Feeds

Microsoft's dynamic languages on forced diet

.NETized scripting out of favor

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.