Monday, September 29, 2008

Embedded IronRuby interactive console


What this is, is a small dll which you can add to any .net winforms project. When run, it brings up the interactive console, and you can poke around with your app. It's running live inside your process, so anything your app can do, it can do. I thought this was kind of cool :-)

How to get it going:

  1. Download and build IronRuby by following the instructions on - I built this against IronRuby SVN revision 153. As of RIGHT NOW the current revision is 154 which doesn't build.
  2. Download the Embedded IronRuby project from the following URL - you can use SVN to check it out directly from there. (I'm assuming familiarity with SVN in the interests of brevity)
  3. Open the EmbeddedIronRuby/EmbeddedIronRuby.sln file in visual studio, and remove/add reference so that it references IronRuby.dll, Microsoft.Scripting.dll, Microsoft.Scripting.Core.dll, and IronRuby.Libraries.dll. These will be in the IronRuby build\debug folder that you will have built in step 1.
  4. Compile!
  5. For some reason, when you compile, Visual Studio will only copy IronRuby.dll, Microsoft.Scripting.dll and Microsoft.Scripting.Core.dll to the bin\debug directory. It also needs IronRuby.Libraries.dll in that directory (or in the GAC) to run, otherwise you get a stack overflow in the internal IronRuby code when you run it.
    The joys of alpha software I guess :-)
  6. Run the app and click the button!
You can also add this embedded console to your own app. Just stick all the dlls in your app's folder (or the GAC) so it can see them, add a reference to EmbeddedRubyConsole.dll, and in your app do this: new EmbeddedRubyConsole.RubyConsoleForm().Show();

Credit: Some of the 'plumbing' code (the TextBoxWriter and TextWriterStream) come from the excellent IronEditor application. Full credit to and copyright on those files to Ben Hall. Thanks!

IronRuby Presentation!

I recently gave a presentation to my local .NET user group about IronRuby.

Click on the image to download the slides as a PDF file.
Note: This was exported from keynote with speaker notes, which I've revised slightly since giving the presentation.

As part of this, I demoed a small library I wrote which gives you a live interactive ruby console as part of your running app.

Basically it lets you poke around your program and modify things while it's running. I'll post the code and notes about that shortly