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

Giles Thomas giles.thomas at
Fri Oct 12 19:27:07 CEST 2007

The great thing about CPython is that it comes with the batteries 
included.  The problem with IronPython is that some of these batteries 
just don't fit - in particular, most of the the C extensions don't 
work.  We'd like to help fix at least some of this problem, to help 
people who use IronPython to use their CPython scripts without having to 
port everything over to .NET.

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 Python community as a whole.  And so, we want to make it Open 

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

    * Who wants to get involved?  We're really keen on working with
      other 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

Any thoughts much appreciated!



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

We're hiring! 

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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