The Redmond, Wash., software giant released IronPython 1.0 on the companys CodePlex community source Web site on Sept. 5. Company officials said IronPython 1.0 represents a significant milestone for Microsofts CLR (Common Language Runtime) by demonstrating performance and capability of a dynamic language on the .Net Framework.
In addition, IronPython offers all the benefits of integration with the .Net Framework, including language and tools interoperability, along with Pythons developer productivity benefits. Plus, IronPython 1.0 enables developers to leverage improvements in the .Net Framework 2.0, such as generics and dynamic methods, the company said.
In an earlier interview with eWEEK, Jim Hugunin, the creator of IronPython and a Microsoft software developer, said he recruited, hired and internally built up the team—part of the Common Language Runtime team—whose job has been to make dynamic languages successful on the CLR.
"The first thing that team did is finished up shipping IronPython 1.0, [and is] working on some features for the next version of .Net," Hugunin said. " And now were not going to let IronPython wither on the vine. Were going to keep working on it, but were … figuring how to generalize this stuff so other languages can run really well on .Net."
Added Hugunin, who joined Microsoft two years ago after working on IronPython as an open-source project: "I joined Microsoft because I was so inspired by the possibilities of .Net. The chance to work with the Visual Basic team is wonderful. The chance to make changes into .Net to make it more amenable to dynamic languages is phenomenally exciting."
The download for IronPython 1.0 and additional information are available here.
Also on Sept. 5, Microsoft changed the branding of its Expression Web Designer to simply Expression Web, and the company has moved the technology from CTP (Community Technology Preview) status to being a beta release of the Web design tool.
The beta will be available as a free download on the Microsoft Expression Web site. This is the second preview release of Expression Web since the initial CTP release in May. Features of Expression Web include sophisticated CSS (Cascading Style Sheet)-based layout, standards compliance and ASP.Net 2.0 server technology. The new beta release also includes the removal of some features that relied on FrontPage Server Extensions, which signifies a big step closer to making Expression Web a complete professional Web design tool, Microsoft officials said.
Meanwhile, on Sept. 1, Microsoft announced that a new release candidate of the .Net Framework 3.0 includes updated bits of Windows Presentation Foundation (formerly known as Avalon), Windows Communications Foundation (formally known as Indigo), Windows Workflow Foundation, CardSpace (formerly known as InfoCard) and the .Net Framework 2.0. The release candidate build runs on Vista, Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1.