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Language for markdown_helper?

Burdette Lamar
Started out teaching English at Embry-Riddle. Graded 10,000 essays. Lesson learned. Became a mathematics teacher. Discovered computing. Never looked back.
・1 min read

My most popular Ruby gem, markdown_helper (closing in on 8,000 downloads) has the drawback that a potential user must have Ruby installed.

For many Linux users, that's not likely to be a problem because many Linux installations include Ruby.

But a Windows user who doesn't have Ruby installed would have to install it. That's a pretty big footprint for a minor utility.

So I'm thinking about doing a second implementation, one that would produce a single Windows executable that would work right out of the box.

To decide on a language for this, I think there are two considerations:

  • The build must product a single executable file.
  • The language should be one that would encourage, rather than discourage, contributors.

This will be on GitHub (in fact, the utility only works inside a GitHub project), so the preferences of GitHub programmers will be important.

So the question is:

  • What should the language be? (And of course, Why?)

I'll appreciate your thoughts.

Oh, and note that the actual user of this utility does not need to know that language. because it will be an executable.

Discussion (2)

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Michael "notriddle" Howell

I would assume Rust, probably. A number of Ruby users, like Sean Griffin and Steve Klabnik, love it. It has an existing, good implementation of CommonMark. And it produces executables that only link to the DLL's that ship with Windows. There's even a tool to integrate WiX with Cargo to produce Windows Installers!

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Burdette Lamar Author

Thanks, Michael.