I'll be honest: php is not my favorite programming language. That honor goes to ruby. And I don't mean ruby-on-rails; just straight, pure unfettered ruby. I use ruby to write web applications and just about everything else.

However, there are obviously very many web applications and webapp frameworks written in php. I have recently taken an interest in eyeOS (http://eyeos.org/), with the intent to hack eyeOS to use a certain ruby back-end file service I've written instead of accessing the local file system directly. This ruby service communicates with clients via ruby's native "distributed ruby" (DRb) facility. DRb makes it marvelously easy to write distributed multi-threaded services, provided the clients are written in ruby as well.

But what if the client is written in, say, php? Wouldn't it be nice if a php client could access DRb-driven ruby services just as simply as a ruby client can? Not finding any such existing facility, I've written a php object class, "DRbClient". This class invokes object methods offered by the remote ruby service, passing strings, integers, floats, booleans, nulls, and/or arrays as arguments, and accepts a return value of any of those same types. All data translation and inter-process communication is transparent. It's just as if a local object instance is being messaged directly.

If there's interest, I'd like to offer DRbClient to the php community, but I'm not sure how to go about that.

Pete Yadlowsky
ITC Unix Systems Support
University of Virginia

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