[IronPython] Announcement: Project to get some CPython C extensions running under IronPython

Giles Thomas giles.thomas at resolversystems.com
Fri Oct 12 19:00:49 CEST 2007

At Resolver Systems, we started building our core products with the view 
that most of our clients would want to use them to connect spreadsheet 
data and designs, Python code, and .NET objects.  This was the right 
decision; lots of people do want to do just that, and we've been working 
with them so far.

However, as we've spoken to more potential clients over the last months, 
we've learned something new - that there's a lot of interest out there 
in using a tool like Resolver One to plug together not just 
spreadsheets, Python and .NET, but also the existing CPython C extensions.

Solving the general problem - plugging an arbitrary C extension into 
IronPython - is a huge project, and we're not even sure we could work 
out *how much work it is* without a lot of investigation.  What we 
intend to do is to solve a specific problem, to integrate just one 
extension, and to use that project as a testbed to examine the 
possibilities for getting other extensions working - and perhaps, in the 
long term, solving the general problem.

We think that any solution like this will be valuable not just to us, 
but to the IronPython community as a whole.  And so, we want to make it 
Open Source.

Right now, we'd particularly like to hear from people about the following:

    * Who wants to get involved?  We're really keen on working with
      people on this.
    * Which module should we go for?  NumPy looks like a good start, as
      it gives us a start on getting SciPy working.  But perhaps there
      are better choices.
    * Should this be a new project, or should we be talking to other
      people about getting it into other projects?
    * Which license?  If we're to work on it with a view to building it
      into Resolver One, then it will need to be
      commercial-software-friendly.  Apart from that - we have no view.
    * What is the best architecture?  We're thinking of this as being a
      bit of C# managed code to interface with the C extension, and a
      thin Python wrapper on top.  The module's existing C extension and
      Python code would "sandwich" this layer.  Let us know if this is a
      silly idea :-)
    * Is there anything else we should be thinking about to get this



Giles Thomas
MD & CTO, Resolver Systems Ltd.
giles.thomas at resolversystems.com
+44 (0) 20 7253 6372

We're hiring! http://www.resolversystems.com/jobs/ 

17a Clerkenwell Road, London EC1M 5RD, UK
VAT No.: GB 893 5643 79 
Registered in England and Wales as company number 5467329.
Registered address: 843 Finchley Road, London NW11 8NA, UK

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