The Microsoft Platform Ahead by David Platt; thoughts about Python and Zope

Discussion in 'Python' started by John Benson, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. John Benson

    John Benson Guest

    Hi, I've been reading the above-titled book and it looks like some major
    Python and Zope features have been cherry-picked for pushing down into .NET,
    like application memory management (Python interpreter), and prefabricated
    website user management (Zope).

    I know that these didn't originate with Python and Zope, and also that .NET
    adds extra Microsoft-specific goodies. However, the real possibility is that
    the Microsoft-centricity of .NET may diminish in time when VB.NET/C#
    /ASP.NET provide an attractive multiplatform alternative to Python and Zope
    or other content-management/portal/web service frameworks.

    The question I'd like to pose is:

    Will the open-source web service frameworks suffer the same fate as the
    Netscape browser?

    The most likely scenario I see is that Python will remain important as a
    standalone language and one of the Microsoft CLR (Common Language Runtime)
    language alternatives (like VB.NET and C#) but that great frameworks (like
    Zope and Twisted) will be crowded out as Microsoft appropriates and
    repackages their functionality. Comments?

    The one opportunity for Python and the open-source frameworks to survive and
    thrive is that Microsoft has targeted XML Web Services and authentication as
    basic functionality in .NET. That is, as it currently understands them. The
    admission in the book that Web Services are in their infancy leaves open the
    possibility that Microsoft may be playing catch-up with smaller and more
    agile frameworks in this area until the technology matures. Please forgive
    the oxymoron. It is probable that no computer technology matures: it either
    evolves or dies, or hangs on in the living death of legacy maintenance.)
    John Benson, Nov 21, 2004
    #1
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  2. John Benson

    Peter Hansen Guest

    Re: The Microsoft Platform Ahead by David Platt; thoughts about Pythonand Zope

    John Benson wrote:
    > Will the open-source web service frameworks suffer the same fate as the
    > Netscape browser?


    You mean, the one most recently making headlines under the title
    "Firefox"? ;-)

    -Peter
    Peter Hansen, Nov 22, 2004
    #2
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  3. > I know that these didn't originate with Python and Zope, and also that
    > .NET adds extra Microsoft-specific goodies. However, the real possibility
    > is that the Microsoft-centricity of .NET may diminish in time when
    > VB.NET/C# /ASP.NET provide an attractive multiplatform alternative to
    > Python and Zope or other content-management/portal/web service frameworks.


    They still won't run on unix - which is for many people a reason not to use
    them.

    > Will the open-source web service frameworks suffer the same fate as the
    > Netscape browser?


    Netscape was a product selled - zope and twisted aren't.


    --
    Regards,

    Diez B. Roggisch
    Diez B. Roggisch, Nov 22, 2004
    #3
  4. Re: The Microsoft Platform Ahead by David Platt;thoughts about Python and Zope

    On Sun, 21 Nov 2004 19:16:48 GMT, John Benson
    <> wrote:
    > Hi, I've been reading the above-titled book and it looks like some major
    > Python and Zope features have been cherry-picked for pushing down into .NET,
    > like application memory management (Python interpreter), and prefabricated
    > website user management (Zope).


    <irony>
    I would be concerned if Microsoft was pushing for patents on things
    previously implemented by Python or Zope.
    </irony>

    > Will the open-source web service frameworks suffer the same fate as the
    > Netscape browser?


    Microsoft has show with the IE 6 fiasco that they have no long-term
    commitment. As soon as they think that they have obliterated
    competition they stop developing. And their customers are learning it
    too. For many companies older versions, such as NT4 and Win98 are
    still quite usable... but as MS discontinues support, it *forces* them
    to upgrade. Worse: there are applications written for older frameworks
    that simply will not be supported in the long term. It's why so many
    people are concerned about XForms, Avalon and stuff -- they have
    bought MS technology previously, and they will have to buy it again,
    with all the upgrade cost, just to keep working. Not a good way to run
    a business.

    > The most likely scenario I see is that Python will remain important as a
    > standalone language and one of the Microsoft CLR (Common Language Runtime)
    > language alternatives (like VB.NET and C#) but that great frameworks (like
    > Zope and Twisted) will be crowded out as Microsoft appropriates and
    > repackages their functionality. Comments?


