Ruby.NET vs. IronRuby: What's The Difference?

by M. David Peterson

UPDATE: John Lam has followed-up with a response on his blog. For what I assume are obvious reasons I would pay attention to what John has to say on the matter well before anything I might have to say as, again quite obviously, John kind of knows a thing or two hundred about these kinds of things. ;-)

To ensure I'm not propagating bad information I've integrated portions of his comments that help clarify the real picture as it is (as opposed to how I may have interpreted things to be) into the body of this post. That said, if you haven't already I would encourage you to head on over to his post *first* and then come back here if/when time allows.

Thanks for the follow-up, John!

[Original Post]
Pat Eyler asked me a while back for my thoughts on a handful of questions related to both IronRuby and Ruby.NET. He recently posted my answers to the following questions,

* How much are the IronRuby and Ruby.NET projects working together?

* Where/how could they better cooperate?

* What’s the easiest way to get started with Ruby.NET for Windows, Mac, and Linux users?

* What are some ways the Ruby.NET team is working with the larger Ruby community?

* What more could they be doing?

* Why should we trust Microsoft?

Extending from these answers and in response to a follow-up question from Pat, it seemed appropriate to pull together a summary of the core differences between the Ruby.NET and IronRuby projects. This summary extends from the thread @ http://groups.google.com/group/RubyDOTNET/browse_thread/thread/a8c51748456a46c0/0e6ad247c1e059e9?lnk=gst&q=Ruby.NET+and+IronRuby with plenty of extended substance from Douglas Stockwell, Charles Oliver Nutter, and Dr. Wayne Kelly that is worthy of your click.

PLEASE NOTE: If anyone from either the Ruby.NET or IronRuby camps (I claim myself a member of both) feels compelled to clarify or provide either an extended and/or counter follow-up, by all means please do. If it turns out that any of what follows is either inaccurate, misleading, or in other forms doesn't present the complete story, please let me know and if seems justified, I will incorporate the suggested changes into the body of this post.

Thanks in advance!