Using Ironpython Constructively

This chapter has introduced you to IronPython. You should have a good understanding of why you want to use IronPython and how it differs from other, static .NET languages. Dynamic languages have a special place in your toolbox. They aren't the answer to every need, but they can address specific needs — just as other languages address the needs for which they were built. At the end of the day, the computer doesn't care what language you use — the computer simply cares how that language is translated into the bits and bytes it requires to do something useful. Languages address human needs and it's important to keep that in mind.

Before you do anything else, make sure you get IronPython installed on your system and test the installation out using the examples in this chapter. If you're getting some weird result or nothing at all, you might have a bad installation. Once you know that you do have a good installation, try playing around with the example application in the "Creating Your First Application" section of the chapter. Work with this application as a means of working with the tools discussed in the "Using the IronPython Console" and "Using the IronPython Windowed Environment" sections of the chapter.

At this point, you really don't know too much about the Python language or the IronPython implementation of that language. However, you probably do know something about other .NET languages, and that's a good starting point. Chapter 2 builds on the information you've learned in this chapter and also builds on your personal knowledge of the .NET Framework. In Chapter 2, you begin building knowledge about IronPython so you can see what an interesting language it is and so you can also begin to understand the example in the "Creating Your First Application" section of the chapter. When you get done with Chapter 2, you may want to take another look at the sample application — you'll be surprised to discover that you really do know how the example works.

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