C# in Depth

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Is IronPython really a Trojan horse?

Chapter 1: The changing face of C# development: 1.2.5

Created: 1/22/2008
Last updated: 1/30/2008

I was perhaps a little harsh using the words "Trojan horse" to describe the way that scripting and dynamic language developers will no doubt find the DLR (Dynamic Language Runtime) attractive. It's not a trick, and there aren't going to be hordes of Microsoft developers leaping out of the DLR when night falls. You may wish to think of it as an alternative entrance to the .NET house instead.

I do still think that it's an enticing prospect, however. Eric pointed out that I was characterising the language as the attractive part of the proposition, whereas he'd say that the framework, OS, and users make it an attractive value proposition. I think it really depends on the developer. Does a developer look at a platform, and consider the lack of her favourite language running on that platform a barrier to entry which can be overcome, or does she only look at the platforms her favourite language is available on? I'm sure there are plenty of developers on each side of the fence - but it's certainly a benefit if that favourite language is available on more platforms, such as .NET.

It's also true that although I point out that the IronPython programmer of today may be the C# programmer of tomorrow, the reverse is true too. By making multiple languages available on the same platform, it's much easier to learn a new language and use the right language in the right context.

These are largely cases of looking at the same picture from different angles. Hopefully we can all agree that having a broad spectrum of languages of different styles (functional, static, dynamic, OO etc) all running on a comprehensive platform is a good thing.