IronPython 2.7.1 Update

There are times where it’s hard for me to keep up with every software update out there, much as it’s hard for you. IronPython was a somewhat different product when I originally wrote Professional IronPython. One of the best changes has been the addition of support in Visual Studio for a variety of project types. You still can’t use designers to create your interface effectively, but things are moving in the right direction. I had downloaded the 2.7.1 version of IronPython nearly as soon as it became available, but a number of personal projects and other requirements got in the way of my testing it with the source code in Professional IronPython. The testing is finished and I haven’t encountered any major problems with the update. If someone does encounter a problem, let me know at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.

The update does include the usual bug fixes. You’ll want to peruse this list to see if the bug you reported has been fixed. As far as I was able to tell, none of these bugs directly affect the code in the book or any of the example code.

You do need to be aware of some important changes in this seemingly minor update. The biggest change is that you must have Silverlight 4 installed now to use IronPython Silverlight Web Page template (see the Python Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS) Released post for details). I decided to try everything with Silverlight 5 now that it’s available and didn’t encounter any problems. Consequently, you may simply want to update to Silverlight 5 to avoid potential problems later.

The older IronPython Tools for Visual Studio tool is completely deprecated at this point. You must use the newer Python Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS) with IronPython 2.7.1. Since this newer product offers a wealth of useful features, it’s an easy update to accommodate.

For me, the best news is that IronPython is able to work with more of the Python Standard Library. Chapter 6 of my book discusses how to perform this task. Table 6-1 (page 99) contains a list of standard library modules that are missing from IronPython. That list is getting progressively smaller. IronPython 2.7.1 now supports these additional Python Standard Library modules:

 

  • unicodedata
  • csv
  • ats


There is currently an IronPython 2.7.2 Alpha release available as well. This new release isn’t far enough along for me to test with the book’s code as of yet. However, if you do test it out and find that you have questions about the book code when using it, feel free to contact me. I’m always more than happy to help out with book-specific questions.

 

Python Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS) Released

As mentioned in my IronPython Finally Has Visual Studio Support post several months ago, there wasn’t much support for IronPython in Visual Studio when I wrote Professional IronPython. In the months since then, I’ve looked at the test version of this product in a number of posts that you can read in the Professional IronPython category. Microsoft has finally released PTVS to the public. You can now use this stable release for development projects without worry.

I downloaded and installed this latest version. The first thing I did was to try and load a few of the projects found in previous posts. For example, I loaded the example from the Using Generics with Classes post and it appears to work fine. I also tried out the debugging techniques found in the Debugging Using PTVS and Debugging Using PTVS (Part 2) posts and they appear to work as before.

As far as projects are concerned, you get the same projects as with the test version of the product. However, you’ll notice that there is now a separate entry in the list for Python-specific applications as shown here.

PTVSReleased01

I tried creating a Windows Forms application and was disappointed to find that there is still no designer support. Of course, this means you still need to create your user interface using code and then test to see if it appear as you want it to. It would be nice if a future update (or perhaps a third party add-in) would make designer support available.

The one thing I noticed during my testing is that this version seems to work a bit faster. I didn’t perform any timed testing, but it seemed quicker and more responsive.

Future posts will look at the released version in more detail. If you’re already using the test version of PTVS, then you also know how to use the released version. It would be a good idea to update your copy, as needed, to ensure you have the latest bits. Be sure to write me about any questions or concerns about this release at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.