    Perhaps I'm a little paranoid, but I am afraid that the CLR version of
    Python may lead to a split of sorts in the long term. Jython is always
    a little behind, but as far as I know, it still follows C Python
    steps. The CLR is a *big* library, and it's backed by Microsoft, which
    makes it quite attractive for a number of developers. I'm afraid that
    its direct use may lead to a distinct 'dialect' of sorts (due to the
    use of the CLR) than C Python with the standard Python library. The
    language is the same, but the programs would hardly be portable (I
    don't place my bets on Mono either). But again, I may be just paranoid
    :)

    --
    Carlos Ribeiro
    Consultoria em Projetos
    blog: http://rascunhosrotos.blogspot.com
    blog: http://pythonnotes.blogspot.com
    mail:
    mail:
    Carlos Ribeiro, Nov 22, 2004
    #4
  5. John Benson

    Steve Holden Guest

    Re: The Microsoft Platform Ahead by David Platt; thoughts about Pythonand Zope

    Carlos Ribeiro wrote:

    > On Sun, 21 Nov 2004 19:16:48 GMT, John Benson
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >>Hi, I've been reading the above-titled book and it looks like some major
    >>Python and Zope features have been cherry-picked for pushing down into .NET,
    >>like application memory management (Python interpreter), and prefabricated
    >>website user management (Zope).

    >
    >
    > <irony>
    > I would be concerned if Microsoft was pushing for patents on things
    > previously implemented by Python or Zope.
    > </irony>
    >
    >>Will the open-source web service frameworks suffer the same fate as the
    >>Netscape browser?

    >
    >
    > Microsoft has show with the IE 6 fiasco that they have no long-term
    > commitment. As soon as they think that they have obliterated
    > competition they stop developing. And their customers are learning it
    > too. For many companies older versions, such as NT4 and Win98 are
    > still quite usable... but as MS discontinues support, it *forces* them
    > to upgrade. Worse: there are applications written for older frameworks
    > that simply will not be supported in the long term. It's why so many
    > people are concerned about XForms, Avalon and stuff -- they have
    > bought MS technology previously, and they will have to buy it again,
    > with all the upgrade cost, just to keep working. Not a good way to run
    > a business.
    >

    Microsoft's financial results prove that it's actually an excellent way
    to do business, as long as all you are interested in is financial
    results. When you start to consider the suboptimal economic nature of
    such a methodology, however, the capitalists start hurling around words
    like "socialism" which they use in a perjorative sense without real
    understanding ;-).

    The point is that Microsoft appear to feel threatened by open source
    because to work in that arena would remove the vital element of control.
    They aren't interested in the greatest good for the greatest number,
    they are interested in the greatest good for Microsoft stockholders.
    >
    >>The most likely scenario I see is that Python will remain important as a
    >>standalone language and one of the Microsoft CLR (Common Language Runtime)
    >>language alternatives (like VB.NET and C#) but that great frameworks (like
    >>Zope and Twisted) will be crowded out as Microsoft appropriates and
    >>repackages their functionality. Comments?

    >
    >
    > Perhaps I'm a little paranoid, but I am afraid that the CLR version of
    > Python may lead to a split of sorts in the long term. Jython is always
    > a little behind, but as far as I know, it still follows C Python
    > steps. The CLR is a *big* library, and it's backed by Microsoft, which
    > makes it quite attractive for a number of developers. I'm afraid that
    > its direct use may lead to a distinct 'dialect' of sorts (due to the
    > use of the CLR) than C Python with the standard Python library. The
    > language is the same, but the programs would hardly be portable (I
    > don't place my bets on Mono either). But again, I may be just paranoid
    > :)
    >

    I think you probably are being a little paranoid (though even the
    paranoid can have enemies). As long as the CLR remains an API rather
    than getting built into the language Python will be just fine. Take Mark
    Hammond's win32all extensions as an example of what might happen.

    I've written Windows services, and used Windows-specific functionality,
    to deliver what customers asked me for. The solutions are still Python,
    despite the fact that they aren't portable to any other platforms than
    Windows.

    The day *I'll* start complaining is the day Python-from-Microsoft starts
    to sprout new keywords and syntax features that don't exist in other
    implementations. Personally I have enough faith in Jim Hugunin's
    integrity to be pretty sure he'd resist such trends, though perhaps not
    enough faith in Microsoft as a whole to be sure such changes wouldn't be
    railroaded through if there were some perceived corporate advantage.

    Frankly, though, it will be a long time before Python is anything but a
    minority platform for Microsoft users, given the huge number of VB and
    C# programmers, not to mention the Java camp.

    In the long term the only way to change Microsoft's behavior is to
    engage with them and have them perceive that their current technological
    isolationism is against the long-term interests of their shareholders.
    This will not be an easy dialog.

    As far as using CLR functionality from Python goes, I'd hope that mono
    will allow us to do the same (sort of) things in other environments.

    regards
    Steve
    --
    http://www.holdenweb.com
    http://pydish.holdenweb.com
    Holden Web LLC +1 800 494 3119
    Steve Holden, Nov 22, 2004
    #5
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