Future of python on Windows?

Jonathan Hogg jonathan at onegoodidea.com
Tue Aug 27 12:28:06 CEST 2002


On 27/8/2002 1:54, in article 3D6ACDD4.F7B2CFF0 at engcorp.com, "Peter Hansen"
<peter at engcorp.com> wrote:

>> The same advantages as elsewhere (like with Jython):
>> - have access to .NET libraries
> 
> Are those libraries worth having access to?  What's in them that
> isn't available elsewhere?
> 
>> - have a less clumsy language to write .NET apps
> 
> Heh :-).  Only an advantage if one presupposes that .NET
> is already in the picture... not an advantage to a Python
> programmer of using .NET itself.

I would have thought the advantage of being able to use Python as a
first-class .NET language largely depends on where .NET goes in the future
rather than where it is now. The existing libraries are mostly just those
necessary to support modern application development. It's what comes next
that will be interesting.

Part of the value in using Python on Windows is the nice interface to COM
etc. If .NET becomes the de facto mechanism for extending/interfacing-to
applications and Windows services, then Windows Python programmers will most
certainly lose by Python not supporting it (or being supported on it
depending on how you look at things).

Personally I'm not sure yet. I'm starting to see a movement towards
experimenting with .NET in the financial world. How far it goes is anyone's
guess. I don't think MS are going to unseat Java on the server as .NET is
still tied to Windows and many (most?) financial IT departments don't trust
Windows on servers. But, in terms of delivering rapid custom desktop
applications, .NET may well end up the future - since most of the desktops
are Windows (and will remain so for some time).

.NET provides a certain degree of language agnosticism and that could be to
the Python community's benefit, since Python is undoubtedly a better
language than C#, J#, VB.NET, etc. If it could be used on the same level as
any of these then it becomes a much easier choice for app development.

For the rest of us, Mono and .GNU could provide a seamless runtime.

Sorry, that rambled. What I really meant to say is: it's not what .NET
provides, it's what others provide via .NET.

Jonathan




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