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Ruby in the browser with NativeClient (NaCl)

Benjamin Oakes edited this page Oct 1, 2011 · 5 revisions


  • JS as a monopoly
  • CoffeeScript?
  • New TryRuby site
  • gestalt -- let's you do <script type="test/ruby"></script>
    • Uses MS's DLR
    • Silverlight/IronRuby
    • Unsure future


  • Netscape, mimetypes, NPAPI
  • Standalone plugins
  • Powerful, but security nightmare


  • Separate processes
  • NaCl
  • Pepper Bridge (PPAPI)
  • Sandboxed plugins
  • Native machine code


  • Compile code with specialized toolchain (modified GCC)

  • NaCl runtime verifies untrusted code (static analysis)

  • Executes verified code

  • Limited functionality. Can't fork, limited FS access, etc.

  • Figures out your platform (x86, ARM, etc) over JSON

  • You can talk via JavaScript using the Pepper API

  • Listening for events

  • Like WebWorkers

  • Has simlar APIs to browsers

  • Same priveledges as the JS runtime


  • Can do pthreads (browsers are single threaded, but Chrome has separate processes)

  • Lots of C/C++ libraries

  • Video

  • Native

  • Need: Chrome ~9 (1 yr old) with nacl enabled

  • Latest: 14


Future of NaCl?

  • Cool, but...

  • It's in the wild

  • But getting replaced with PNaCl

  • See chrome://plugins -- enabled in the Chrome Web Store (for Chrome apps)

  • Long term vision? Maybe enabling outright

  • Examples

    • Netflix on the Chromebook
    • Google app engine
    • Exacycle -- for scientific computing


  • Does LLVM bytecode!
    • Fortran!
    • PyPy
    • Rubinius
    • Objective-C


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