Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Martin Fowler just posted on his bliki a little piece entitled RubyMicrosoft. As I read it, I felt a strange chill run down my spine. Perhaps a few words of explanation are needed...

At RailsConf recently I stood at the Thoughtworks booth for a moment chatting up Fowler, and embarrassing myself by asking for a photo with him (he doesn't pose for photos with people). Luckily, I was rescued by the arrival of Oli Bini, and an ensuing short discussion about JRuby. I expressed my admiration about how they had been "cleaning Microsoft's clock" as far as their much faster progress with a runtime for the Ruby language then Microsoft's efforts with the DLR.

Much to my surprise, Martin was actually paying attention to what we were saying (I mean to what I was saying, after all he knows and speaks with Ola), and chimed in about how Thoughtworks was working with Microsoft on language compatibility for IronRuby. I expressed a poorly articulated skepticism at the prospects.

Lo and behold, the RubyMicrosoft blog posting sums up rather well the half-formed mumblings I was trying to stammer out. Well, this is why he is a keynote speaker, and I am a dead programmer. However, impressed as I am at his intellect, I am not sure I share his optimism about Microsoft.

I certainly don't know if I am an "alpha geek" or anything like that. I'd rather be a jazz programmer than a rock star. But given my long history working with Microsoft technology, and then the seemingly contradictory fact that I was at both RailsConfs, I must really identify with the movement. Chalk it up as just one more developer who Microsoft is losing to the rebellion.

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