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How to Get Ruby into State Government

 
Toren Valone
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David, work for big morose state goverment (Ca). How would you see getting Ruby into such an entity that still has Mainframe Assembly programs running (that have been running for 50+ years) ?
 
David Black
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Hi Toren --

Wow, I almost feel like if a program has run for 50 years, it should be allowed to keep running out of sheer respect :-) But I know what you mean.

I think one way to get Ruby into organizations that are skeptical about it is JRuby, which can blend nicely into the Java scenery. I'm not advocating subterfuge -- nor need it be done that way, since the claim would be that JRuby is just something that runs in the JVM, and indeed it does. I don't know whether that's relevant for your situation, though.

Another strategy is to work on a small, intra-organizational scale -- meaning, write some Ruby stuff that's flying under the radar, and find people who you think might be enthusiastic about using Ruby in ways that don't require permission, aren't public-facing, etc. It's hard to predict but at some point if Ruby develops a track-record of usage, and there's anyone in a decision-making position who's willing to look at what it's done, something could start to shift.


David
 
Lasse Koskela
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Perhaps you could start with build scripts. Buildr has become a pretty solid replacement for its Java-based counterparts. Build scripts would also be a safe sandbox to experiment with the language and see how people feel about it.
 
Toren Valone
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Sounds like fun!
 
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