Feeds

Microsoft cuts loose Iron languages

Community coders pump life raft

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft has officially ended a half-decade flirtation with building its own .NETized scripting languages, and it lost a languages guru to Google in the process.

The company has handed code and project responsibility for IronRuby and IronPython to "the community," six years after it started the projects and then stuck them in limbo.

The IronPython project will be coordinated by Miguel de Icaza, Michael Foord, Jeff Hardy and Jimmy Schementi, with de Icaza and Schementi also co-ordinating IronRuby.

Schementi quit Microsoft in August, having complained about a "serious lack of commitment" to IronRuby and dynamic languages in general on .NET by the giant.

De Icaza has spent a decade building the open-source implementation of .NET called Project Mono, and more recently, he spun up an implementation of Silverlight, called Moonlight.

Microsoft's Visual Studio vice president Jason Zander spun the news thusly: "I hope the effect of the changes is to dramatically increase the opportunity for community members to contribute their own code to IronPython and IronRuby, and to actively participate in these projects."

"Community" is generally the place Microsoft sends the children to die that it cannot kill on its own. This includes projects such as the .NET Micro Framework, which was once the hope for "smart" watches endorsed by Bill Gates.

IronPython and IronRuby were attempts to make the dynamic languages of Python and Ruby run well on Microsoft's .NET Framework and Common Language Runtime (CLR).

They came from that part of Microsoft's brain that cannot accept technologies invented elsewhere. Microsoft is compelled to build its own versions of things that already exist, optimizing them for, and integrating them with, the Windows platform.

IronPython and IronRuby might well live on given the personal energy and skill of De Icaza, Schementi, and the others who are personally committed to programming, but they will likely do so without the same focus, muscle, and scale thhat Microsoft that could have brought to the table.

The kill has seen IronPython lead Jim Hugunin leave Microsoft for Google. Hugunin was hired in 2004 as part of a hovering up of scripting talent by Microsoft to make scripting languages run as first-class citizens on the .NET Framework and CLR.

Hugunin is the creator of JPython/Jython and a co-designer of the AspectJ aspect-oriented programming language that came from Xerox PARC.

He called Microsoft's decision to abandon investment in IronPython a catalyst but not the cause of his leaving, noting he hadn't been involved in IronPyton for "quite some time" - a comment on how Microsoft has shifted focus away from the remit of tuning dynamic languages for .NET.

Hugunin didn't say what his new job at Google involves, but that he would be programming on the server-side using Java. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.