back to article Microsoft's dynamic languages on forced diet

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 …


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  1. Charles Manning

    Abandonware != Open Source

    It looks like MS is falling in the same hole as some other projects have. It is not enough to just put the code on a server and say a few words like "community". You really have to nurture any efforts like this to make them work.

    Abandoning software is the same as abandoning a puppy. It's the wimp's way out for those without the conviction to kill it.

  2. Ryan Barrett
    Thumb Up

    Not surprising

    It was a really dumb idea afterall. Why put the effort into learning Ruby if you've got no Rails?

    They've been adding dynamic-style features to C# for the last few years, and it's obvious that they're going to focus on improving this side of the language. Add features to the language that their development community know and love in order to allow it to compete with Python (and to a lesser extent Ruby).

    Though to be honest I personally believe that the biggest benefit of most of these 'dynamic' languages is that they're interpreted. That, combined with a TDD-style of development allow you to work very efficiently. Which, I should add, should be possible to implement in C# (or a subset thereof).

    As for scripting languages - MS have Powershell, which is very very powerful, though the target group is different (system admins not developers).

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Well no

      "Though to be honest I personally believe that the biggest benefit of most of these 'dynamic' languages is that they're interpreted."

      That's an irrelevant distinction.

      You are missing the dynamic aspects, of which there are: high flexibility, rapid writing with little syntactic baggage, weak and/or duck typing, compact, polymorphic and often implied code, easy-to-use reflection as compared to the "traditional" enterprise languages. Not to mention closures, a strong trend to functional programmiong and facilities to patch up stuff at runtime.

      Course, runtime errors are more likely, so you better use asserts liberally.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Beginning of the end for .NET

    This is horrible news.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Beginning of the end for .NET

      On the otherhand, This is Fantastic News. The sooner this (& Slitherlight) die a truly horrible death the better.


      Simple (just like those pesky meerkats) really.


      There is more to IT than a Microsoft only world. Don't even try to talk about mono. More & more Linux devs are shunning this. It is slowly withereing away. .NET should follow it ASAP.

      Paris because even she knows when to stop flogging a dead horse.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      It's Great News!

      I'd love to see an end to .NET.

      It is a loathsome thing that can turn the installation of simple program into hours of work.

      Wrong (or no) version of .net? The right version gets fetched: a large and tedious download. This is then followed by an installation which (mostly silently) takes an unbelievable amount of time.

      Whatever .net maybe for the developer, Microsoft made one big mistake: they never bothered to inform the end user as to why would want want it, leaving most of us convinced that it is just a waste of time and space.

      "This program requires MS .NET version blah blah blah" --- better find another one then.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is that sarcasm?

      It must be sarcasm.

    4. Ru

      Don't be daft

      MS is committed to .net, it just isn't commited to fringe uses of the platform, and justifiably so. They should just stick to C# which is a perfectly good language, and leave ruby to die the unmourned death is is overdue for.

      The CLR isn't going anywhere.

  4. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    other reasons for lack of interest

    Besides the ms-pl license... There's a main branch of ruby and python for interested developers to work on. "iron" versions are a double niche -- microsoft specific* while main versions are portable *including* windows. And a second niche because they're for .net ... Jython (python for java), ironpython, well.. Plenty of people just don't see the need for contributing for python (or ruby) on top of another layer when it's portable to the "bare metal" os.

    ..*yeah i realize they probably play nice with mono and such and not truly windows-specific. Bear with me...

  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Aren't *all* the languages MS push "interpreted"?

    The Common Language Environment and Common Language Runtime.

    Which Visual Studio supported languages produce *directly* executable code by default now?

    Be clear. If you go with an MS version of *any* language *and* you want portability you're going to have to work *damm* hard for it. You'll fine tooth comb startup settings, library dependencies and naming conventions and you'd better RTFM. All of them.

    If you're a Windows lifer then commit to their platform specific languages and tools and accept you're spending the rest of your career working on them, so get comfortable.

    Or you could just use a version standard version from some other supplier.

