This Pure Ruby Sparklines implementation got my attention – unlike other Ruby graphics packages, it does not need RMagick, and thus not ImageMagick, sparing the installer considerable effort and misery. The source of that misery is the long list of dependencies; now of course a great positive of the open source world is that tools can readily build on each other – but this comes with a cost of unexpected complexity in getting things to compile and install. We had a project here delayed by a couple of weeks of working through issues in getting it all to work on shared hosting account. I never did get it working with Ruby 1.8.4 on Windows, I reverted back to 1.8.2 for now.
With a “Pure Ruby” implementation, you copy the .rb files over and it works. I wonder if “Pure Ruby” will become a marketing point like “Pure Java”.
Lest anyone accuse me of unwarranted Ruby fanhood, I’ll point this out: with Ruby it is necessary to find or what code for graphic drawing. With Java, it is in the box, in the form of the excellent Java2D feature set. Ruby is way behind in the area.