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Meet MacRuby


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by Alex Vollmer and Geoffrey Grosenbach

NOTE: Now works with Snow Leopard! Requires nightly build and a minor code change.

MacRuby takes the “almost” out of “almost a desktop experience.” With MacRuby, you can write real Mac OS X desktop applications with Ruby. Try it with our Meet MacRuby tutorial!

MacRuby is a Ruby interpreter built by Apple on top of Objective-C. Unlike other scripting interfaces to the Cocoa frameworks, MacRuby objects are fully functional peers of Objective-C objects with no translation layer. This means that your Ruby applications can do almost anything a compiled application could do, and at near-native speed.

In this MacRuby tutorial, you’ll build a functional Twitter client from scratch, learning about both Cocoa and MacRuby along the way. You’ll design an application graphically with Interface Builder and learn about the major design patterns in Cocoa applications. You’ll work with network resources, parse XML, and POST data back to the server so you’ll be ready to write your own web-enabled desktop applications.

This screencast covers

  • What is MacRuby?
  • The basic syntax of MacRuby
  • What you need to know about Objective-C to write MacRuby apps
  • Building a basic application
  • How to learn Cocoa and read the documentation
  • Submitting network credentials with HTTP Basic Auth
  • Designing with concurrency in mind and avoiding the spinning beachball of death
  • Displaying tweets in a table view
  • One-step authentication
  • Reloading tweets
  • Posting to a REST-based web service
  • Packaging the Application

Watching this video tutorial will give you a head start toward becoming familiar and confident with programming Cocoa applications on the Mac with Ruby!

A future screencast in this series will cover the still-in-development HotCocoa frameworks for MacRuby.

Available as part of a PeepCode Unlimited subscription (including streaming on our iOS app!) Business plans are also available.


Assumes basic knowledge of Ruby. MacRuby currently runs on Mac OS X only.

Revision 1 (Notes) · Updated: May 19, 2009 · Length: 73 min · 188 MB

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