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A New JRuby Interview and More

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Since the news about Sun and JRuby broke at the beginning of the month, I've tried to stay close to the JRuby team to see what's going on. Our discussion has turned into another interview.

Charles Nutter, Thomas Enebo, and (non-Sun employee) Ola Bini have had some great things to say. One of my favorite exchanges took place when we talked about refatoring tools:

Okay Charles, since you brought up refactoring tools — you and Thomas, are supposed to be looking at programmers tools (which most people read as NetBeans). What do you think has been holding back refactoring tools for Ruby? More importantly, what can/will you be doing about it? (Ola, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this too.)

Charles: Refactoring a dynamic-typed language is inherently hard for reasons that are pretty easy to understand. If you can't look at a piece of code and know exactly what type a given variable is, an IDE won't be able to either. Even if you can do so with some difficulty, IDEs are out of luck. This makes the most interesting and useful refactorings monumentally more difficult to implement.

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