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With highly expressive syntax that is easy to read, write, and maintain, dynamic programming languages like Python and Ruby are extremely conducive to rapid development. Microsoft and Sun Microsystems have observed growing interest in dynamic programming, and plan to integrate more extensive support for dynamic language features in their respective managed language platforms.

Microsoft developer Jum Hugunin reveals that the Redmond, WA software company is in the process of augmenting its popular .NET platform to simplify development of dynamic programming languages. Hugunin, the developer of a Python implementation for .NET called IronPython, says that the .NET Common Language Runtime will be extended in order to add additional support for dynamic language features. New libraries will be added as well to provide framework components that can be used by language creators. Microsoft hopes that the new features and the availability of the IronPython source code (which will act as a reference implementation) will encourage developers to bring other popular dynamic languages to the .NET platform. Several useful dynamic language features have already been added to .NET 2.0, most notably Lightweight Code Generation and DynamicMethod.

Hugunin is also very enthusiastic about the opportunities created by PowerShell, Microsoft's next-generation command line architecture. Built on .NET technology, PowerShell provides a highly sophisticated dynamic language that includes impressive support for first-class functions and other desirable features. PowerShell also comes with a broad selection of useful libraries and utilities that simplify common computing tasks. Hugunin hopes to expose much of that functionality to Visual Basic and IronPython in order to provide users with a broader selection of options for scripting.



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