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1. What is Rubinius
Rubinius is a next-generation virtual machine and compiler for Ruby.
Based loosely on the Smalltalk-80 'Blue Book' design, Rubinius will provide
a rich, high-performance environment for running Ruby code.
2. Running Rubinius
Refer to the INSTALL file for instructions on getting and building Rubinius.
3. Status
Rubinius is under heavy development, and currently supports the basic Ruby
classes and kernel methods. The code base is written in a mixture of
ANSI C and Ruby; with more Ruby and less C as the project proceeds.
You should not run your mission-critical Rails apps under Rubinius yet.
4. Goals
* Thread safety. Rubinius intends to be thread-safe so you could embed more
than one interpreter in a single application. It does not currently meet
this goal due to some components borrowed from the mainline Ruby interpreter.
* Clean, readable code that is easy for users to understand and extend.
* Reliable, rock-solid code. Valgrind is used to help verify correctness.
* Bring modern techniques to the Ruby runtime. Pluggable garbage collectors and
code optimizers are possible examples.
5. Volunteering to Help
The Rubinius team welcomes contributions, bug reports, test cases, and monetary
support. One possible way to help is implement Ruby library classes. Visit for documentation on how to begin hacking Rubinius.
6. Architecture
Rubinius currently uses C to bootstrap the system. In the future, a limited dialect of
Ruby called cuby/garnet will be used to generate C. This is a time-honored technique,
used by systems such as Squeak, Smalltalk, and Algol on the Burroughs systems (as seen
in the movie 'Tron').
For now, this code is hand-written, and can be found in the ./shotgun/lib directory.
This code was ported from a Ruby implementation found in the ./lib directory.
For example, shotgun/lib/object_memory.c is the C translation of lib/object_memory.rb.
The compiler, assembler, and bytecode generators are all written in Ruby, and can
be found under the ./lib directory. Other systems use the word 'translator' for what
is here referred to as 'compiler'. The ./bin/rcc script can be used to display the
symbolic output of the compiler, for debugging or learning purposes.
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