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A better Ruby for Windows, better Ruby libraries for Windows, and a mix of open source and commercial support.

Ruby on Windows needs to be better!

Microsoft Windows has always been a secondary platform both for the Ruby core developers and for most OSS Ruby programmers. Many Windows developers have difficulty when dealing with Ruby on Windows because of this, as many open source libraries simply weren't developed with Windows support in mind.

If you're like me then you understand that, love it or hate it, Microsoft Windows is here to stay and it's a viable and popular commercial platform.  For Ruby to succeed it must succeed on Windows.

Making Ruby itself cross platform is difficult because Windows has its own set of functions for doing most things, and the result is a lot of macro checks in the source code, as well as separate source files. The result is a lot of code that simply isn't optimized for Windows, or doesn't work quite right.

Making individual Ruby libraries cross platform is difficult because many people don’t use or don’t have access to Windows and are unfamiliar with its API, let alone its nuances.

Let's make Ruby development on Windows great!

We need to make a version of Ruby that is explicitly written and optimized for Windows. And we need better all-around support for Ruby libraries on Windows. In addition, we need to make Ruby libraries better by providing a way for developers to easily test their Ruby libraries on Windows, and a way for companies to get support for Windows development with Ruby when they need it.

Help me create both commercial and free support for Ruby on Windows!

I realize that there are companies out there that develop with Ruby on Windows and sometimes they need support, both in terms of general expertise and suggestions as well as code. I also realize that individual gem authors could use help too, both in terms of development and testing.

My goal is to create a business that supports businesses commercially in terms of service and consultancy, as well as provide help for individual gem authors.

My Credentials

I have a long history of Windows Development with Ruby. I've headed up the Win32Utils project for over 8 years now. The Win32Utils team has published several open source libraries explicitly designed for Windows, i.e. many of the win32* gems, with some even correcting mistakes in core Ruby. I have also published dozens of open source libraries where I make extra effort specifically for cross platform support, especially the sys* libraries that I've published.

In addition I've made contributions both to Ruby core, and have contributed (for Windows or otherwise) to many other open source libraries, including Rake and Rubygems, often dealing with Windows support issues specifically.

I have both the track record and the skills to Ruby for Windows better.

You can see my all of my gem contributions at: https://rubygems.org/profiles/1140

Deliverables

There are several deliverables: 

  • A refactored Ruby built with MSVC++ with optimizations for Windows. Any bugs found will be sent back to the Ruby core developers.
  • A Continuous Integration service for Windows. This would eventually include the option to select from multiple versions of Windows to test against (2000, XP Pro, Windows 7, etc), as well as different builds (MSVC++ vs mingw).
  • Support for individual gems. I'll help individual gem authors who contribute get their code working on Windows and/or provide them with continuous integration (once setup) for one gem of their choice.  Those who pay for support will be able to have multiple gems and even full application stacks setup and tested.
  • Service contracts for companies using Ruby on Windows. I can help you develop a library for Windows, or help you get your existing code working on Windows.
  • Continued development of existing open source Windows libraries. This mainly includes the Win32Utils libraries. Many of them could use improvements, and need to be ported to FFI so that they will also work with JRuby.
  • Development of commercial Windows Services (i.e. daemons) with Ruby. Both licensing of existing services, and new services that customers would like written.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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