Python to .Net link

Sep 23, 2013 at 6:57 PM
This is a more general discussion about a Python to .Net link.

My use case is VERY simple: I have scientific models in C#, and I want to drive them from an interactive command prompt, have nice and quick graphing capabilities etc. Essentially I want a IPython to .Net link.

Originally I had the impression that MS was pushing IronPython for this, by sponsoring Numpy for it etc. But that whole project never took off (hard to install, matplotlib never worked etc), plus by now it is clearly dead. For a while there was Sho, but that also seems dead, and certainly cannot compete at all with the Scipy stack at this point. So, in my mind the whole IronPython idea is dead for numeric/science work.

The alternative of course would be to have an easy way to call .Net stuff from CPython. It is actually quite ironic that probably by pushing IronPython, this whole idea is also pretty dormant. But, I think at this point it would be super, super powerful to have a way to drive .Net stuff from CPython. There is a project out there that supports this (http://pythonnet.sourceforge.net/), but it is hard to install, build etc. and it is unclear to me how alive that project is.

It seems to me that it should be strongly in MS's interest to support that project, maybe even somehow integrate it into python tools for VS. So, a couple of ideas: maybe MS could provide resources to that project, make sure it is up to date etc. MS could also work on the release story for the project. Maybe sponsors inclusion in popular distros like Canopy and Anaconda or something like that. I'm not sure, but I just feel that if we were in a world where I can install a distro, python tools for VS and then be able to more or less seamlessly interface with .Net code from my IPython prompt, it would be incredibly powerful.
Coordinator
Sep 24, 2013 at 9:14 PM
david your impression is correct that initially we wanted to get numpy/scipy ported to .net. we funded enthough to do this. unfortunately after the phase I of the project (major restructuring of numpy/scipy), the funding group at msft got reorg'd, etc. etc. it's about 70% complete and if someone wants to continue, it's available. however, we are committed to support IronPython in PTVS (project, intellisense, debug, nav, etc.). given that the majority of our users are on cpython, it will continue to get more attention from the team.

we are aware of python.net and are impressed by their work. at this point, being a small group, it's doubtful that we can get involved in a meaningful way. we still participate in the dev aliases (eg ironpython) and if questions come up, answer.

including it in PTVS is an interesting idea. we have a few more things on the todo list right now, but i can see a future in which Python as a language becomes much prominently used by the microsoft community and as a result demand for cpython <-> .Net grows. we have seen pockets of that, but nothing dramatic yet. we'll continue to put the "PTVS Survey" questions and will add this one as well to see what people say.

one thing you could do is create an issue/feature request for better cpython/.net interop and see how many ppl up vote it.

thanks!