[Ironpython-users] Conversions from pure-Python types to .NET types

Jeff Hardy jdhardy at gmail.com
Fri May 10 08:24:25 CEST 2013

There a few cases - decimal.Decimal, uuid.UUID - where there is a type
implemented in Python with a corresponding type in .NET, and right now
there's no way that I know of to allow for an implicit conversion from
the Python type to the .NET type when calling a .NET API.

I've been pondering this a bit and I think I have a reasonable solution:

class MyDecimal(object):
  def __clr_convert__(self, to):
    if to is System.Decimal:
      return System.Decimal(self.get_bits())
    return NotImplemented

NotImplemented is a standard Python value that is used to signal when
comparison operators are not implemented for certain types; reusing it
here seems totally natural. It can't use None because None is
potentially a valid result, depending on the type.

I haven't completely thought through the impact on overload resolution
so this could be too naive to work, but it's worth a try at least. The
issue is the cost of doing a conversion only to throw it away, but
ideally implicit conversions are cheap anyway. An alternative would be
similar, but with an additional hook (i.e. __clr_conversions__) that
is/returns a tuple of all types that it can be converted to, so that
the actual conversion isn't necessary.

For motivation and some more use cases, see
and https://ironpython.codeplex.com/workitem/33830.

Are there an suggestions of how else this could be handled, or any
concerns with the design? If all goes well I should be able to get
this into 2.7.4 (Coming Soon, I swear!), but if it's too complex I
might push it to 3.0.

- Jeff

More information about the Ironpython-users mailing list