So a few days ago, Jimmy Schementi announced the death of IronRuby. Oh, sorry, “IronRuby isn’t dead, it’s just back in the hands of the community” which is essentially the same.
Now, while there may be a chance for IronRuby to survive, I personally think it’s not something that Microsoft should do, so I think it makes sense for them to kill it off internally. Same for IronPython. I think the DLR is a great addition to .net though, and I think there is a far better language already available.
.net is at it’s core a language-independent technology that doesn’t only support but encourage using multiple languages. Sure, there are only 3-4 really supported languages which are rarely mixed (Some people mix C++/CLI with C# or VB.net for some COM stuff, or F# with C# for financial/statistic stuff) and some languages that have some limited support (Boo is my favorite in this category).
There is a big discussion whether or not C# is a good language to write Web Applications in. People point at Cucumber and talk about how great Ruby works with the Web while C# feels like a chore because of it’s static typing, verbose Syntax and need for IoC Containers to do Unit Testing properly. Other people point at the insecurity of dynamic languages, about the lack of compiler errors, about the confusion created by not having to declare variables which leads to subtle bugs like `$total = 0; foreach(item in items) $totel += item.price`.
Customers want better apps. They want AJAX, they want snappy, cool looking UI. The Browser market is not a “Make sure it runs in IE and doesn’t suck in Netscape 4.78” market anymore. We need to create cool apps, and we need to run them on Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari on OS X, Safari on iPhone and Android. Our Web Apps need to do more in less time.
Because let’s face it: Any .net Language not supported by Microsoft in Visual Studio is doomed.