[IronPython] IronPython status

Luis M. Gonzalez luismg at gmx.net
Tue Feb 22 20:26:20 CET 2005

>>  Also, part of the Boo implementation is in c# and the other part is in Boo. 
>>  I am really not fond of interpreters written in the interpretting language. I think the
>>  CPython / Jython / IronPython approach is MUCH better, faster, more stable
>>  and easier to follow.

I guess you have some misconceptions about these languages:
Boo is written in C# and soon it will be written in Boo itself (when .net 2.0 is stable).
It is a first class .Net language and it has the same performance of C#, VB.NET or any other statically typed .NET language.
Regarding Ironpython, it is also being written in C# (please correct me if I'm wrong).
But this is not important at all, as long as the resulting code when using these languages is MSIL, which is the "real" .NET language.

The difference between Ironpython and Boo is that Ironpython is intended to be an implementation of the dynamic Python language in .NET, whilst
Boo is a statically typed language with a python-like syntax intended to be a first class .NET language that uses the .NET class libraries instead of the Python ones.
Being statically typed, it has all the performance of C#, but it lacks the dynamicity of Python (unless you explicity use "duck typing").
It can be viewed as a simplified, terser C#  with a pythonic syntax. 

>>  Also, I am not very fond of 'like' languages, i.e. a 'C' like language or a 
>>  'Java' like language, or in this case a 'Python' like language.

Guido Van Rossum said that Boo is 95% Python, but statically typed, thus it feels completely different.
It's trade-off. If you want it dynamic (Python or Ironpython) , you pay the price in terms of performance. 
If you want it fast (Boo), you have to adequate your coding style in a static way, and you also have to forget about the standard class libraries. You'll use .NET's instead.

In my oppinion, both (Ironpyhon and Boo) are excellent additions to my tools set.
I'm using the Boo Add-in for SharpDevelop and I'm doing some GUI stuff in Windows Forms, and after a while, I'm very comfortable with it.
>From a python programmer's perspective, it is very easy to grasp, especially for its fantastic type inference mechanism.
However, I see it as a replacement of C#, not as a replacement of Python.

It's a very good thing that now, python programmers have this new option.
I can se myself in the future using Ironpyhon whenever possible, and resorting to Boo when I need full performance, since it takes just a couple of minutes to translate from one to the other.

>>  I like IronPython because it IS Python, not 'like' Python. Also, IronPython
>>  is well designed and it is fairly easy to follow and understand the code.

Sure, Ironpython is just another implementation of Python, just like Jython.

>>  The runtime portion of IronPython just needs some work.

Ironpython is still in beta.
Now if you want to know how its development is going, I guess you'll have to wait until Pycon 2005 (see below):

Keynote Speakers at PyCon 2005
Wednesday, March 23, 9:30 AM

Jim Hugunin, Microsoft Corporation: "Python on the .NET Platform"
Jim Hugunin is well-known in the Python world for his pioneering work on JPython (now Jython), and more recently for the IronPython .NET implementation of Python.
Jim joined Microsoft's Common Language Runtime team in August last year to continue his work on IronPython and further improve the CLR's support for dynamic languages such as Python.

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