Friday, May 29, 2009

IronPython and the elmcity project: Together again

Jon Udell has been using Azure (Microsoft's cloud platform) for a calendar project he calls elmcity. Initially he tried to use IronPython, but the security settings of Azure (medium trust only) made this impossible. He proceeded with the project in C#, but Azure can now be used with a full-trust environment so IronPython is back on the table...
In the first installment of this elmcity+azure series my plan was to build an Azure-based calendar aggregator using IronPython. That turned out not to be possible at the time, because IronPython couldn’t run at full strength in Azure’s medium-trust environment. So I switched to C#, and have spent the past few months working in that language.

It’s been a long while since I’ve worked intensively in a compiled and statically-typed language. But I love being contrarian. At a time when low ceremony languages are surging in popularity, I’m revisiting the realm of high ceremony. It’s been an enjoyable challenge, I’ve gotten good results, and it’s given me a chance to reflect in a more balanced way on the “ceremony vs. essence” dialogue.

Meanwhile, Azure has moved forward. It now provides a full-trust environment. That means you can run PHP, which is interesting to a lot of folks, but it also means you can run IronPython, which is interesting to me.

In this entry I’ll show you how I’m starting to integrate IronPython in the two main components of my Azure project: the web role that provides the (currently minimal) user interface, and the worker role that does calendar aggregation.

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