Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Good Mix 30: Visual Studio 2010, DevDays, Detecting 64 bit, Silverlight and Django

More IronPython and DLR related projects, articles and news from around the web.
 Visual Studio 2010 doesn't come with IronPython support out of the box, but it does have extensive APIs for writing your own extensions. Jeff Hardy has taken up the challenge and has written a set of IronPython extensions for Visual Studio 2010 with syntax highlighting, regions etc. The project has binaries available: "Just double click the .vsix file to install."
At the end of October I attended the StackOverflow DevDays in Cambridge UK and spoke on Python and IronPython. I demonstrated .NET integration with IronPython by creating a simple Windows Forms application at the interactive interpreter. This was followed by going through Peter Norvig's Python Spell Checker as an example of concise Python code. Thanks to Ned Batchelder for the slides of his Boston presentation, which served as inspiration.

The links above are three reports from the day, the first two positive. My favourite quote being "It was a huge surprise that the Knuth-packing beardo in the front row turned out to be a Windows developer, demoing on IronPython". But like Jeff Atwood said in his closing presentation; if someone doesn't hate what you do then you're doing it wrong. The third reporter didn't enjoy my presentation "I wasn't too keen on this presentation. There were statements like "Dynamic Programming makes it easy to test" and "Dynamic Programming means I type less" that I didn't agree with and there was no follow up to back it up". (See the comments on that entry for my reply.)
A Japanese blog entry showing IronPython code (using WMI) for detecting whether your code is running on a 32bit operating system or a 64bit one.
Yet another release from the mysterious Japanese IronPython and Windows Forms project that we've covered before.

 'xap' files are the way you serve Silverlight applications. django-xapper is  a project to build and serve xap files from Django, making it easier to integrate Python on the server with Python on the client for projects using IronPython and Silverlight.
Xapper is a Django app to help facilitate the development of other Django apps that include Silverlight apps. In particular it is geared towards Silverlight apps implemented in IronPython or other dynamic CLR languages.

Xapper serves a similar function as Chiron, which is now distributed with the IronPython Silverlight binaries. Both these apps can dynamically generate Silverlight packages (.xap files) from a directory of files and serve it over HTTP upon request. This means that all you need to do to pick up the changes you've made to your Silverlight app is reload the page in your browser, making development of Silverlight apps much nicer. The main difference between Chiron and Xapper is that Xapper is oriented towards integrating with Django, while Chiron is a standalone web server oriented only towards development of the client-side app.

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