IronPython-0.6 is now available!

Alan Kennedy alanmk at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 29 17:02:03 CEST 2004


[Bruno Desthuilliers]
>>> Microsoft appears to be doing a good job undermining Java. It's
>>> hard to imagine Sun starting to sponsor a
>>> Python-for-Java-platform project.
> Which BTW already exists...

[Ville Vainio]
> Yes, of course, completely without support from Sun - and it's
> starting to fall behind current CPython in features as well. Sun
> wouldn't really need to do much - just donate some resources to get
> Jython to match current CPython in features, and make a press release
> or two mentioning that Sun is seriously supporting the use of Jython
> on Java platform. 
> 
> It would be a minimal bet as far as their resources are concerned

I'd never thought of it that way, but now that I do, I couldn't agree 
more. The comparison between the way Sun treats jython and Microsoft 
treats IronPython couldn't be starker.

In Sun's defense, it is important to note that good things(tm) have 
come from the Java Community Process, e.g. a very well-designed, 
robust, and efficient multi-platform non-blocking IO API.

But the problem is that the java community seems transfixed by the 
notion that it is good idea to keep building new languages. Witness 
the inapproriate use of XML-as-scripting-language in java tools, e.g. 
ant. And then there's the JCP effort to develop Groovy, a completely 
new scripting language that "includes features found in Python, Ruby, 
and Smalltalk, but uses syntax similar to the Java programming 
language". I don't understand why they can't just be happy with the 
existing scripting languages on the java platform: Is javascript not 
java-like enough? Is (p|j)ython not rock-solid enough? Obviously not: 
they keep trying to reinvent the wheel.

I guess for Sun and the java community in general, it's a case of 
purity beats practicality.

So those pythonic folks at Microsoft, for whom practicality beats 
purity every time, will further extend their reach/mindshare in the 
development community. Which won't bother me in the slightest: I wrote 
a C# webservice for a customer's customer there a few months ago, and 
it was a surprisingly productive experience. Python on that platform 
will be awesome.

> Sometimes Sun Just Doesn't Get It. I would love to see IBM steal the
> Java leadership away from Sun, which they speculate could happen if
> Java was open sourced...

I'm feeling a big change in the wind, with "dynamic languages" 
certainly being flavour of the month/quarter/season. Technology 
leaders across different technology areas are writing about their 
positive python experiences: Tim Bray (XML) is dipping his toe in the 
python waters, Steve Vinoski (CORBA) seems tired of the brittleness of 
static languages for building distributed object systems, and is 
trying his hand with twisted python, Jon Udell is speaking at python 
conferences now, etc. Hopefully Sun will wake up and smell the 
pythonic coffee soon ......

samuele-pedroni-for-pope-ly y'rs

-- 
alan kennedy
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