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ARAX (Asynchronous Ruby and XML)

What is ARAX (Asynchronous Ruby and XML)?

ARAX (Asynchronous Ruby and XML) is a development tool created for Silverlight, Microsoft's competitor for Adobe Flash and similar Web technologies. ARAX allows developers who prefer the open source, object-oriented Ruby programming language to create interactive applications similar to those created in Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) but without requiring JavaScript.

Here's how John Lam, creator of Microsoft's IronRuby project, explains the purpose of ARAX:

If you're a Ruby programmer and you like Ruby as a language, context-switching into JavaScript is just something you have to do. It's a tax. You're trading productivity away arbitrarily because that's just what runs in the browser. And it's much more interesting when you can run the same language on both sides [the client and the server] so you don't have to do that context switch.

ARAX enables Silverlight developers using Ruby to bypass the Ruby JavaScript (RJS) utility when building applications in the Ruby on Rails framework. Bypassing RJS eliminates the need to translate Ruby code into JavaScript so that an application can run in a Web browser.

ARAX was introduced in May 2008 at RailsConf, a conference for Ruby on Rails developers. APAX, a similar language that replaces Ajax's JavaScript with Python, was introduced at the same conference.

This was last updated in October 2008

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