    1. DZ-Jay

      Re: Aren't *all* the languages ms push "interpreted"?

      No, not all of them.

      >> Which Visual Studio supported languages produce *directly* executable code by default now?

      How about C++, still the language for *real* Windows applications and systems programming de rigueur.


      1. CD001

        Yeah but

        C++ is both too hard and not-cool enough for kids these days ;)

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Thumb Up


        "How about C++, still the language for *real* Windows applications and systems programming de rigueur."

        Thanks for that. I suspected C/C++ would be the the #1 compiled to bare hardware exception. As to how much of that code is actually *using* those C++ specific features that would be another story.

        I think it says a lot that MS espouse all sorts of weird and wonderful (and proprietary) languages for *everyone* else but when it comes do changing *their* core (or real performance issues) it's straight for the old faithful.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    All a bit pointless

    Why do MS insist on making their own versions of languages that are already out there, and that already have a firm grounding of developers and users? As has been mentioned previously, the normal versions work on Windows anyway. Making a custom version is pretty much a sure-fire way of failing.

    Oh, duh!!! Of course - they want to try and lock you into their OS. How silly fof me.

    1. Mark Rendle

      Sarcastic reply

      Absolutely. And the same goes for JRuby and Jython, and MacRuby...

      That anybody would want these popular dynamic languages running natively on their platform and able to interop with their high-performance components and libraries... well, frankly, it beggars belief.

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    SIN Webs* ...... for Heavenly Vices and Global Operating Devices.

    Surely beginning of the end for .NET merely means a morph into the start of something Beta and more Advanced Astute and Appropriate.

    And Dedicated Smarter InterNetworking with "Just BetaTesting PerlyGatesPython Security CodedD CHunnels. ...... Alternative Underground Channels."** rapidly turns Sinning into a Global Passion Play, which probably every Woman will tell you, is quite alien to child-like Primative Man, both offensively arrogant and XSSXXXXually ignorant, and as a result do they render themselves extraordinarily poorly schooled and too inexperienced to deliver engaging and drivering satisfaction and exquisite pleasures. ........ which is real sad and quite bad.

    But you can be assured that the methodology and binary algorithms for applications of an acceptable and most agreeable, mutually beneficial solution are being worked upon and trailed and trialled in a multitude of novel systems operations and virtually real simulations ... for Semantic Scene Stimulation/Lasting Projection with Revised Provisional Input ..... Core Source Stream

    * Very naughty boys and girls can read more on IT here .... Posted by AmanfromMars on 8/11/2010 11:45:25 AM ...

    It is unnatural and naive to think, that with the sophisticated and intrusive and disruptive nature of common communications today, that the future will be runs as badly as the past was by the present controllers, who appear to have defaulted to Creating Chaos as a means of Exercising Control, which is real weird.

    In fact, is it surely a certifiable madness and festering self -destructive badness in many, if not all, Status Quo Establishments ..... Privatised International Power Cliques.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shome mistake surely?

    IronRuby team has been run out town ?

    I thought the words were "Ruby don't take your love to town"

  9. ohlordy


    "Python creator Jim Hugunin was hired by Microsoft in 2004 to build IronPython for .NET."

    Jim Hugunin didn't create Python, he created the Numeric extension and later went on to create Jython. Guido van Rossum, now of Google, created Python.

  10. Jean-Luc
    Thumb Down

    Iron shmython

    IIRC from a 10 minute look the syntax of .net python's "import" were different from normal Python. Thus ensuring _no_ compatibility. Unlike Jython where simple scripts can be identical IF Jython has implemented the equivalent modules and you aint fiddlin with Java.

    Kind of never bothered looking again after that.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Enough and not more

    Microsoft was interested in enabling dynamic languages in .Net and sponsored enough development to be sure that the CLR would support them. Beyond that, I don't see that they would have any real motivation to move these languages forward: They won't generate income and MS won't make much internal use of them.

    "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."

    How are they supposed to pay the salary if the work doesn't generate revenue?

  12. Mark Rendle

    Time warp

    .NET-bashing is so '00s.

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