Microsoft puts IronPython, IronRuby under an Apache license

Microsoft puts IronPython, IronRuby under an Apache license

Summary: Microsoft is moving two of its development languages -- IronPython and IronRuby -- as well as the company's Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) to an Apache open-source license, company officials acknowledged on July 19.

SHARE:
7

Microsoft is moving two of its development languages -- IronPython and IronRuby -- as well as the company's Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) to an Apache open-source license, company officials acknowledged on July 19.

(I discovered the news thanks to a tweet from Novell Developer Platform chief Miguel de Icaza.)

IronPython and IronRuby are implementations of the Python and Ruby programming language targeting the .NET Framework and Mono. They are built on top of the Microsoft DLR, a layer of services attuned to dynamic languages that supplements the Common Language Runtime (CLR).

Until now, these two Microsoft development languages were available under the Microsoft Public License (MS-PL), which is an OSI-sanctioned open-source license. What's behind the change? Via an e-mail from a company spokesperson:

"We received customer feedback directly that the Apache v2.0 License increasingly became the license of choice for those working on the IronPython and IronRuby projects.  While the Microsoft Public License is a good license, we wanted to support this customer feedback so we decided to make the change to the Apache License v. 2.0 for these projects."

This isn't the first time Microsoft has licensed software under the Apache license. The Live Labs Web Sandbox runtime was released under an Apache license in January 2009. The .Net OData client is being released via an Apache license, company officials said in March of this year. Microsoft also released two interoperability tools, a .PST Data Structure View Tool and a .PST File Format Software Development Kit under the Apache license in May 2010.

Topics: Open Source, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

7 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Microsoft puts IronPython, IronRuby under an Apache license

    Yes, well.

    Microsoft implemented Java in such a way as to strongly encourage (read, "make it difficult not to.") write code that is MS proprietary.

    Expect the same from Iron[Python|Ruby]
    Tsingi
    • RE: Microsoft puts IronPython, IronRuby under an Apache license

      @Tsingi,
      At the very least, if you find yourself chained to the .NET CLR (or in this case DLR), you can use the mono implementation which runs on Linux. Still, people that use Python, Ruby or more likely to use a non- .NET runtime to execute it.
      bmonsterman
      • However...

        If you choose the mono route you will likely find that mono is around 1.5 to 2 versions back of .net, which can be a problem. That being said, I'm unsure of any actual advantage in using the "iron" thingies other than the tie-in to .net, which isn't necessarily an advantage. Has anything that Microsoft done in the "iron" thingies actually fed back into the main development tree?
        zkiwi
      • RE: Microsoft puts IronPython, IronRuby under an Apache license

        @bmonsterman Quick education: Python and Ruby are Languages, just like Visual Basic, Visual C++, Fortan, COBOL, etc. What Microsoft did is allow a Ruby or Python Developer (i.e., someone who knows the Syntax/Language) to target the .NET Framework, just as they did with Visual Basic (VB.NET), Visual C++ (Visual C++ .NET), COBOL (COBOL.NET), as well as over 50 other Languages/Syntax's.<br><br>Now to the question of "Why a Python or Ruby developer would care to target Microsoft's .NET Framework?" Well the answer is many fold:<br>1. They could want the compilation process and security components (e.g. Digital Signing) of the .NET Framework, versus that of the other Frameworks. I am not saying that one is better than the other... Just different.<br><br>2. Maybe they want to build on top of a Microsoft product that supports ONLY .NET binaries (e.g. SQL Server, SharePoint, Office Client, etc.). As their company may have standardized on one of these formats and they don't want to learn C#, VB.NET, etc. Now, today SQL Server only supports C#, VB.NET & T-SQL, but once IronRuby and IronPython are included in the Framework as full fledged languages, Ruby and Python developers will be set!<br><br>For those who are not knowledgeable of what the .NET Framework and CLR are about, you might want to take a minute and read up on it (preferably before commenting about it). The CLR (Part of the overal Microsoft .NET technology) was built to let you program in the Syntax/Language that you were most familiar with, while at compile time, it would compile down to the same binary code as every other .NET Language (again, there are dozens of .NET language, with Python and Ruby being the 2 new ones to the list).<br><br>I hope this helps to understand why as a Ruby or Python developer, I might be happy that I don't have to do Python or Ruby on Rails for one set of applications (non-Microsoft Products) and completely switch syntax's for another set of applications (Microsoft-based Products). One Syntax, and different frameworks, means that I have less to have to learn, maintain, support, etc.
        rs_jr
  • If you can't beat'um, join'um

    The best way to overwhelm an adversary is with camouflage and spies infiltrating the ranks.<br><br>Wolves in sheep's clothing are difficult to detect by the sheep, but hardly slip by another wolf.
    Ole Man
  • RE: Microsoft puts IronPython, IronRuby under an Apache license

    @ Ole Man

    I bow to thy wisdom!
    jester.lvph
  • RE: Microsoft puts IronPython, IronRuby under an Apache license

    Hiya and welcome. Someone said out of some of our additional [url=http://www.reebok--nflshop.com/reebok-authentic-baltimore-ravens-jerseys-cheap/reebok-authentic-ray-rice-jerseys-cheap]ray rice jerseys[/url] stuff [url=http://www.reebok--nflshop.com/]nflshop[/url] and most effective in order to thank you [url=http://www.reebok--nflshop.com/reebok-authentic-new-york-giants-jerseys-cheap/reebok-authentic-eli-manning-jerseys-cheap]eli manning jerseys[/url] for the educational posts.
    makrekdw17-24353588422802948139993715967892