[IronPython] If not IronPython, what?

Max Yaffe maxyaffe at gmail.com
Wed Aug 18 19:41:28 CEST 2010

I've been reading the buzz around Microsoft's reduced commitment to Iron*
languages and wondering if I should rethink my own commitment to IronPython.
To fill you in, I'm a designer of instruments and software for scientific
data acquisition and analysis.  My current software uses a dynamic language
for scripting in a Win32 based framework program for acquisition and VBA
scripting in a VB program for analysis.  We decided to rewrite the whole
thing in C#+.Net4+IronPython.

On stackoverflow, someone asked about using Iron* vs PowerShell for
scripting in a C# application in light of Microsoft's changing committment.
This was my answer:
> I'm in a similar position.
> I decided to use IronPython scripting but ever since I saw Anders
> talk "The Future of C#", I've had a feeling IronPython was doomed.
> It was in Microsoft's interest to get the DLR developed but they
> want us to use tools and languages they control. After all, aren't you
> C# and not Java? So what will a Microsoft dynamic language look like? How 
> about dynamic, interpreted C# (Iron C#)? Hejlsberg's talk made it clear it

> isn't that far away. He even had a console window with a REPL interface. 
> That said, there's always a possibility for Iron VB. Talk about closing
> loop.
> On the plus side for us programmers, Iron C# also solves another problem
> I'm having trouble with -- the existence of two parallel object
> one of .Net objects, one of Python objects. It takes work to get from one
> the other. I assume an Iron C# would utilize the .Net class structure.
> My advice: Stick with Iron Python and .Net classes. When Iron VB or Iron
> happens, it'll be a quick, maybe automatic, language translation. Besides,

> if enough of us use IronPython, Microsoft may change their mindset.

So my question to you is a) am I thinking correctly about the future of
IronPython, and 2) if not IronPython, what scripting language should I be
considering for a .Net C# application?  I should let you know I'm also
considering switching to Qt/PyQt/Cpython.

Thanks for your input.

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