Publishing flamebait [Fwd: Pragmatic Bookshelf releases "From Java To Ruby"]

Hans Fugal hans at
Wed Jun 28 15:14:52 MDT 2006

On Wed, 28 Jun 2006 at 15:05 -0600, Barry Roberts wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 28, 2006 at 02:24:26PM -0600, Hans Fugal wrote:
> > That's not what I get from the paragraphs you've posted at all.
> > ...
> Nicely done.
> > Please don't paint us Rubyists as Java hatemongers out there to destroy
> > the good name of Java. It's simply not true. Some in the Java community
> > are threatened by Ruby, and things can get ugly when an 800 pound
> > gorilla feels threatened, but that's just the way things are.
> >  
> Since you're a self-proclaimed rubyist, I'll ask the question that's
> been burning in my mind, and the reason I haven't done anything in
> ruby yet.  I currently program in java, python, and perl.
> How can you have a real enterprise-level web-based application
> framework in a language without real threads?  Are all Ruby app
> servers on single-processor machines?

I'm not an enterprise-level web-based application programmer, so I can't
really answer. I can say that the threading implementation is my #1
problem with the language. It's in the process of being fixed. 

> I'm not trying to start a flame war, I really just want to know.
> Although, I suppose creating any kind of spark in the tinderbox that
> is plug could probably be considered flamebait, I am really interested
> in how rails is scalable without native threads.

I'm also not very good at enterprise-level performance testing/thinking,
but I'll venture that insofar as rails is not hindered by the ruby
threads implementation it's by working around the limitations. What are
the limitations, exactly? In my mind the primary problem is that if you
block a thread in certain ways, you block the whole process. Aside from
that, a virtual thread isn't all that different from a real thread, and
if your program is a primary contender for resources you will probably
not notice much detriment due to scheduling.

Maybe Stuart or someone else has more insight into this than I do. If
not, I can ask the URUG people or maybe the ruby-talk list, I suspect
someone there would have a better answer.

Hans Fugal ;
There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the 
right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
    -- Johann Sebastian Bach
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