRUBY-828: UTF-8 regular expressions aren't working

I believe these are both largely the same problem, and it's probably the most visible remaining bug we need to fix. Regular expressions in JRuby currently do not work well with unicode strings, both as incoming match strings and as the regular expression strings themselves. REXML uses /u regular expressions, which is why I believe these issues are closely related. Wes Nakamura has commented that he's looking into 828, but more eyes will help ensure this is fixed.
I believe these are true blocking bugs for 1.0, and I'm not comfortable doing a release if they are not resolved.

JRUBY-971: Make it clear which Java method maps to each equality method

I think we have subtle equality bugs remaining largely because we don't use a consistent naming convention for the Java implementations of Ruby methods like ==, ===, eql? and so on. We should make a quick sweep through the system and make sure all core JRuby code is using the same Java method names for all of these, and binding them in the same way. Note: This is actually the cause of some set_trace_func bugs, since the default === impl should actually invoke ==, causing trace events for both.

JRUBY-969: Add rake and rspec to standard JRuby distribution for 1.0

We have decided to ship both Rake and RSpec with JRuby 1.0, since they are both well-accepted and widely used (moreso for Rake, but RSpec has gained a lot of acceptance the past year). But the mechanism of including them is unclear. I do not want to commit installed gems to SVN; I would prefer to just install them as needed for testing and when building the JRuby distribution. Thoughts?

JRUBY-672: java.lang.Class representation of Ruby class not retrievable

This bug is basically just looking for a way to get at the actual java.lang.Class representing a Ruby-based extension of a Java class. There may have been an API added with Bill's work, or this could be simple to add.

JRUBY-914: JRuby's BigDecimal needs to round

Stu submitted a patch for this, but it unfortunately depends on behavior only present in Java 5 and higher. Since most of us are pretty unfamiliar with BigDecimal, we don't know of a good workaround to support it correctly in Java 1.4.

JRUBY-822: jruby fails to report process exit status correctly

I think Nick may have a grip on this one, but if anyone can offer suggestions as to why the exit codes are apparently shifted in this way, please let us know.

JRUBY-966: Various issues with LocalJumpError not being created early enough
JRUBY-767: next in an eval should produce a local jump error

These are likely going to be up to Tom and I since they involve pretty deep runtime/interpreter work. But we're also looking for any remaining known issues with LocalJumpError/JumpException that are still out there. I believe we've fixed all such externally-reported issues at the moment.

JRUBY-888: Make regular distro/build create the all-in-one jar by default

We waffle back and forth on this. What's the answer? An all-in-one jar by default, or on request?

JRUBY-873: ant test thread tests sometimes run forever

I managed to get a trace on this one. It appears that some of the tests cause a deadlock between stopping a thread and other operations. But I don't believe anyone's seen it in normal execution yet (or at least nobody's reported it). I'm probably the only one familiar enough with the threading subsystem to fix it, but I'd like to know if anyone's seen other issues.

JRUBY-98: allow "/" as absolute path in Windows
JRUBY-36: Dir['...'] incompatibilities between Ruby and accross platforms
JRUBY-61: IO CRLF compatibility with cruby on Windows
JRUBY-644: Windows line delimiter (\r\n) cause position errors

These blasted Windows pathing and newline bugs just seem to hang on forever. Nobody wants to fix them. There must be someone out there that can help resolve these, yes?

JRUBY-884: Create and consolidate extension and non-standard options

There are a number of configuration options for JRuby. Some have their own flags, like -O to disable ObjectSpace and -C to force compilation of a target script. But many others are only configurable via Java system properties. What we really could use from the community is some idea which settings are worth adding special flags for. We can handle the rest. My personal opinion is that the new -J flag that allows passing flags to the JVM is actually enough.

By my estimation, the rest of the bugs are either almost done or are trivial enough they could be punted to a post 1.0 release. But if we can get these issues knocked down soon (starting with those top couple), 1.0 is going to be an extremely solid release.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Big Plans

I just came across this amusing entry from an old, now-defunct blog of mine on LiveJournal.

