Future of python on Windows?

Thomas Runge t.runge at newage-avkseg.com
Mon Aug 26 14:41:13 CEST 2002


Hi,
I'm sure that I am not the only one to admire the power of python for rapid
prototyping purposes. The fact that python is a *dynamically* typed
programming language seems to be one of the key-issues for increasing
programming productivity.

I normally work on MS-Windows, and for programmers like me, .NET seems to be
a really inevitable thing in the future.

So one of my major questions relating to python would be: Will there be a
"Python for .NET" in the future?
(Of course, I am dreaming of a Python-implementation that will translate
python-source to .NET-Intermediate-Language (IL) bytecode this way being
able to use use the .NET common-language-runtime (CLR) and so on...)

Up to now, no such implementation seems to exist, though there seems to be
some experimental success that can be found at
http://www.activestate.com/Corporate/Initiatives/NET/Research.html?_x=1

"Visual Python" by activestate seems to use Visual Studio for :NET, but
using the CLR within this python implementation seems impossible...

Investigating this, I'm not sure whether .NET will be the right platform for
executing python code. Some programmers stated that the .NET
Intermediate-Language is targeted mainly to statically-typed
programming-languages and this way will have a substantial problem when
having to deal with a dynamically-typed language like Python.

On the other hand, I read an interview with the .NET-architect A. Hejlsberg
who stated that one design-goal of the .NET IL was to separate "opcodes"
from "operand types" in order to make generic IL-operations possible. Isn't
that exactly the key-feature a dynamically-typed language needs?

What will all this mean in the future? Do we have to accept Python and .NET
being two different things being basically compatible - and *incompatible*
when dealing with the details?
Ok, MS-Windows is just one single platform. You could say that there are
enough platforms that have no problems running python. (Even Java seems to
be very good python-izable via Jython.)

But currently I am worrying about the future of Python if one important
platform of the future (.NET) is running the risk of being badly supported!

I would be glad if anyone could put some light in here....

Thanks a lot!
Thomas






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