The Screening Room #8: IronPython

Jim Hugunin is the creator of Jython, the Java-based implementation of Python, and now IronPython, the .NET-based implementation. As IronPython 1.0 nears final release, we got together to review the synergies that emerge from deep integration between Python and .NET.

This month's installment of The Screening Room will appeal to a number of groups. First, obviously, Python developers seeking access to the facilities of the .NET Framework, including new capabilities such as Avalon and XAML. Second, C# developers who will find IronPython to be a flexible and dynamic alternative to C# (in some cases) or a complement to C# (in others). Third, VB or VB.NET programmers who may want to leverage IronPython's dynamic encapsulation of Framework components such as Avalon. Fourth, PowerShell (i.e., Monad/MSH) scripters who'll want to leverage IronPython's dynamic encapsulation of that language and its object pipeline.

Even if you fall into none of these categories, you might find it instructive to see what's possible when you combine a dynamic language like Python with a static language like C#, on top of the managed .NET runtime and in the environment of Visual Studio. Like me, Jim is allergic to zealotry. Although he's clearly a huge proponent of dynamic languages such as Python, he argues that what matters most about IronPython is the way in which it knocks down the barriers that get in the way of working effectively with the .NET Framework and its various dynamic and static languages.

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