Ian Bicking: the old part of his blog

Re: Sun Comes Lately

I don't. Or at least not wholy.

Sun is a big company, requiring many people to work in concert to achieve anything. While it is possible that IronPython was part of the motivation for throwing support behind JRuby, I doubt that it was the largest motivation for the majority of people involved. Also, from Sun's point of view, getting behind JRuby also makes more sense than getting behind Jython, on account of all the Java programmers currently getting excited about Ruby and Rails. I'm hoping that much dynamic goodness will come of this for JDK 7 or 8.

Still, I agree that it is was short-sighted of Sun to pass on getting behind Jython back in 2001 or 2002.

Comment on Sun Comes Lately
by Alan Green


Honestly I don't know what Sun would do to get behind Jython now; the project doesn't have a champion anymore. So I don't fault them for getting behind JRuby now instead of Jython. But I think they were pretty dumb to let Jython wither in the way it has. And I don't know what it takes for Sun to get behind something, but all they're doing is spending a few bucks to hire some people so they can focus on a project that should be strategic for Sun. This is exactly the kind of thing that should be easy for Sun to do.

# Ian Bicking

You might want to look at Tim Bray's blog on the subject:


Sun is a big company. Tim was the guy who made it happen, and he has some really cogent comments on why it was JRuby, and what would be needed for Sun to hire another language guru.

As the Python FIT maintainer, I've had a request to make it run under Jython. I'm not going to do it for two reasons, one of which is that I'm not a Java guy. The whole ecosystem is a foreign language for me.

The other is that my current support base (minimum Python level) is 2.3. AFAIK, Jython is still stuck on 2.1. If someone wants to step up to the plate and make it run with Jython (or IronPython or PyPy for that matter) I'll certainly discuss applying the patches. However, I'm not going to go back on the minimum level of Python required.

The takehome is that if you want Sun to support a couple of Jython developers, talk to Tim. But I suspect that the people in question will have to show their interest in very concrete ways first.

John Roth

# John Roth

[Ian] > Honestly I don't know what Sun would do to get behind Jython now

Simple: Put some money into paying some of the existing jython developers. It's too late to get Jim Hugunin, it's too late to get Samuele Pedroni, and I don't know whatever happened to Finn Bock.

But it's not too late to talk to some of the newer guys, like Frank Wierzbicki, or Khalid Zuberi, or Charlie Groves, or ....

I've saying this on the jython lists for several years now, with the most recent version being

Sun will have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/message.php?msg_id=36335251

It is somewhat pathetic to see Sun playing catchup with Microsoft: they should know better by now.


# Alan Kennedy