This was a good week for IronPython – we’ve released not one but two new versions!
The first release was IronPython 2.0.2 which just includes bug fixes for issues which have been particularly irritating to our users. This is a very minor release and doesn’t include breaking changes. Probably the most significant fix is that we’ve fixed ngen on 64-bit platforms. Previously when you would install 2.0 and enable ngen it would only ngen the binaries for 32-bit assemblies. Now we’ll ngen for 64-bit which should help users running on 64-bit see much faster startup times. I hope that this will make 2.0 much more usable until we get the really big improvements that 2.6 brings.
And speaking of 2.6 the other release this week was our 2nd and final beta. 2.6 is shaping up to be an exciting release. We’ve significantly improved the startup time of IronPython – this has been our number one requested change. We’ve implemented more standard modules and other missing functionality to be closer to CPython. This includes the new ctypes module, support for sys.settrace and pdb, as well other new functionality that 2.6 has introduced such as the underlying support for the io module. And finally we’ve added a bunch of new features to improve .NET interop as well – we’ve now got support for generic method type inference and added the core support that will enable using .NET attributes and in general working better w/ .NET when static types are expected. I’m pretty excited about this release and can’t wait to get the final version out – so please try out this beta and let us know if you run into any issues.