[IronPython] Roadmap and updates

Keith J. Farmer kfarmer at thuban.org
Mon Aug 4 19:21:37 PDT 2008

The question of Python + ? aside, I think your assessment of Silverlight is missing a couple points.
Yes, Silverlight has been demoed with lots of pretty pictures, but the truth is that Silverlight is, fundamentally, a mini-CLR that runs in the browser (at least, Silverlight 2 certainly is -- I tend to ignore Silverlight 1).  You can use it to write full-blown applications that run client-side, which can retrieve data from a back end.  Don't let the sexy graphical displays obscure that simple, powerful fact.  Consider a web page that has javascript making calls into a GUI-less Silverlight app -- Silverlight then becomes something of a high-speed resource (that is much more useful and powerful than random-ajax-toolkit).
Yes, Silverlight is currently lacking in some basic controls, but those are currently being worked on both by Microsoft as well as third parties.  See, for example:
I feel your pain on XAML -- I'm not the happiest with it, but you don't have to work in XAML if you don't want to.  I'm pretty certain you could (as Petzold's book demonstrates for WPF) work XAML-free.  You could also use the Silverlight tooling available in, for example, Expression.


From: users-bounces at lists.ironpython.com on behalf of Max R. Yaffe
Sent: Mon 8/4/2008 7:06 PM
To: users at lists.ironpython.com
Subject: [IronPython] Roadmap and updates

Note:  I originally wrote this to Harry Pierson directly who asked that I
post it publically. I hope it doesn't come off as too inflamatory.

Harry - Thanks for the roadmap and the latest update.  It clarifies a
particular issue that I'm having with deciding whether to adopt Iron Python
and .Net for that matter.  My particular application is a scientific
instrument control and data analysis package.  It runs on Windows now using
various older MS technologies (dating back to Windows 2.3!).  It will not
need to run from a web browser, mainly because of the requirements for
instrument control.  The application is highly scripted using a dynamic
language of my own devising derived from Smalltalk and remarkably similar to

I had been looking at Qt 4.x+PyQt+Python 2.5 as an approach to updating my
technology.  However, I wanted to see what Microsoft had to offer.  WinForms
+ Python seems to be the best fit for my technology because of the need to
manipulate data tables and my desire to avoid the web.  Silverlight just
doesn't offer me any advantage and seems to be directed at pretty pictures
and sounds.  It also doesn't seem to handle the kinds of user/data
interaction I need.  XAML also doesn't seem to offer any advantage for my
code, or if it does, it certainly isn't clear what it might be other than a
YAOUHD (yet another obese, unreadable HTML derivative).  Your roadmap,
however, seems to deprecate WinForms.  I'm worried that IronPython and
Microsoft are going to cut WinForms adrift just when I'm about to make a
major investment in it.  This might be the best approach for Microsoft
because it seems the "community" is mainly interested in pictures, sounds,
and the web. But I need something more classical.

I'd appreciate your comments and direction.

Max Yaffe
Gamry Instruments, Inc.

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