[Python.NET] Generating MSIL code

Brian Lloyd brian at zope.com
Fri Nov 7 13:39:52 EST 2003

> Now I gotta explain the subject. I think that the "dream" feature for a 
> Python .NET implementation is generation of standard IL code (not only 
> bridging). I mean something like the previous [1] effort made by Mark 
> Hammond with his Python .NET implementation (I've talked to him by email 
> months ago and he told me that he stopped working on it cause he was no
> longer an ActiveState employee and nobody financed him to 
> continue working).
> Do you, Brian, ever thougth to do something like that? What do you
> think about that?

I think it would be great if there were a "native" Python implementation 
for .NET. Mark's whitepaper makes a lot of good points, and I agree 
with his assessment that it would doable given the commitment to make 
it happen. I think the result would end up looking a whole lot like 
Jython (a pure-Java implementation of Python, for anyone who hasn't 
heard of it).

The main obstacle is that it would be a _lot_ of work, both up front 
and over time to update the implementation to track the evolution of 
the Python language. Jython is a good example of both the potential 
and the challenge - it is a great solution, but it struggles to keep 
up with CPython over time.

I chose to do a bridge rather than try to carry on Mark's work mainly 
because it was something I had a shot at finishing in the limited 
amount of time I have to work on it (nights and weekends - my job 
doesn't really involve .net).

While I was convinced that there was enough business value to justify 
the effort to do the bridge, it may still be too early in the .NET 
adoption curve to know whether there is enough business value in a 
full managed implementation to justify the (much higher) effort.

I hope it does happen one day - if nothing else because I'm a big 
Python fan and would like to see it flourish. But it won't be me 
doing it on nights & weekends :^)  

Brian Lloyd        brian at zope.com
V.P. Engineering   540.361.1716              
Zope Corporation   http://www.zope.com

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