The last line pretty much says it all. I must have been really frustrated with my job at the time:
Someone should pay me to sit at home and do great things.
(If you don't get the joke: I now work for Sun Microsystems, at home, on if JRuby's ever considered a "great thing", the prophecy will be fulfilled.)

And yes, I've seen the Microsoft news. I'd hate to be an OSS developer or apologist at Microsoft today. If Sun did something like this I'd resign.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

JSR-292 Summit Wrap-Up

Today Tom and I met with fellow language implementers Oti Humbel, Charlie Groves, and Tobias Ivarsson to start discussions about JSR-292 (invokedynamic) with John Rose, longtime VM implementer and new spec lead. It was an excellent discussion, with John listening patiently to the implementation challenges we've had on JRuby and Jython and offering suggestions. He took copious notes and posted them here.

We have the second edition of the JRuby on Rails talk tomorrow morning, so I'm signing out now. But check out John's post, it's a great first look at a promising start on 292 work.

Monday, May 7, 2007

"the solution is JRuby"

Big news today from ThoughtWorks Studios! Their collaborative development project management solution Mingle (think SourceForge, but pretty and usable) will be the first commercially-distributed Rails application to run on JRuby. Jon Tirsen summarizes the justification for this move in a Studios blog post.

The reasons are obvious ones to those of us who've poured our hearts and souls into making JRuby succeed, but they're excellent points to call out for the Ruby community at large. Mingle 1.0 will be released running with a Jetty web front-end and a Derby database back-end. Mingle 1.1 will be released as a WAR file (Rails-in-a-WAR courtesy of GoldSpike) targeting any app server and any database.

This is a big day for JRuby. ThoughtWorks is one of the most respected names in the Ruby world, and we're proud that they've chosen JRuby as their enterprise deployment solution. We're happy to have ThoughtWorkers like Ola Bini on the team, and look forward to collaborating with ThoughtWorks to continue improving JRuby into the future.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

JRuby: The T-Shirt!

Yes, I've managed to secure a small order of JRuby t-shirts for giveaway at JavaOne and RailsConf. And they're pretty sweet, have a look at the logo on the front:

And the back will have in white the words:

include Java

How cool is that? The logo was designed and contributed by "Liz" (Liz, let me know if you want me to post contact info or anything...great work) and arranged by Damian Steer, longtime JRuby contributor. I handled the legwork of arranging the shirts, and managed to secure a little funding to get them paid for.

So! How does one get one of these slicko t-shirts? Well, the first round of giveaways goes to folks who've made contributions in the past year. And by contributions I mean either patches or some serious research and legwork on a bug. Obviously there's a core group of folks that should automatically get shirts, so contact me about it if you think you qualify and I'll try to set one aside.

Otherwise...You've got the next week or two to fix a bug, post a patch, and otherwise make yourself useful to the JRuby project. I'm gonna be pretty strict on this...if you want the goods, you've got to help out. May is 1.0 cleanup time, with an RC coming out soon and hopefully a final not too long after. So if you'd been considering helping out, now's the time!

Visit the JRuby homepage, check out the JRuby bug tracker, and grab JRuby source. The details of contributing are linked from the front page of the JRuby wiki.

Update: Oh will you get the shirts. The easiest way will be to hunt down Tom and I at the JRuby booth (in Sun's section) between 1PM and 3PM every day. We'll verify that you're not a slacker and make the arrangements. We're looking forward to meeting contributors in person. Otherwise, email me and we'll try to make other arrangements.

For RailsConf, I'll just have the shirts at the hotel, and we'll figure something out. Maybe I'll just bring the box to our training and session there.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

One JRuby on Rails Talk Already Full!

Tom and I are giving our JRuby on Rails talk twice at JavaOne next week, and while wrestling with ScheduleBuilder I discovered something surprising: the thursday session is already FULL! Perhaps I underestimated how many people would be interested in seeing us prattle on about the future of Java web development with Rails. I expected that two sessions was extremely optimistic of the scheduling committee. It appears I was quite wrong!

If you haven't signed up for the JRoR session yet, you better do it quick. I'd hate for any of my regular readers to miss out on attending the session. It's gonna be a great show!