Every now and then I get the urge to the the Microsoft Open Source Labs people to talk to the freeware Visual Studio Express group about tweaks to make it aware of various FOSS languages like Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby. After all, way back in 2001, Microsoft worked with ActiveState to produce Visual Perl and Visual Python. There’s also a current 3rd party project on Microsoft Codeplex named IronPython Studio that uses the royalty free Visual Studio 2008 Shell runtime that doesn’t need Visual Studio itself to be installed.
I usually back off the idea because there are a number of free and/or Open Source developer platforms and advanced programmer’s editors that are also multi-platform (Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux/BSD/UNIX). Four that I have used over the years are Eclipse (gave up on it), NetBeans (playing with it), Komodo Edit (use it frequently), and jEdit (used to use it a lot but have not recently). But, I still think it would be a good idea to tweak a free Visual Studio Express edition for IronPython, IronRuby, and PHP.