Jython anyone?

Peter Milliken peterm at resmed.com.au
Thu Jun 12 03:32:46 CEST 2003

Perhaps an example of my experience :-):

I have strong feelings *for* Jython and I attempted to port a working
Python/Tkinter application to it (figured I could do some stuff in the
graphics in Java that I couldn't work out how to do in Tkinter and also get
printing from within the application as a bonus without having to learn
about win32 and the vagarities of printing under Windoze - Java printing
looks easier to work out than Windoze printing!).

My problems were:

1. Jython hadn't been updated to be Python 2.1( or are these 2.2 features? I
can't remember but you get the drift :-)) compatible so some of my Python
code needed to be reworked i.e. property statement didn't work

2. My application depended heavily on the Pickle module - using the released
version of Jython, all of my data refused to load. I then tried a
"conversion" where I used the Jython version of Pickle - that failed as
well. Then in desperation (desperation because I then had to explore ant etc
just to get the source to compile!) I downloaded the CVS tip, "compiled" it
but still no success on the Pickle problem. So I gave up, Jython 1.1 wasn't
for me.

I mentioned my problems at (2) on the Jython email list but nobody was
interested in fixing the problem or even having an in depth look at the
issue (I didn't raise a tracking problem, so it never got to that stage). So
that would indicate to me (at least :-)) that the project may be under
resourced (aren't they all? I did receive suggestions that I could fix it
myself but the behaviour was inconsistent and I already had a working
application with Python/Tkinter :-)).

I received a number of testimonials from users of Jython stating they were
exceedingly happy with it. But observation of the release schedule (there is
none and Jython 1.1 is Dec 2001) and my particular experiences over the last
7 months would indicate that if Jython 1.1 meets your needs then go for it -
otherwise I would suggest being somewhat wary of it. Of course this
statement will bring howls of protest from some of the Jython adherents but
I am, after all, just relating my experiences :-)

There does seem to be a tacit attitude of the maintainers of Jython that if
1.1 doesn't suit your needs then just download the "tip" - but that's not
"solid" enough for me to consider making a major commitment on! :-) "tips"
are for people who don't mind the cutting edge, warts and all. I fail to
understand why Jython hasn't received a new release/baseline in all of that
time - perhaps it is indicative of the feature set? i.e. in all that time
only bugs have been fixed? and no new Python features added? It is difficult
to tell from the outside as there doesn't seem to be much information given
out as to the maintainers interests, schedule or whatever.

In the meantime, I "lurk" on the jython email list hoping that one day
Jython will get an update that will allow my Python 2.2 code to work out of
the box (including Pickle) :-) But I have given up holding my breath! :-)

Who knows? Perhaps my experiences with Pickle and Jython are an extremely
isolated incident, I can only comment from my own experiences. Given the
"speed" at which Jython is approaching the current(?) Python standard, I
would suggest that the project is severely under resourced and you would be
advised to be extremely careful before committing in any major way to the
use of Jython. After all, one of Python's strengths is the support of the
user community - that doesn't seem to be present in any significant
(significant in the sense that Jython is falling behind the Python standard
rather than keeping up or approaching) degree with Jython - there are some
enthusastic users however :-)

So, since you are asking for my "feelings" on Jython - you now have them :-)
Of course, now that I have been "negative" about it, I'm sure you'll get one
or more "glowing" testimonials from satisfied users :-)


"anthony" <ajc1961 at yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:f0a79190.0306111106.4cae235 at posting.google.com...
> Does anyone have strong feelings one way or another regarding Jython?
> I just started playing around with it, but the limited online
> discussions and the sort have me wondering if it's worthwhile.  Any
> thoughts?
> Anthony

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