IronPython revisited

Microsoft released IronPython 1.0 a while back. At the time, I downloaded it, installed it, checked it out for a few minutes, and forgot about it for a while. Since then though, IronPython has received more attention at Mix07 and Tech•Ed. Version 1.1 was released as well as support for ASP.Net. As a result of all this new attention, I’ve revisited IronPython in some of my spare time.

Here’s a few miscellaneous tidbits you might not have known:

IronPython

  • The IronPython name was inspired by Iron Chef.

Python

  • Python was created by Guido van Rossum and released to the general public back in 1991.
  • The Python named after “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”. Guido van Rossum was reading the the published scripts for the BBC show at the same time be began implementing the new language.
  • Python is used prolifically at Google. In fact, it’s the second most used language there.
  • Other companies using Python include: EVE Online, Firaxis Games, Honeywell, ILM, NASA, Rackspace, and many others
  • The upcoming Python 3.0 is sometimes referred to as Python 3000 as a joke.

Python here in my area

Back in early 2000 or 2001, a co–worker/friend of mine was learning Python at the time. He decided to use Python for a project which needed to parse through files for a billing system. He used ActiveState’s ActivePython and ADO shapes for data access. It was meant to be throw–away code, and was written mostly in top–down fashion. After he left, another co–worker/friend of mine inherited the project. I occasionally filled in for her whenever she was off. To this day, the company still uses the Python code as integral part of their manual billing process. Of course, that last statement is less of a testament to Python’s fortitude or usefulness and more of a clue on how the company operates, unfortunately.

Other than that though, I have not heard of Python being used here in the Bay area. It was only until very recently that I saw an actual position posted for Python.

Even though Python may not be popular in the workplace (at least not here), sometimes as a developer you have a choice on which language or technologies you want to use. There’s nothing stopping you from using lesser known languages in your personal projects or quick throw–away projects. And now that Microsoft was created IronPython with close–knit .Net support, we may see it utilized more in the workplace. I for one, plan on exploring it for use in ASP.Net applications or for quick prototyping.

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