Monday, March 3, 2008

Welcome Pythonistas to Sun!

Today we can finally announce another exciting language-related event: we've hired Frank Wierzbicki of the Jython project and Ted Leung of OSAF (and a bunch of other stuff) to help with the Python story at Sun. Hooray!

Frank Wierzbicki has been tirelessly plodding away on Jython for years, since the early days. Even when Jython was considered by many to be "dead", Frank kept the project moving forward as best he could. Now he's been a major part of Jython's revitalization...a new release last year and rapid work to get compatibility up to current-Python levels prove that.

Ted Leung has long been involved with the Open Source Applications Foundation and the Apache Software Foundation, and was one of the original developers of the Xerces Java XML parser. I don't know Ted personally, but I'm excited to be working with him, especially in light of some of this previous roles.

So what does this mean for Sun? Well, it means we're serious about improving support for Python on Sun platforms. Jython is a big part of the story, since they have many challenges similar to JRuby, but a bunch of new ones as well. So we'll be looking to share key libraries and subsystems as much as possible, and we'll start looking at Jython as another driver for future JVM and platform improvement. On the non-Java side of the world, it means we'll ramp up support for Python itself. Sun has already settled on Mercurial for source control for all our OSS projects, and the package management system being worked up for Indiana is written in Python as well. But there's more we need to do.

Please help me in congratulating Frank and Ted on their new roles at Sun. It's going to be another interesting year for polyglots :)


  1. That's great news, first JRuby then Jython, maybe Groovy and Scala in the future :)

  2. This is great news, esp. since Jython was an early pioneer on the JVM. For me, it was the first jaw-dropper.

    As always, the collaborative spirit here is really great... Both the tone and the idea of sharing subsystems etc.

  3. I've sent my congratulations to Frank on the jython lists already. I haven't had the pleasure to meet him in person, but by looking at jython lists I've figured out he is one jython "movers".

    I'm really wondering if there will be more surprises in the near future ;-).

    .w( the_mindstorm )p.

  4. Ruby, Python - where is perl?
    This is the most widely used scripting language and it still has no implementation for JSR 223?
    How is this possible

  5. Why not Perl? Because you can't parse it without Perl, that's why. Take a look at the Wikipedia entry for Perl for more details.

    Even if you _could_ parse Perl and implement all of its (difficult) semantics, Perl is in a state of flux between Perl 5 and Perl 6, so which horse do you bet on? Unlike Ruby 1.8/2.0 or Python 2.5/3.0, the implementation and syntax changes between Perl 5 and 6 are _radically_ different. Implementing one doesn't really get you close to having an implementation for the other, so you don't get the twofer that you get with Ruby or Python.

  6. Finally...
    As a veteran Java programmer and a recent Python enthusiast I was waiting for this for a long time.
    Python and Java share the same values of explicit code and community process.
    I am waiting eagerly to start using NetBeans again as soon as it will have Jython/Python support similar to what was developed for JRuby.