[IronPython] config files vs. env vars and site.py

Keith J. Farmer kfarmer at thuban.org
Thu May 5 00:40:04 CEST 2005

I suppose this conversation should make a distinction, which may make entire differences disappear.
- the engine the implements the dynamic nature of the language
- the compiler, which takes something written in the language and packages it into a language-neutral form
- a shell which embeds the engine for on-the-fly usage
I suppose I don't care strongly about the shell (IronPythonConsole), though I'd prefer to see it use .config files.  I came to .NET after a great time in Python, and think improvements can be made to Python and its deployment to make life better.
I care more about the compiler, which should probably conform to the mechanisms that csc, vbc, etc use.  This would make them easier to target in VS2005, for example, in the way that one can hack in .NET 1.1 targetting.
The engine I think should be invisible to outsiders.  It's a helper for classes implemented using Python -- not a feature of either the language or the libraries created with it.  Being invisible means, I think, that it not use environment variables or the like.  It should have the exact same deployment story as a typical C# or VB.NET assembly.
This distinction may be where the apparent disagreement stems from, and probably conforms relatively well to part of Jim's third point.
(As a side point, I note that Java apparently did away with environment variable access some time back.  I note the gnashing of teeth, but it hasn't brought the Java world crashing around everything.)


From: users-ironpython.com-bounces at lists.ironpython.com on behalf of Keith J. Farmer
Sent: Wed 5/4/2005 3:19 PM

I'm not all that worried about short-term -- C# is a very lovely language, and I'm holding out hopes to see C-omega either released or folded into C#.  I've waited a couple years for generics, and I'll wait a couple years for sql, xml, and object streams as first-class constructs.  I'm perfectly happy enough to wait for what are other more interesting milestones.
But in the end, of course, is my compelling story:
Python as a first-class language in .NET, suitable for mixed-language development in a variety of projects including ASP.NET.
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