Somewhere deep in the Borg machinery, a small team led by John Lam is working on a fully open source implementation of Ruby for the CLR, and is even going to accept outside contributions.

Yesterday they announced the first source code release of IronRuby. It’s pretty rough so far, but showing a ton of promise. As Tim Bray points out, two of the major problems with Ruby are lack of good Unicode support and poor performance; it’s easy to imagine IronRuby could have better performance, and good Unicode support is a given on .NET.

By the way, if you like IronRuby, you might also like Boo, which is a CLR-based language that combines Python’s syntax with Ruby’s closures/blocks and throws in static typing with type inferencing. It comes with a REPL (booish.exe), an interpreter (booi.exe), and a compiler (booc.exe). And since it is based on the CLR, you can both consume and produce regular .NET libraries.

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