Feeds

Microsoft's dynamic languages on forced diet

.NETized scripting out of favor

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Microsoft appears to be backing off its initial commitment for .NETized versions of dynamic languages.

Jimmy Schementi, the program manager for Microsoft's implementation of Ruby, called IronRuby, has left the company as the IronRuby team has been run out town and reallocated.

Schementi has blogged about a "serious lack of commitment" to IronRuby and dynamic languages in general on .NET.

He wrote: "When my manager asked me, 'what else would you want to work on other than Ruby,' I started looking for a new job outside Microsoft."

According to Schementi, software engineer Tomas Matousek is the only person left working on IronRuby at Microsoft. Apparently the team was shrunk about a year ago.

In November, Microsoft moved John Lam, who'd built the RubyCLR for writing .NET applications in Ruby, onto another — unidentified — project.

Lam was hired in 2006 as part of an intake of brains from the open source and scripting communities to help tune dynamic languages to .NET. Jython creator Jim Hugunin was hired by Microsoft in 2004 to build IronPython for .NET.

Schementi said the team's shrinkage has severely limited its agility, and is the reason why IronRuby has not been added to VisualStudio, and that adding IronPython has been delayed.

Microsoft has reportedly refused to comment officially on the changes.

Reading between the lines, it would seem that Microsoft's push for Microsoft-versions of dynamic languages has fallen victim to overall budget cuts and changing priorities.

Microsoft last month released IronRuby, IronPython, and the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) under an Apache Software Foundation (ASF) license, releasing them from Microsoft's Permissive Licenses (Ms-PL).

Microsoft cited customer feedback as the reason for the change, but the move suggests that Microsoft is done with trying to build the languages itself. It either wants to let the languages slowly die without claiming responsibly, or hopes the new license will finally invite others into the effort and free it from the burden of developing and maintaining the languages and runtime.

The company appears to have decided it makes more sense to leave open source and dynamic languages to the de facto options such as PHP — that Microsoft has been busy tuning to Windows and Azure — while focusing on the languages it does best, such as Visual Basic and C#. Microsoft has also released tools to make Ruby and Java run on Azure.

Microsoft has certainly struggled to embrace the open-source development entailed in dynamic languages. It made a conscious decision in 2008 not to accept external contributions to the DLR, while saying contributions were welcome for IronRuby.

Microsoft has been wary of exposing itself to potential litigation that might result from code authors or others once it has accepted code contributions in products it ships.

It was the kind of limitation — combined with the Ms-PL — that helped ensure genuine open sourcers outside of Redmond didn't rally behind its dynamic platform and languages. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.