I’ve been working on my JRuby implementation of the Tic Tac Toe Rails program with a Clojure back-end. It’s been taking me a lot longer than I expected and it’s partially due to using JRuby. The problem with JRuby is that a lot of gems don’t work. Sometimes it installs but it’s only after using it that you notice some features seem to be broken (Spork with Cucumber/RSpec, Email with Devise) or it just doesn’t install at all. On top of that, the startup time is a bit slower since it has to start the JVM. It makes developing on it very painful.

The other reason why it was taking longer was because I thought the hard part was the Clojure back-end that runs the TTT engine. That turned out to be the easy part. The interface gave me some challenges. I used CoffeeScript. The language is pretty simple. I ran into silly little errors such as

setTimeout(myfunc, 500)  // runs fine

setTimeout(-> myfunc, 500)  // does not work
setTimeout(-> myfunc(), 500)  // this is what it should be

// this is what it would look like in javascript
setTimeout(function() {
}, 500)

Since the first two lines look very similar so my eye didn’t catch it until much later.

I have CSS and HTML issues (I still don’t know why my page is more than a screenful when everything fits on the page). It didn’t start off that way. It looked perfect when I made the TTT game but when I added more pages to it so I can add a login screen and a game request, things shifted around a bit and now it needs to be revisited. I need to finish up the rest of the features so that’ll have to wait.

I’m almost done with this project. I have email requests being sent out. I need to re-use my TTT interface so it can play a move and email back to the opponent. I have thought about re-implementing this in MRI Ruby and forking off a process to run the clojure back-end but it’s too late. I’m 90% of the way there and I just want to finish this off as soon as possible.