Python for .NET and IronPython

Alex Martelli aleax at
Thu Nov 3 05:56:49 CET 2005

hrh1818 <howardrh at> wrote:

> For more information on Iron Python see
> My take on Iron Python is the new job the develolper of Iron Python
> started last year takes up just about all of his time and the developer
> is currently spending very little time actively developing Iron Python.
> I suspect it will be a long time before Iron Python will be a main
> stream product. Hence I suggest you spend your time learning Python and
> C# and you forget about Iron Python until it is more fully developed.

According to the guy who came present IronPython at EURO OScon, there's
now 1.5 people (both MS employees) working on IronPython -- the
presenter himself, fulltime, and Jim Hugunin, halftime.  The language is
just about ready (with a few last decisions to make, such as, stick to
unicode-only strings like Jython, or strive for greater practical
compatibility with current CPython?); it passes the CPython unit-tests,
with a few adjustments needed where the tests overspecify some aspects
of behavior compared to the Language Manual.

What's missing is a lot of the Python standard library -- most of the
parts that are written in C in CPython (and, I believe, in Java in
Jython).  My impression is that the realistic timeframe to implement
those is several months; meanwhile, IronPython is usable if you're
willing to make direct calls to the standard MSCLR libraries (i.e.,
forego ease of future moves to CPython).

A beginner might be best advised to stick with CPython (and, if DotNet
is needed, perhaps the Python-like language Boo) while IronPython
stabilizes and fleshes out, but I'm rather more optimistic than you
about the speed with which that will happen.


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