J4L Barcodes 1D for Ruby

I was intrigued about all the buzz around the Rails framework and the Ruby language, so I thought it was the time to check it out by myself and start by learning Ruby. So, as I usually do, I assigned myself some specific learning task: in this case porting the J4L barcoding software from PHP (which in turn was ported from Java).

Here's the result
(only 1D barcodes at the moment)

From a commercial point of view, I wonder if this product will work well because there are already some open source solutions, most notably Barby, and the Ruby community appears to be very focused on open source and have do-it-yourself attitude.

If you're a Rubist and have considered to use this product and/or some other alternative, I'd appreciate your thoughts. These are the advantages that I think this product offers, compared to Barby:

  • Most importantly, you don't need to struggle to make this component work: it should work out of the box and if it doesn't you will have direct support from me.
  • Low non-Ruby requirements: only the GD libray
  • More complete feature set:
    • More supported symbologies
    • It generates not only the barcode itself but also the "human readable interpretation", this is, the text/code in plan ASCII characters below (or above) the bars.
    • You can specify: bar measures, margins, colors, and other parameters for the graphic output.
    • Better support of the symbologies characteristics.
      • For instance length optimization: in Code 128 (and GS1-128) it will select the appropiate code set (A, B or C) and switch between them in order generate the shortest possible symbol, depending on the data to be encoded. In Barby you have to pre-select a code set that will be used for all the data.
      • Or in GS1-128, J4L Barcodes will recognize the "Application Identifiers" and interpret the data accoding to their length as per specification. E.g. "11654321" will show as "(11)654321", this is A.I. 11, data 654321.