Mono and Python

Don Tuttle tuttledon at
Thu Jan 3 15:21:10 EST 2002

> Don Tuttle wrote:
> > I'd like to know if ActiveState's apparent abandonment of this project
> > because it proved to technically difficult (imposable?) or simply
> > they felt the ROI wasn't there.
>[Paul Prescod]
> That's an easy question to answer. Whether or not the problem is
> difficult, ActiveState would go out of business if it didn't focus on
> ROI.

Hi Paul.  Thanks for your response!

> [Paul Prescod]
> My personal opinion is that it shouldn't be harder than Jython but then
> there are thousands of person-hours of work in Jython. Jython could not
> have been done by a business of ActiveState's size in the current
> economic climate.

Economic conditions haven't been good for over a year.  So you realize  this
just begs the question, "Then why did ActiveState ever start it?  What did
they hope to achieve?"

> >[Don Tuttle]
 > > And truth be told, I'm scared CLI is going to be a multiplatform hit
> > Python isn't going to be invited to the party.
> [Paul Prescod]
> Think of it the opposite way. The CLI hasn't proved its importance as a
> platform yet so the Python community is taking a wait and see approach.
> When it becomes a clearly important target some new enthusiast you have
> never heard of (to this point) will take it on as a means of carving out
> their corner of the noosphere.

As to the Mono project I agree with you.  But does anyone doubt Microsoft's
commitment to .NET?  To Sun, Java is just a sideline.  To Microsoft, .NET IS
its future.  And anyone the least bit familiar with Microsoft should know
when its future is a stake Microsoft will do "whatever it takes" to succeed.

As to why some young code slinger, eager to make a name for themselves,
hasn't already taken on the Python.NET project-- Could it be...ahum...that
it is because ActiveState said THEY would tackle the project, that said hero
never tried?

> [Paul Prescod]
> As far as Microsoft and future incarnations of .NET: Microsoft has
> always been very interested in having the scripting languages "run well"
> on their platforms. Until now their platform was win32. In the future it
> will be .NET. He is probably right that the first incarnation was in
> large part a marketing exercise but as Microsoft's core platform shifts
> from win32 to .NET, I suspect they will be more and more anxious to that
> the scripting languages interoperate with it. After all, this is an
> important part of their strategy to move developers from Linux to
> Windows.

There's no doubt this has been their Win32 strategy.  But .NET?  At this
point, the only part of Microsoft that I believe thinks scripting is
important to .NET is the marketing department.  After all, they've killed
there own scripting language - VBScript. (see
ml/scripting11122001.asp Note the spin of the article.  The death of
VBScript is mentioned as an aside to birth of JScript.NET.  Not that very
many are going to mourn the demise of VBScript.)

> [Paul Prescod]
> Of course, if Microsoft could get everybody to their languages, they
> would. But getting people onto their *platforms* is much, much more
> important than getting them to use their languages. Still, scripting
> languages are to Microsoft as hobbits are to wizards. I wouldn't expect
> them to offer much help or to go out of their way to make our lives
> harder.

Well put!

Finally, many  *nix users of Python my not realize that Python is about to
become less functional on Windows without the .NET tagged on.  (No ASP.NET
or .NET Web services.)

Whatever your religious platform, I'd hope you'd agree that losing
functionality in Windows doesn't bode well for ANY language.


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