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02 February 2009, 07:57

Ruby 1.9 ready for prime-time with release of Ruby 1.9.1

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The Ruby developers have announced the release of Ruby 1.9.1, the first stable release of the Ruby 1.9 series. The Ruby 1.8 series, introduced in 2003, will continue development with a Ruby 1.8.8 promised for release "this year". Ruby 1.9 introduces a large number of changes to the language and libraries, which means that Ruby 1.8 will be used for much existing code while developers and libraries move over to Ruby 1.9. Ruby 1.9.1 is reported to be twice the speed of Ruby 1.8.7, but the changes made to the language mean lot of libraries and gems will not work with it and those that do, may work incorrectly until they are ported to 1.9.

The language changes include native thread and fiber support, better multiple language support, named groups in regular expressions and changes in scoping rules, syntax and hash behaviour. A number of resources are available to help users in the transition between the old version and the new. In comments to the announcement on Usenet, one contributor noted that Hello World still worked with 1.9.1, which could be a reference to last Decembers release of Python 3.0 final.

In the same discussion, the JRuby developer, Charles Nutter, in response to the news, announced that JRuby 1.2, due late February, will be Ruby 1.9.1 compatible. JRuby is currently compatible with Ruby 1.8.6 when it's 1.8 mode is enabled, and Nutter noted that it would stay that way, even when Ruby 1.8.8 is released, until users say they want support for the features in 1.8.7 and later releases.


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