Prothon is switching to the .NET platform

Mark Hahn mark at
Fri Aug 6 04:00:49 CEST 2004

Last week at OSCON, Jim Hugunin showed results from his port of Python to
the .NET platform called IronPython. He was able to run Python on the .NET
CLR (common language runtime) at speeds rivaling and even surpassing that of
the native Python interpreter. This contradicts the prevailing wisdom that
.Net is not good for running dynamic languages such as Python and Prothon.

This presented an opportunity for Prothon that was too good to pass up. By
following in IronPython's footsteps, Prothon will not only be able to run on
a stable established interpreter, the CLR, but Prothon will have immediate
access to the .NET runtime library of unmatched size. Prothon's previous
design plans would not have worked with Python's runtime library and the
establisment of its own library would have taken some time. 

Thanks to the Novell Mono project, which is now at the 1.0 stage, IronPython
and Prothon will run on Linux also. Mono is an open-source port of the .NET
framework to Linux.

The feature set of Prothon will be changed somewhat. Prothon will still be
prototype-based. Features relating directly to the interpreter will change
of course. Everything in the VanPy talk at the Prothon website
( in the "engine" section will no longer be available as
a feature. The lightweight threads will not be possible, but real
co-routines will still be available. The string type will have Unicode
encoded as UTF-16 instead of raw 24-bit characters. I will put up a page of
changes on the wiki when I know more. 

Mark Hahn


Prothon is a new dynamic object-oriented language that improves upon the
excellent language Python. While not compatible with Python, Prothon is
close enough for Python code to be easily ported to Prothon. See

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