Thursday, July 17, 2008

IronPython the Road Ahead: a Post 2.0 Roadmap

In recent days both Todd Ogasawara and Steve Holden have wondered what the future holds for IronPython, particularly with regard to how and whether it will support Python 3.0 which edges ever closer.

Harry Pierson has been goaded into mapping out the road ahead for IronPython, at least partly due to utterly unfair comments from me over Twitter.
In this blog Harry Pierson's sets out the IronPython teams plans, which include:
  • Pushing out a new 1.1.2 release in the coming weeks, the last planned released of the 1.X (pre-Dynamic Language Runtime) branch of IronPython
  • Getting IronPython 2 (currently still in beta) completed by the end of the year. IronPython 2 targets compatibility with CPython 2.5.
  • Python 2.6 support (both language and library compatibility) will come sometime in the IronPython 2.1 lifecycle. Along with this will be Visual Studio integration.
  • An IronPython 3 that will target Python 3.
Harry also talks about the hoops he is jumping through to get the Microsoft lawyers to sign off on IronPython accepting contributions back from the community (and being able to do things like ship the Python standard library with IronPython distributions).

Much good news, although I wonder if the IronPython team will be willing to continue active development of IronPython 2.X and 3.X as the CPython development team intend to. It will probably be several years before the majority of the Python community has switched over to Python 3.

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