[IronPython] Developing Silverlight apps using IronPython -- best strategies

Michael Foord fuzzyman at voidspace.org.uk
Mon Jul 5 16:11:53 PDT 2010


On 02/07/2010 19:34, Jimmy Schementi wrote:
> [snip...]
>> 1) What is the cutting-edge way to deploy an SL4/IP2.6 application?
>> I've basically seen two:
>>       - The "all-in-xap-way", with the python application and assemblies as well
>> as the XAML in the xap file, as it is described in the article series at
>> http://www.voidspace.org.uk/ironpython/silverlight/silverlight_application.s
>> html
>>       - The "Gestalt way", with some magic inside, allowing to place
>> XAML/Python code directly in the HTML Is the first way out-of-date? Are
>> there more techniques? What are advantages/disadvantages?
>>      
> There are two ways of developing apps because the Silverlight application model and the HTML application model are way different. The all-in-xap-way doesn't fight Silverlight at all, but it is a fight against how you're use to making web-apps. The script-tag way doesn't fight the web at all, but requires some tricks to work in Silverlight's world (zip files for DLL's, for example).
>
> We now advertise the script-tag way, as its most friendly to how people develop in dynamic languages, but there is nothing obsolete about the all-in-xap way. I personally prefer the script-tag way, and then I put libraries in zip files as needed. However, if you want to make a Silverlight app which runs out-of-browser, you need to use the app-in-xap way, since there in no HTML page to put script-tags on. =)
>
>    

The "Gestalt way" is definitely the cutting edge, and was brought in 
after I wrote the silverlight articles. It is "on my list" to update 
these articles...

> [snip good questions and good answers from Jimmy that I can't add to...]
>> 4) Code compilation: Is it possible to develop using IP, but to only deploy
>> compiled binaries?
>> I've stumbled over Pyc. How to use it within the best approach of question
>> (1)? My naive mind sees two possible advantages:
>>       - Could this be a solution to the traffic problem in question (2), i.e. would
>> this do without IP assembly provisioning?
>>       - For some developers it could be attractive for code obfuscation.
>> I have the feeling that things are not that easy...
>>      
> We don't support pre-compilation in Silverlight today. It wouldn't solve the traffic problem, as the DLR and IronPython are still required to run the pyc files. It might help make startup a bit quicker, but we haven't done performance testing to see what the actual win would be in Silverlight. In practice I prefer to import on a background thread, which does not hang the app during startup, and lets things load in as they need to.
>    

We would dearly love to be able to deliver compiled IronPython binaries 
with Silverlight applications - mainly for startup performance (but also 
code obfuscation which is always a controversial topic). We also use 
background thread importing but it is still not as fast as we *would 
like*... :-)

I think the limitation here is in the core-CLR missing the APIs that Pyc 
uses to write out assemblies.

All the best,

Michael Foord

-- 
http://www.ironpythoninaction.com/
http://www.voidspace.org.uk/blog

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