Refreshing ASP.NET Dynamic Language Support, dlr comments edit

This afternoon we released a refresh of our DLR/IronPython support for ASP.NET, now called “ASP.NET Dynamic Language Support”, on our CodePlex site.

This was originally part of our July 2007 ASP.NET Futures package, along with several other features. As updates to these features were made available, we would have liked to remove them from the package, but we wanted to wait till everything within the package was updated.

Well that time has come. This CodePlex release contains two exceedingly simple sample applications, one for WebForms and one for ASP.NET MVC. It’s compiled against the latest DLR assemblies, and our goal is to continue to push it forward fixing bugs here and there. Keep in mind that this initial refresh is pretty barebones and doesn’t contain everything that the original package contained because certain features (such as the project system) are still being updated.

I won’t go too deeply into the specifics of how to use it. Instead, be sure to check out David Ebbo’s whitepaper on IronPython and ASP.NET which was written a while ago, but still mostly relevant. Also, Jimmy Schementi from the DLR team has written a nice brief write-up on this release.

I have the pleasure of taking over as the PM for this feature (in MS parlance we’d say I “own” this feature now) which nicely complements my duties as the PM for ASP.NET MVC. If you’ve followed my blog, you know I have an interest in dynamic languages and now I can channel that interest into work time, rather than on my own time. :)

This initial release only has IronPython support, but IronRuby support will be coming soon. This gives me an opportunity to learn a bit about Python, and let me tell you, the fact that whitespace matters in this language can be nice within a normal code file, but a real pain within a view.

One nice thing about this implementation above and beyond my old IronRuby prototype is that it has true support for a file, the IronPython equivalent for Global.asax.cs. This allowed me to define my routes in IronPython directly in that file rather than reading in a separate file. I did implement some helper methods in C# that make it easy to define routes using a Python dictionary.