Even though I do my best to avoid using Windows, at all costs, unless it is a function of work I need to perform, I am bit impressed with how far IronPython is getting along. Even with recent news stories about ugly blue screens, and cries from a crotchety old man, about finally considering Linux or Mac, Microsoft is doing something right.
I recently starting reading Steven Holden’s blog, and in this post, he mentions some of the exciting developments in IronPython as discussed by Michael Foord. I have played around some with IronPython, and watched a presentation on IronPython at our local Python User’s group on it, recently. I wonder though, if Apple is falling a bit behind Microsoft in its support for Python as a first class development option?
I went to an iPhone Development talk today, which covered the webkit side of iPhone development, but I wondered if Apple would be forward thinking enough to beat Microsoft to the dynamic language battle, and do the iPhone SDK right. Doing it right, would be to think of the API in terms of Python and Objective C.
For example, are they going to allow pure Python code to write applications using the iPhone SDK? Apple has soundly, and routinely, beat Microsoft in the Operating System war, since OS X, but what about after that? What if the future is led by dynamic languages, and Microsoft is way ahead with IronPython?
I am not knocking the incredible hard work, and effort, that has been put into PyObjc2, and the further integration of XCode with Python. This is wonderful, and I cannot wait to start digging into PyObjc2, but does the PyObjc team have the same resources and support from Apple, that Iron Python has from Microsoft? If not, then maybe it should be a higher priority for Apple to look to the future and put more research, money, and energy into their support for dynamic languages, as this may be the next battleground for hearts and minds.
Personally, I would love to hear about Apple hiring a few Python people like Google did, and to start developing the Cocoa API with Python directly in mind, not as an afterthought. I cannot even imagine how many new, yet very experienced, developers this would bring to Cocoa, it would be mind boggling. While Apple is at it, they could abandon Applescript like they have done with carbon. If you look at GNU/Linux, it has an interesting near equivalent to Applescript Script Recorder in the form of Dogtail, where you can record and write UI events in Pure Python.
I personally think dynamic languages are an ever-growing part of the future, and I hope Apple continues their meteoric rise by taking a lead in adopting them.