Gemstone’s MagLev presented at RubyConf
3 June, 2008
Avi Bryant joined Gemstone’s Bob Walker at RailsConf last week for a presentation (summarised here) describing MagLev, a Ruby VM built on the same technology as Gemstone/S, offering transparent persistence, and so the possibility of massive scalability, to Ruby applications. Despite only being under development for three months, with the initial focus being on scalability rather than speed, MagLev is already able to run Ruby code at speeds comparable or better than established Ruby implementations, with orders of magnitude improvements in some cases.
The presentation caused lots of excitement at the conference, and has sparked lots of heated debate within the Ruby development community with some very different views of MagLev from Charles Nutter, Giles Bowkett, Obie Fernandez, and Antonio Cangiano, as well as an article at Slashdot and posts all over Reddit. Avi has a blog-post addressing some of the discussion, as does Patrick Collison.
For Smalltalkers, one particularly interesting feature of MagLev, from an interview with Bob Walker by InfoQ, is that it retains the ability to execute Smalltalk code as well as Ruby, and should support image-based development.
[Edit: Chad Fowler had access to MagLev well before the presentation, and so offers a more considered assessment of it]