Thursday, March 05, 2009

A Multilanguage REPL (and hosting IronPython in IronRuby)

REPLs (Read Eval Print Loops - interactive programming environments) are all the rage in Redmond these days, and Tomáš Matoušek (core IronRuby developer) isn't immune.

This blog entry uses the DLR hosting API to create a multilanguage REPL using IronRuby. This demonstrates hosting multiple DLR languages in a single application (using the app config file) and hosting IronPython in IronRuby.
DLR Hosting API is a common API for all DLR languages: IronRuby, IronPython, and others. It abstracts away language specific details and provides API that could be used in a language independent manner. The API is primarily designed to ease usage of dynamic languages from strongly typed .NET languages and to make it easier to write applications with a scriptable object model. Nonetheless we can take advantage of the API in a scripting language as well. For that purpose the most interesting features are management of isolated scripting environments (script runtimes) and cross language code execution. I presented the former in my last post. Let’s check out the latter today.

To run examples you’ll need to build the latest IronRuby, IronPython and DLR from sources. You can do so using the latest sources from IronRuby GIT repository or DLR CodePlex site.

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