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I just used JRuby FFI to implement a native x86-64 debugger on WinAPI; we had x86 working for a long time on Win32, Linux, and OSX using MRI, and JRuby was actually the only way to get around LP64 issues with MRI. JRuby has been a compat and native code win for us; it is a better platform for accessing C code than MRI Ruby is.

Huge fan of FFI (I use it to wrap/test all my shared libraries, mysql ext, etc..), but the problem of cross platform compilation still exists. I write a shared library and an FFI interface, but packaging it for use on Windows/*nix is still a pain (for compilation during install). Is there anything that solves for compilation across implementations and platforms? (FFI makes the interface simple after that)

I don't think we should have to sign up for coupling with a specific Ruby's runtime internals just to get cross-platform compilation of a shared library. For whatever it's worth, even autoconf can be made to work cross-platform.

Yeah, for that I don't have a solution. It seems like there ought to be a way to have FFI libraries bring along the lib they need and compile it right there, but portable C libs are still a bitch to manage across platforms no matter what you do. I hate to say it, but JVM libraries have a huge advantage here; most JRuby-specific libs that ship a jar file just work on any platform with no recompile and no portability issues. Hard to beat that :(

That's great to hear! Given that FFI is intended to work across all Ruby impls, I wish there were more attention paid to using FFI instead of C extensions. I will admit there are some usability problems, especially around cross-platform struct mapping, but the resulting libraries are vastly easier to deal with than a bunch of grotty Ruby C API code.

We have had other JRuby users state that most 64 bit stuff just works with JRuby and not so much with MRI. Thanks for sharing another example.

JRuby's FFI implementation is great, but I've had about as much success with MRI, so I test my FFI libs on MRI 1.8.7, 1.9.2 and the latest JRuby. I'm looking forward to the day when Rubinius' FFI converges with the other implementations.

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