IronRuby and IronPython Opportunities

Yesterday, Jason Zander announced that the maintenance and
future development of IronRuby and IronPython languages was
being turned over to the Iron* communities.

Microsoft reached out to some of the users of the Iron
languages to take over the coordination for these projects.
Together with JB
, Michael
, Jeff
Jimmy Schementi
I agreed to help coordinate the future development of these
languages. The Iron* community reaction to the opening of the
process has been very supportive judging by the emails on the
mailing list and the twitter responses.

There are four pieces of code involved, all licensed under
the Apache 2.0 license:

Both IronPython and IronRuby will be developed like other
open source projects without any of the limitations that
previously existed. In particular, from my very Unix-centric
view, we will be able to get the proper fixes into the Iron*
languages to make them work out of the box on Linux and MacOS.

Our Contributions

Although we will help with the coordination efforts in the
Iron languages as the community grows and evolves, we have
some concrete tasks that we will be working towards right

  • Ensure that the Iron* languages build and work out
    of the box on Linux, MacOS and Unix.

  • Use Mono’s Continuous build system to keep an eye
    on any regressions on IronRuby and IronPython.

  • Package the latest IronRuby and IronPython for
    Linux and MacOS.


Ruby and Python make programmers happy. They bring joy and
smiles to programmers everywhere in the Unix world. Both have
strong user bases on Linux and MacOS and there is a strong
ecosystem of independent implementations for both Ruby and
Python, each with their unique features.

In Iron’s case the major feature is being able to use your
scripting language of choice while having access to all Mono
APIs for building standalone applications or for extending
existing applications like MonoDevelop, F-Spot, Banshee,
SparkleShare and Tomboy.

From my Unix-biased standpoint, this means
that all of the libraries that we have been working on over
the years
from Gtk# for
building desktop Gnome apps
to MonoMac
for creating native Mac applications with the entire universe
of .NET libraries at your disposal.

The Iron* languages, combined with
our MonoMac
will make an appealing platform for building apps for the
Mac AppStore.

Another fascinating project is
the Pyjama Educational Project.
Pyjama is written in IronPython, Gtk#, and GtkSourceView and
currently supports 5 DLR languages.


As the announcement came out last night, Geoff Norton
cooked this simple teaser of IronRuby on the iPhone.

Check it
out here.

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