Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ironclad 0.6 Released and numpy in Resolver One

Since I last updated this blog (yes I've fallen behind in the last couple of weeks - I'll catch up soon) a lot has happened with Resolver One.

Resolver One is a spreadsheet development environment created by Resolver Systems and built on IronPython. Version 1.2 was released not long ago.

This includes several major new features, including one called 'RunWorkbook' that greatly helps with our goal of making spreadsheet system design modular, maintainable and resusable.

Part of our plan for Resolver One includes being able to use numpy (a C extension). At PyCon UK William Reade demonstrated working with numpy arrays containing one million items from inside Resolver One. This was using an experimental version of Resolver One ported to run on IronPython 2, along with Ironclad - our open source project that allows you to use Python C extensions from IronPython.

The Resolver Systems blog includes links to the slides for Giles Thomas's PyCon UK talk and William's lightning talk showing numpy with Resolver One.
William is the core developer for Ironclad and he has just announced the release of Ironclad 0.6. It is now based on IronPython 2 Beta 5 and a useful subset of numpy 1.2 RC 1 is importable and usable.

From the announcement by William:

I'm very happy to announce the release of Ironclad v0.6, which targets the recent release of IronPython 2.0b5. It's now possible to import the current release candidate for NumPy 1.2, and some of it actually works. Yay!

If you're interested, please download it and try it out; I'm very keen to hear everyone's experiences, both with NumPy and with other C extensions. I'm fully prepared for the fact that most of these will take the form of extremely short narratives along the lines of "I couldn't import foo", or "I did X, and then Y, and then it gave me the following error", but the project is now mature enough that it's *possible* that someone will say "I imported bar, and it kinda worked". That would, of course, make me tremendously happy, so I feel it's worth a try. In the absence of outside feedback, I will continue to work on NumPy; I get the impression that matrices would be widely useful, so they're my next target.

If you're interested in using numpy from IronPython, then download the latest release and tell us which bits don't work!

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