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From "Johnny Kewl" <j...@kewlstuff.co.za>
Subject Re: JRuby sucked up the bath water but left the baby behind.
Date Tue, 17 Jun 2008 09:54:59 GMT

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Clifton Brooks" <clifton.brooks@gmail.com>
To: "Dev Tomcat" <dev@tomcat.apache.org>
Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 9:22 AM
Subject: JRuby sucked up the bath water but left the baby behind.


> Instead of binding Ruby to Java as in JRuby, or Python to Java as in Java,
> we have to find a way to compile Ruby on Rails applications, .py files, 
> and
> PHPs into java servlets.
>
> Although I adore programming in Java, most web developers simply find it 
> too
> difficult to learn.  They prefer PHP, RoR, and Python because all three 
> are
> easier to learn and use without understanding.  These languages don't 
> scale
> as well and sacrifice run time efficiency for development time efficiency.
>
> The greatest advantages of servlets include:
> 1.  The fact that they parse requests and generate responses through 
> method
> calls instead of operating system processes or Fast CGI.
> 2.  JNDI connectivity, particularly database connection pooling.
> 3.  WORA and platform independence.  (More a factor compared to .NET than
> the open source technologies.)
>
> Sadly, JRuby and Jython are just interpreters written in Java and they run
> more slowly than the original binary interpreters.
>
> If, instead of interpreting JRuby, PHP, and Jython, Tomcat, or some
> extensions for it, could compile programs in these languages into java
> servlets, then all of the advantages of the Java world will instantly 
> become
> accessible to these popular languages.  This suggestion is analogous to 
> the
> .NET model which compiles any language into Windows only byte code.  Here,
> any language compiles to platform independent, Java bytecode.
>
> I love Java as a language, and almost always prefer to develop in it, but
> maybe it's greatest virtues aren't syntax and grammar.  Most web 
> application
> developers prefer PHP for reasons similar to those which make RoR
> appealing.  However, the technologies underneath these languages don't
> measure up to the JVM and Tomcat or other Servlet containers.  This causes
> all sorts of scalability problems, and it slows down the entire internet.
>
> When and how can we grant Java infrastructure to PHP developers?  When and
> how can we compile PHP, Ruby, Python, and other web application languages
> into Servlets?

I dont know about the feasibility of this, some clever person can figure it 
out, but there is definitely a market for PHP in tomcat.
The question comes up in the user groups. I imagine there are practical 
challenges to that and the half cocked Servlet solutions out there seem to 
be reinventing PHP in JNI, and doing a fairly bad job.

I was wondering if an extension to the Apache runtime would not be a better 
way to go... APR + PHP_R kind of idea.
And then just look for some cool but simple interop. Like a servlet can 
forward to PHP, and visa versa.
ie you can just use TC for your PHP, and you can get it integrated to some 
degree with servlets.
... ie take two great technologies and bring them a little closer, not a 
competitive product, just closer coop.
Make servlets and PHP better bed mates. The idea is that as Apache PHP is 
developed further, TC gets the leverage, with a few perks.

"Damn thats a nice WIKI in PHP... I'm going to drop it into TC, add the 
PHP_R engine to TC and forward requests to it from my servlet"... something 
like that.
If PHP starts a session in this env, servlets see it as well... so theres a 
little engine overlap, but otherwise Apache TC are 100% compat.
Bean passing with primitive types would add a creative dimension to it.

JRuby is cool, but I feel if you want to write a powerful site all in j 
script... well, you get what you made.
I think that any leverage in that area will come from the JRE itself, now 
that Sun is backing ruby, in the form of a JIT Script engine or something 
like that in the JRE, so I think, not worth the investment. The compilation 
of scripts to Java could first be attempted external to TC... if they get it 
right, well its just a java class that TC can use.

Servlet + PHP as bed mates == most internet solutions
Now that product like Netbeans are bringing in PHP editors, allowing for 
hybrid solutions makes even more sense.

Just a thought ;)

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