FYI && FWIW, 

    (http://www.perl.com/pub/2001/02/inline.html) 

contains the following interesting item:

    Pathologically Polluting Perl
    by Brian Ingerson

# Inline.pm is a new module that glues other programming languages to
# Perl. It allows you to write C, C++, and Python code directly inside
# your Perl scripts and modules.  This is conceptually similar to the
# way you can write inline assembly language in C programs. Thus the
# name: Inline.pm.
# 
# [...]
#
# In the year 2001, I would like to see bindings for 
# Java, 
# Ruby,       [ <---- !! ] 
# Fortran 
# and Bash. I don't plan on authoring all of these myself. But
# I may kickstart some of them, and see if anyone's interested in
# taking over. 
# 
# [...]
# 
# Using XS is just too hard. At least when you compare it to the rest
# of the Perl we know and love. Inline takes advantage of the existing
# frameworks for combining Perl and C, and packages it all up into one
# easy to swallow pill.

Are there any stumbling blocks to doing something like this in Ruby? 

Shouldn't it be easier to do this sort of thing in Ruby (versus Perl)? 

Anyone want to give it a demo-level try?
 
Conrad Schneiker
(This note is unofficial and subject to improvement without notice.)