Hi,

On Sat, 15 Jul 2006 00:25:23 +0200, Jeremy Henty <jeremy / chaos.org.uk>  
wrote:

> I too am somewhat disappointed by this thread.  People, we do *not*
> need to be reminded that Ruby is slower than C .  We *would* benefit
> from serious discussion of how (or if) Ruby could be faster.  Will
> YARV do this?  (The last time I saw any YARV benchmarks it performed
> more slowly than Ruby 1.x on some tests.  Has this changed?  Will it
> change?)  Is there anything besides YARV that promises to address
> performance or is YARV the only horse in the race?

There is Ruby2CExtension (http://ruby2cext.rubyforge.org/), one of it's  
goals is to provide an easy way to speed up Ruby scripts or libraries.

The first version didn't have any real optimizations and consequently  
didn't produce significant speed ups. But I have now implemented some  
optimizations, that provide very significant speed ups for some cases (see  
http://blade.nagaokaut.ac.jp/cgi-bin/scat.rb/ruby/ruby-talk/201642 for  
example).

I think it is not realistic to hope for such extreme speed ups for real  
world applications or libraries, but speed ups of 2x to 3x should be  
possible for many cases.

Ruby2CExtension doesn't support 100% of Ruby's features, but it supports  
enough to handle real world libraries. It can compile Austin Ziegler's  
PDF::Writer for example (with some small changes). The resulting C  
extension is about 33% faster (i.e. 3s instead of 4s) than the Ruby code.

I hope to make a new release soon, in the mean time you can checkout the  
latest revision from svn://rubyforge.org/var/svn/ruby2cext/trunk.

Dominik