[Ironpython-users] Attracting new developers

Jeff Hardy jdhardy at gmail.com
Fri Nov 6 00:26:37 EST 2015

On Thu, Nov 5, 2015 at 1:06 AM, Ivan Pozdeev <vano at mail.mipt.ru> wrote:

> Sunday, November 1, 2015, 21:24:40 Slide:
> It seems like there has been a general lack of development on IronPython
> for the past little while. I know I have been super busy and I'm sure other
> developers have as well. Does anyone have any ideas on attracting new
> developers to start working on 1) fixing issues in the 2.7 line 2) get
> IP3.0 out the door?
> The only idea I have is: the primary candidate for fixing a bug is someone
> who is suffering from it.
As much as I agree with that idea of, IronPython + DLR is about 300 000
lines of C# code, and not always implemented in a straightforward way (for
good and not-so-good reasons). The set of people who know C#, Python, and
all of the background knowledge to implement a compiler is pretty small.

> Even if they can't fix it themselves (setting up a dev env is nontrivial,
> and IPy doesn't come with debug symbols to debug the stock instance), they
> can, at least, track the cause or be asked to provide a reproducible
> example.
Simple test cases are the best thing, because they make it very easy to
check if something is fixed.

Actually debugging IronPython, though, is a bit of an interesting skill.
The Python code is converted to DLR trees which are then converted to
interpreter instruction and finally to IL and JITted. There's no
straightforward code to step through most of the time, unfortunately, so
one has to get proficient at reading interpreter instructions and following
it around.

I really need to link to http://aosabook.org/en/ironlang.html more because
it describes philosophy of IronPython quite well (if I may say so myself).

Finally, it shouldn't be that complex to set up an environment: clone it
with git, `cd` into the directory and type `make`. This should build
IronPython to all supported platforms and put them in bin. You can then run
it using `bin/Debug/ipy.exe`.

- Jeff
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