Hello Michael,

MN> Nospam wrote:
>> Hi,
>> 
>> Once in a while the question pops up if it is possible to compile Ruby
>> code to native machine code. The answer has always been no. But I keep
>> wondering how hard it would really be to make this possible.
>> 
>> Ruby is written in C. And when Ruby parses a Ruby script it converts
>> each statement to a C call. Probably the same calls you can use on your
>> own in a Ruby C extension. So why wouldn't it be possible to parse a
>> Ruby script and convert all statements to Ruby C code and put it in a
>> *.c file (instead of calling the Ruby C statements directly). This *.c
>> file can then be compiled into machine code with a C compiler like gcc.
>> If each *.rb file is converted to a C file it could be compiled to a
>> dynamically loadable library which could then be used on require 
>> statements (just like regular Ruby C extensions).
>> 
>> What I mean is, this...
>> 
>> class Example
>>   def example
>>     puts "Hello World!"
>>   end
>> end
>> 
>> .... can also be written in C using the Ruby C API, am I right? So why
>> wouldn't it be possible to convert all Ruby code to C code using the
>> Ruby C API?
>> 
>> This would probably result in some performance gain (no need to parse
>> the code anymore at run-time), but for some people more important, you
>> can distribute your Ruby applications closed-source. In the future the
>> performance gain maybe could be increased by performing special 
>> optimizations during the conversion process.

MN> I remember that a long time ago, there was a ruby-to-c compiler (was it
MN> called r2c?). But IIRC, there was only little performance gain. Remember

AFAIK it only packed the ruby code as a C string and called eval. Very
clever compiler.




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 Lothar Scholz                        http://www.ruby-ide.com
 CTO Scriptolutions                   Ruby, PHP, Python IDE 's