IronRuby With ASP.NET MVC Working Prototype

asp.net mvc, code, dlr comments edit

UPDATE 02.17.2009: I posted about a newer version of this prototype for ASP.NET MVC RC

Update: I updated the source today. It now has minimal support for layouts. It needs more improvement for sure.

In June, John Lam wrote about a demo he gave at Tech-Ed 2008 where he showed IronRuby running on ASP.NET MVC. He posted the code for the demo online, but it relied on an unreleased version of MVC, so the code didn’t actually work.

IronRuby on ASP.NET MVC
Demo Now that Preview 4 is out, I revisited the prototype and got it working again. I use the term working loosely here. Yeah, it works, but it is really rough around the edges. As in, get a bunch of splinters rough. At least it looks better as I did take a moment to use a CSS layout from Free CSS Templates slightly tweaked by me.

Getting the Prototype Up And Running

The IronRuby assemblies are based on an internal build, so they aren’t the same version as the publicly available ones. As such, they are not fully signed so you might get an ugly error message when you try to run the demo. You’ll need to add a verification entry into the GAC using the sn –Vr assemblyname.dll command.

I was lazy and just ran the following to add a verification entry for any assembly (note: there is a security risk in doing this):

sn –Vr *,*

And when I was done, I ran:

sn –Vu *,*

to remove that catch-all verification entry.

Other Notes

I made a few small improvements to the project since John posted the code. I added helper overloads that accept ruby hashes, for example. This allows you to do the following within the view:

<%= $html.ActionLink("Home", {:controller => "Home", :action => "index"}) %>

I also implemented more of the application, including the ability to edit an item. That forced me to get some more of the form helpers working with IronRuby.

As I mentioned in my previous post on this topic, IronRuby and ASP.NET MVC BFFs Forever:

Disclaimer: This is all a very rough prototype that we’ve been doing in our spare time for fun. We just wanted to prove this could work at all.

If this sort of stuff interests you, have fun with it. I’ll try and post updates as we take this prototype further. It has definitely been a worthwhile exercise as we’ve found many areas for improvement in our extensibility layer. I believe ASP.NET MVC will be better overall because we spent the time to do this.

And before I forget, here’s the DOWNLOAD LINK.

Attributions: The CSS layout and ruby logo are both licensed under the Creative Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License. Full attribution is within the source.

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