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IBM launches open-source project to improve tools on different PaaS

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December 15, 2015

Earlier today, IBM said it's launching an open-source project to improve the operation of various languages and tools on different PaaS (Platform as a Service).

Big Blue has revealed it’s been recently working on OMR to develop reusable and easily consumable components for building all kinds of language runtimes.

The code for OMR comes as IBM’s J9 Java Virtual Machine, the heart of Big Blue’s enterprise Java stack for the past 10 1/2 years.

OMR has kicked off with some interesting preview technology to make OMR work with Ruby and Ruby on Rails.

This is a topic as old as Java itself, with the JVM that took on a fresh lease on life in the mid 2000s with projects to make languages other than Java work in the VM.

According to IBM, a common set of language runtime components can help a consistent user experience for infrastructure, tools, hardware and software regardless of the language, supposedly giving developers more freedom on language choice.

The concept is that you get the benefits of the VM minus the Java semantics, or so says IBM. “If every runtime is implemented differently, the path to this degree of seamlessness will be really difficult and take a really long time to achieve,” IBM said.

“With common runtime components, everyone, including IBM can all better leverage our efforts to make runtimes better, faster, more capable and more integrated to accelerate bringing not just the promise of cloud computing but also the reality that developers should expect from a cloud computing environment,” Big Blue added.

And as in the mid-2000s, Ruby was and still is a bonafide candidate for getting the VM excitement. The OMR project has released a port for Ruby with GC, JIT compiler and method profiling capabilities based on Ruby 2.2.3.

When multi-language VMs were hot, JRuby was an early participant, an implementation of the Ruby language for the JVM written largely in Java.

Source: IBM.

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