Chris Baus

Iron Python: MS should run with it

I've been really busy and haven't read or written many blogs in a couple weeks. I'm going to dump some links that have cought my attention in the next couple days.

First up is Iron Python. Microsoft bought the rights to the interpreter and hired the lead developer. From the IronPython web site it looks like development is dead, but Microsoft is prepping an Open Source 1.0 version.

My feelings are mixed about Microsoft these days. One minute I think they are going to rule the corporate server development world with ASP.NET, the next I learn about their half assed solution to the DLL hell problem, and that Windows development is in apparent chaos (err I mean structured for greater growth and agility), and I think they've totally lost it (BTW, slipping Vista is a big deal, but I'll save that for another entry).

But Iron Python is a great example of scripting on a VM, and I'm amazed at how easy it is to get up and running and how seamlessly it integrates with .NET. I'm a MS lackey by day and a Linux hacker by night, and I try to take an objective approach to both platforms. From a developer's perspective, I think .NET is the best web platform hands down. There are some pretty serious AJAX libraries available at reasonable prices, and combined with the ease and fun of a scripting language like Python and a solid VM they've got a competitive platform.

If anybody at Microsoft happens to read this, I think you've got a winner on your hands with IronPython, and you should run with it. Integrate it with Visual Studio and ship it. And stop worrying about Mono. You aren't losing server deployments to Mono. If Mono was well supported I think you'd win a lot of Java converts. Myself included.