Scott Hanselman

Ruby on .NET, Silverlight Gems, the DLR, and RailsConf 2007

May 17, 2007 Comment on this post [11] Posted in Ruby
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I really have to give my boss credit for being a forward-thinker and an out-of-the-box type. These are clich├ęd terms, sure, but they fit. The day after the merger and where am I going to be tomorrow? I'll be at RailsConf2007, of course.

We are not religious zealots here at Corillian CheckFree, so we're always looking at other ways to do things. Even as a .NET/Java shop, we'll have four people at the conference, all with open minds, ready to learn. There's lots of folks at Corillian who dabble in Rails, and CheckFree has a Rails Study Group.

Here's where I'll be during the conference, courtesy of myconfplan. Fortunately for me, John Lam has loaned me a 17" MacBookPro with daily bits of his DLRConsole demo, including Ruby support in Silverlight (and .NET) with the DLR. It's all running in Safari, and it's yummy. This is one of the Mac's used at Mix in the Keynote.

Aside: I'm going back and forth about getting the Ultimate Atwood Developer Machine (I got the wife's OK), and getting a fully loaded MacBook Pro. The hardware is sexy as hell, unlike any Windows laptop I've ever seen (and I have a Lenovo t60p, to be clear) and apparently it's a heck of a Vista machine. Dare I even think like this? Having John's machine to borrow has already got be hooked on two-finger scrolling...

If you want to hook up at the conference and get a demo of Ruby on the DLR, you can email me or setup a request through the RailsConf 2007 Conference Meetup website. Tim Sneath will also be around to chat and demo.

The (totally speculative) prospect of the cleanness of the Rails developer experience married with an order of magnitude (or three) speed up, with the .NET GC, Rails (potentially) under IIS7 and SQL2k5 is just dizzying.

Even if you don't believe anything I say and you're a hardcore Rubyist who has no interest in Ruby on .NET, I'm interested in talking about Silverlight-specific gems that could make Silverlight fit into the Ruby lifestyle, with Ruby as code-behind.


About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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May 17, 2007 15:34
Are you going to take the laptop with you to TechEd? If so, I would love to check it out! I've been drooling over this stuff for quite sometime now.
May 17, 2007 17:05
I'll be out there... I'm sure I'll see you around, I'll stop and say hi.
May 17, 2007 17:12
Here I was about to drop the No Silver Bullet bomb on you for claiming an order of magnitude+ increase in developer productivity, then I learned to read and picked up on the fact that you were talking about an order of magnitude increase in Ruby's performance (which isn't that hard to believe).
Have there been benchmarks on Ruby running under the DLR yet? All I can find so far is that IronPython is 2-4 times faster than Python in C, which itself is pretty impressive.
May 17, 2007 18:05
Re the MB Pro - I just went through the same choice, and went with the T60p (widescreen) instead. The Mac has sexier looks, and a brighter screen. But the Vista support is still beta and flaky, especially during standby/resume transitions - had to do a bunch of reboots. Also Vista power management hasn't been tuned up yet, so the battery drains. Note that the Thinkpad has a higher-res screen, and has those keys that the MacBook mysteriously leaves out: right-click, forward-delete, page-up/down. And of course the trackpoint. But if you are a trackpad person the Thinkpad's is just too small. The Thinkpad has a docking station, which works well with my one-machine lifestyle.

I am waiting for when Leopard comes out in Oct. The Vista support should be solid, and the screens will get higher-res because Leopard is resolution-independent. Supposedly they will have LED backlighting too, which will probably be stunning.
May 17, 2007 21:21
I just bought a MB Pro after being a lifelong Windows user/developer. I have never been so happy with my decision. Don't buy the MB Pro for Vista support as suggested above, buy it for the Mac OS with the added ability to run Vista or XP if needed. Rails development is nice on the Mac as well.

Just my 2 cents...
May 17, 2007 23:56
There is a very powerful, customizable laptop from ASUS: C90S (, It has internal eSata port and can boot from it!
May 18, 2007 5:11
Does the two-finger scrolling work when running Vista? That's a feature I've always been impressed with.
May 18, 2007 9:14
I've been wondering what's up with the "Ultimate Developer Rig"? Do you plan on following up that series and flushing out the details or is that on hold pending a decision on the MB Pro?
May 18, 2007 16:48
A Mac and Rails ! Have you gone over to the dark side Scott !! LOL seriously though as a certified Microsoft fan boy I have recently myself got into Ruby. I hope MS develop the most performent version of Ruby with the best IDE, best of all worlds for me :)
June 07, 2007 10:14
Thanks in part to your comment, Scott, I think I am going with a Macbook pro after doing some reasearching. I was going to go with an Alienware with dual SLI:

but it's not Santa Rosa yet and i'm not sure their service is so great.

My current laptop is a Sager, and one thing I'll miss that bums me out is having RAID 0 in my laptop. I thought Apple might have put that as an option in the latest update, but no.. The drive always seems to be the slowdown otherwise.

Apple's new higher resolution screen option on the 17" I think has put me over the top. I will put some sort of windows sticker on my Macbook, however. ("vista (and Intel) inside"?)
June 08, 2007 23:14
Boot Camp 1.3 is out. Perhaps they have addressed some Vista issues.

Macbook pro on its way.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.