Sunday, November 08, 2009

A Good Mix 29: Small PIL for IronPython, iDalogue, Book Sales, Umbraco and PDC

More IronPython and DLR related projects, articles and news from around the web.
 One of the disadvantages of developing with IronPython, particularly for using existing libraries and codebases, is that C extensions don't work. One possibility is to use Ironclad, a C extension compatibility layer by Resolver Systems. Another one is to find or create a compatible API using .NET libraries. An important C extension in the Python world, virtually ubiquitous where images are used and manipulated, is the Python Imaging Library. All sorts of other projects (Django and Reportlab for example) use PIL, causing problems for using them from IronPython.

A Japanese blogger has *started* to solve this problem by creating an IronPython project called "small pil" implementing part of the PIL API for IronPython.
 i-Dialogue is a "Customer Experience Management" application by Cubic Compass. It is relevant to us because they use IronPython as a scripting language. They have just announced changes coming to "Dialogue Script" in December:
The following announcement just went out to Dialogue Developers today. Dialogue Script is a Domain Specific Language (DSL) that runs on the IronPython Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR).

As an i-Dialogue Developer working with Dialogue Script, I wanted to share a couple changes in the next release:
  • Dialogue Script will be upgraded to run on the newer IronPython v2.6 engine
  • JScript will no longer be supported
The upgrade from IronPython from v2.0 to v2.6 will result in a tremendous performance improvement and provide access to a broader set of features and 3rd party libraries.
 IronPython in Action has now been on sale for about eight months. I've recently had the second quarter sales figures, which represent four months of sales:
The first quarter started in January (strange that) but IronPython in Action only went on sale in March, meaning that the first quarter only included one month's sales. That month included all the preorders from places like Amazon, plus all the people who paid for the book during the Early Access Program, so they're surprisingly high.

Thankfully the sales were enough to pay off the advance entirely and even yield an extra $2700 odd dollars, of which almost $2000 was held in reserve in case of returns. Sales in the first quarter were 2300 print books and 651 ebook sales.
 Umbraco is a .NET CMS built on ASP.NET; it supports scripting and extending with IronPython with the IronPython page type. This short blog entry shows how to use the Node API to access information from Umbraco pages:
I was just working with the IronPython page type in umbraco and needed to get a property from the page I was on. This can be done by accessing the Node API found in umbraco.presentation.nodeFactory. In order to be able to pull a value you will need pull in that part of the API.
Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2009 (PDC) is November 17th - 19th in Los Angeles. On the Tuesday Dino Veihland (core IronPython developer) is giving a talk on dynamic languages and the DLR:
The Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) brings the power of dynamic languages to .NET. It provides the plumbing for IronPython and IronRuby, a shared lanaguage hosting API, and also enables interoperability with static languages like C# and Visual Basic. Come hear how you can leverage these technologies in your own applications, and learn why dynamic languages deserve a spot in your toolbox!

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