Microsoft released in September the 1.0 version of the IronPython dynamic programming language created by Jim Hugunin. But the Softies are not done tinkering yet with the .Net implementation of the Python language.
According to a couple of Microsoft bloggers, Microsoft is taking IronPython to the next level by integrating it more tightly with Microsoft's own ASP.Net scripting language. Microsoft officials are planning to talk up this integration at this week's pair of Microsoft developer conferences (DevConnections in Las Vegas and TechEd Europe in Barcelona).
Microsoft has released for download a Community Technology Preview (CTP) test build of the new Microsoft IronPython for ASP.Net product that is focused on helping developers to create richer Web applications when using Microsoft's Visual Studio or Visual Web Developer tools, according to Microsoft's ASP.Net Web site.
"IronPython for ASP.NET is a free extension to ASP.NET that is targeted at: ASP.NET developers looking to enjoy the simplicity and flexibility of a dynamic language, specifically IronPython; and Python developers looking to harness the power of ASP.NET and its rapid application development (RAD) environment," Microsoft's Web site explains.
According to a new Microsoft-authored white paper, Microsoft is turning up a notch the language extensibility of ASP.Net with the forthcoming IronPython implementation -- and will add support for other dynamic languages in the future.
"Ever since its original 1.0 version, ASP.NET has supported language extensibility.... However, the downside of the current extensibility model is that it primarily targets statically compiled languages like C#, and is not well adapted to dynamic languages like Python.... We are therefore introducing a new model for language extensibility. The new model aims to fill the lack of support for dynamic languages, and it enables dynamic languages to fit much more naturally into ASP.NET. Our initial implementation is focused on the IronPython language, but in the near future we will extend the model to work with any dynamic language."
Microsoft currently makes IronPython available for distribution under its Shared Source license. It's unclear so far how and when the new ASP.Net extensibility technology will be released. But one thing's for sure: Microsoft is definitely turning up the heat on dynamic languages, in general.