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Getting ready for Ruby 1.9.1

By Hongli Lai on February 2nd, 2009

We are excited about Ruby 1.9.1. Of course, with all the performance improvements, who wouldn’t be? Unfortunately a large number of Ruby libraries and extensions still don’t work on 1.9.1, so Ruby 1.9 cannot be considered production-ready yet. Ryan Bigg has done an excellent job on documenting most of the problems that one would encounter when trying to get a basic Rails app up-and-running on Ruby 1.9.1. Basically, the problems he countered were:

  • 2.2.2 isn’t compatible with 1.9.1. Use Rails 2.3.0 RC1 or Rails edge.
  • The mysql gem needs patching.
  • The hpricot gem needs patching.
  • The postgres gem needs patching.
  • Thin needs patching.
  • The fastthread gem needs patching.
  • Mongrel needs patching.

But what about Phusion Passenger? Good news:
Phusion Passenger is Ruby 1.9.1-compatible since this commit (today).

Here’s a screenshot of a Rails 2.3.0 app running in Phusion Passenger on Ruby 1.9.1:


Do you see the changes? Me neither. That’s the point. 🙂

We’ve encountered the following issues upon trying to get a simple Rails 2.3 app up running with Phusion Passenger and Ruby 1.9.1:

Fastthread isn’t compatible with 1.9
Both Mongrel and Phusion Passenger depend on Fastthread, which is a threading library that fixes some threading implementation bugs in older versions of Ruby 1.8. Fastthread is only a required dependency when running on older versions of Ruby 1.8. Unfortunately there’s no way to tell RubyGems “we depend on fastthread, but only when running on older versions of Ruby 1.8, and not on JRuby”.

Fastthread doesn’t compile on Ruby 1.9 (or on JRuby or other Ruby implementations for that matter), so when you type “gem install passenger” or “gem install mongrel” on Ruby 1.9, the installation fails with a ton of compile errors.

We’ve patched fastthread so that it becomes a no-op on Ruby 1.9.1 and on JRuby (that is, fastthread will install correctly but it won’t do anything). These patches have been submitted to Mentalguy, the maintainer of fastthread.

The sqlite3-ruby gem doesn’t work on 1.9
Jeremy Kemper submitted a 1.9 compatibility patch in the past, which had been committed. Unfortunately even with this patch, sqlite3-ruby isn’t compatible with 1.9.1.

We’ve gone ahead and fixed 1.9.1 support. The patch can be found here:

Hongli Lai Ninh Bui