Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Reflections On IronPython : Still In Production

A recent reddit thread on IronPython brought back some memories so I thought I would record them in a quick blog post.

I really liked Python when I discovered it 10+ years ago and was delighted when I first heard Microsoft had hired talent to bring Python to dotNet. At the time, I was stuck in VB6 (really) and had recently discovered traditional Python. I joined the mailing list, tried out early builds, reported bugs to Codeplex and the team at Microsoft were a great bunch to interactive with. Microsoft are somewhat Open Source today - at the time this was very unusual. I ended up writing a few GUI programs, even an IronPython editor for some time.

Then Microsoft went through changes, IronPython was dropped along with other interesting products like Mesh. The Open Source version is still around but the mailing list is very quiet. I went back to regular Python and messed around with PyGame. I still use IronPython in production (handy for configuration to have .Net scripting with zero-install for installers) and can't help think Microsoft missed a trick here. It is a much more friendly language than Powershell and theres not really a good .Net scripting language even years later. All is not entirely lost though, they still produce Python Tools for Visual Studio and it is very good.

So IronPython for me was interesting, fun and useful. It was great being involved early on in the development, which probably why I got so caught up diving into the relatively new Dart language from Google.


  1. Awesome post! I totally agree that Microsoft messed up big time when they let go of IPy! I had a good chunk of code running in production, and when I have to work on the Windows platform, I still look for excuses to use it. . .

  2. Totally agree. Long Live IronPython

  3. Totally agree. Long Live IronPython