Microsoft Ships Python on .Net

The release candidate for IronPython 1.0 brings support for the Python dynamic language to the Common Language Infrastructure.

Microsoft has shipped the release candidate for IronPython 1.0 on its CodePlex community source site.

In a July 25 blog post, S. "Soma" Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsofts developer division, praised the team for getting to a release candidate for a dynamic language that runs on the Microsoft CLI (Common Language Infrastructure). Microsoft designed the CLI to support a variety of programming languages. Indeed, "one of the great features of the .Net framework is the Common Language Infrastructure," Somasegar said.

"IronPython is a project that implements the dynamic object-oriented Python language on top of the CLI," Somasegar said. IronPython is both well-integrated with the .Net Framework and is a true implementation of the Python language, he said.

And ".Net integration means that this rich programming framework is available to Python developers and that they can interoperate with other .Net languages and tools," Somasegar said. "All of Pythons dynamic features like an interactive interpreter, dynamically modifying objects and even metaclasses are available. IronPython also leverages the CLI to achieve good performance, running up to 1.5 times faster than the standard C-based Python implementation on the standard Pystone benchmark."

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Moreover, the download of the release candidate for IronPython 1.0 "includes a tutorial which gives .Net programmers a great way to get started with Python and Python programmers a great way to get started with .Net," Somasegar said.

Somasegar said he finds it "exciting to see that the Visual Studio SDK [software development kit] team has used the IronPython project as a chance to show language developers how they can build support for their language into Visual Studio. They have created a sample, with source, that shows some of the basics required for integrating into the IDE including the project system, debugger, interactive console, IntelliSense and even the Windows forms designer. "

IronPython is the creation of Jim Hugunin, a developer on the Microsoft CLR (Common Language Runtime) team. Hugunin joined Microsoft in 2004.

In a statement written in July 2004, Hugunin said: "My plan was to do a little work and then write a short pithy article called, Why .Net is a terrible platform for dynamic languages. My plans changed when I found the CLR to be an excellent target for the highly dynamic Python language. Since then Ive spent much of my spare time working on the development of IronPython."

However, Hugunin said he grew frustrated with the slow pace of progress he could make by working on the project only in his spare time, so he decided to join Microsoft.

IronPython is governed by Microsofts Shared Source license.

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