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IBM developerWorks: Interviews with the creators of JPython and Python for .NET

Dec 25, 2000, 12:42 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Mertz)

[ Thanks to Suhani for this link. ]

"Although Python is commonly equated with CPython, its specification has been implemented elsewhere several times, including in applications for Java and .NET. JPython compiles Python source to Java bytecode and provides transparent access to Java classes. Python for .NET is an application in the works for Microsoft's forthcoming cross-language technology platform. In my interview with Mark Hammond, Finn Bock, and Barry Warsaw, I found out more about how JPython and Python for .NET were developed and what's in store for the future of these alternative Python implementations."

"Mark Hammond is familiar to most Python programmers because of his excellent development of the PythonWin environment and the PythonCOM extensions. And for the same reasons that we look up to Mark, Microsoft also looks up to Mark. They decided to contact him for help on their implementation of Python for .NET. According to Mark, a working version of Python for .NET should be available Real Soon Now and you should already be able to get an alpha or beta version from ActiveState."

"David Mertz: Exactly what is Python for .NET? I guess I'm especially curious about how Python for .NET relates to your own PythonWin and PythonCOM extensions to CPython, which already seem to enable control of Windows' guts."

"Mark Hammond: Python for .NET is a compiler and runtime that implements Python on the Microsoft .NET platform. The .NET platform provides a runtime and metadata system designed to allow complete language interoperability, but to achieve that, the languages have to work in that runtime."

"For example, if a Python class is made public so that a Visual Basic programmer can inherit from it, the Python class has to be implemented and described in .NET terms, not in CPython terms."

"The advantage of Python .NET is simply that you can interoperate with the .NET framework. There are still a lot of disadvantages here, mainly due to the immaturity of the implementation. But it's really only a matter of time. We're still in the beta stage in terms of development and fine-tuning."

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