I’m extraordinarily pleased to today announce Topaz, a project I started 10 months ago, to create a brand new implementation of the Ruby programming language (version 1.9.3).
Topaz is written in Python on top of the RPython translation toolchain (the same one that powers PyPy). Its primary goals are simplicity and performance.
Because Topaz builds on RPython, and thus much of the fantastic work of the PyPy developers, it comes out of the box with a high performance garbage collector, and a state of the art JIT (just-in-time) compiler. What does this mean? Out of the box Topaz is extremely fast.
Topaz is far from complete and is missing many builtin methods and classes. However, it does have nearly every element of Ruby, including classes, blocks, many builtin types, all sorts of method calls, and much much more. We don’t yet consider it stable, but it’s getting closer every day.
If you want to try it out right now, you can grab a nightly build, or build it yourself:
The major goal for the next several months is going to be completeness: adding more features of Ruby, more builtin classes, more standard library modules, and generally getting to a point where real people can run real applications under Topaz (the holy grail, of course, being running Rails). One feature of particular note is FFI, once we have this people will begin to be able to run and develop applications that interact with C libraries (such as database bindings).