COM support (was Re: Can Python replace Visual Basic? Should it?)

Steve Holden sholden at
Fri Mar 9 15:33:00 CET 2001

"Werner Schiendl" <ws-news at> wrote in message
news:984145785.263773 at
> There are definitely areas in COM - a lot of such, to be precise - where
> Visual Basic is _not_ suited (at all).

Well, "three thousand six hundred seventeen" would be precise. "A lot" just
sounds like you've got(ten) tired of stubbing your toe on an inadequate

> Thing is, there are a lot of things that do not need to care on how the
> marshaling is done in detail (because the default is good enough for a lot
> of applications, IF you have well designed interfaces - if not, writing
> own marshaling code is the wrong answer to the problem) or how the
> is handled in detail (becuase, e. g. it is not intended to use even by a
> local client - only inproc like active x controls or utility classes to
> provide functions Visual Basic is missing by default).
COM is quite good at hiding (often-irrelevant) implementation detail from
the inexperienced user. The major problems with it seem to be its underlying
complexity and Microsoft's insistence on inventing things for themselves
which solve problems for whiuch there are already perfectly adequate
solutions, quite often in open source.

> As I mentioned, I do not have much experience with Python and COM and I
> _thought_, based on that very small insight, Visual Basic would be the
> convenient environment. I read a lot of rather headache stuff on
> interface classes and things like that and this is one point Visual Basic
> handles nicely. ActiveX control containment is also one thing I would have
> no idea on how to start.
 COM is much more  fun in Python than in VB, until you stub your toe against
somethig that really does require an understanding of the underlying
implementation. My usual solution (and that of many others) at this point is
to scream for help on, and Mark Hammond amazingly often comes up with
an answer. I somethimes don't LIKE the answer, of course, but that's *my*

> BTW: I intend to get a copy of O'Reillys book "Python Programming on
> to deepen my insight on that topic. If you know
> other links or books worth reading (apart from the docs that come with
> python, of course) I would appreciate to hear about them.
Run, don't walk. It's an amazingly broad and useful book.

> regards
> werner
> P.S.: Of course one should (or must, to bring it to the point) understand
> the technology in use. This applies heavily to COM, and I know quite a lot
> about that stuff. This is one of the reasons I think that well designed
> interfaces are more important for remoting than the actual programming
> language. And you can use IDL defined Interfaces with VB, otherwise it
> be a headache some time...
[martellibot wisdom snipped]

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