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I’ve been trying to learn RubyMotion recently, using Ruby to develop iOS appeals to me.
I have no prior Objective-C or Cocoa API knowledge besides the basic HelloWorld. I’ve been using this tutorial and have learned more about Cocoa API faster using Ruby than with Objective-C. There is less boilerplate code that needs to be written for defining interfaces and implementations.
The main takeaway of RubyMotion is that it is not your standard Ruby implementation. It is a Ruby runtime wrapped around the Objective-C runtime. All Ruby objects map directly to there corresponding Objective-C object — Array to NSMutableArray, Hash to NSMutableDictionary, etc. RubyMotion does not come with the standard library as other flavors, you are relying on Cocoa API as the standard library.
There is even a difference in Ruby syntax to map directly to Objective-C. The Objective-C language does message passing for “method invocation”. This means that a method call on an object is determined by parameters rather than just method name. RubyMotion had to include this language feature, so you will actually see Ruby that is invalid all other Ruby flavors.
class MyObject def doSomething(doSomething, argument: argument) end #This does not override the method defined above def doSomething(doSomething, anotherArgument: argument) end end
Luckily there are extensions for your favorite editors. Rubymine even supports MacRuby syntax, but does not support autocomplete, yet.
Two weeks ago, I saw a talk about RubyMotion from its creator in Berlin. He gave the basic HelloWorld demonstration, but also gave an introduction in the community. It is small, but great things are coming out of it.
The community has started taking the power of Ruby and making the libraries and DSL-y things we love in Ruby.
With all this, there is one question that always gets asked. Is RubyMotion worth it? Yes! Laurent, the creator, is in it to win it! This is why he charging for the RubyMotion; funding ensures that he can continue to work on it.
RubyMotion comes with a prebuilt RSpec (actually a port of bacon) like testing framework. The testing framework supports the testing of views and controller using the UIAutomation framework. I think that we can agree that it could be better, but I believe there is enough to get started and allow us to expand on it.
The RubyMotion community is still growing. I look forward to see what comes out of it, so that I can use Ruby in other devices.