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09 August 2010, 11:37

Microsoft's IronRuby team ground down

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According to one of the developers who left recently, Microsoft's dynamic language team, responsible for the IronRuby port to the .NET platform, is now down to one person. Jimmy Schementi wrote in his blog that he had left Microsoft after seeing a "serious lack of commitment" to IronRuby by the company. Version 1.0 of IronRuby was only released in April.

This leaves Tomáš Matoušek as the sole member of the IronRuby team; Microsoft had already halved the size of the development team to two people a year ago, which according to Schementi, severely limited the teams agility, leaving them unable to deliver IronRuby integration with VisualStudio and delaying the VisualStudio IronPython integration. The final straw for Schementi came when his manager asked him if there was anything he wanted to work on that wasn't Ruby.

Schementi is moving to a financial technology company as his full-time job, but plans to maintain an active interest in IronRuby and is becoming the first core team committer to the project who isn't a Microsoft employee. He says that he is "just extremely disappointed with their decisions around dynamic languages on .NET", noting the only dynamic language that "is getting love" at Microsoft is the IE9 JavaScript engine.

In a later posting on the IronRuby list, Schementi and others are considering options for the future of IronRuby as a community project. He says he is looking for Microsoft, if they intend to stop funding development, to hand IronRuby off to a non-profit foundation such as the CodePlex Foundation.


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